My Column

    MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016

    1.Château Haut-Brion 1989

    2. Le Pin 1998

    3. Château La Mission Haut-Brion 1990

    4. Château Lafleur  1982

    5. Château Margaux 1990

    6. Pétrus 1990

    7. DRC La Tâche 1978

    8. Maison Leroy Mazis-Chambertin 1962

    9. Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1962

    10. Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny 1978

    (Wines are in no particular order)

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    My Today

    When I was a university student traveling through Europe, a budding foodie in search of my next flavor discovery, I stumbled upon wine. I was humbled by the wine world's complex language and an entire new realm opened up to me. I was mesmerized by wine – not just because of its complex flavors that are mercurial and fleeting but because intuitively, I sensed that wine was alive. It is connected to the earth, swaying to the rhythm of nature and reflecting the spirit of the people behind it and the culture surrounding it. All of this, in just one sip.


    My traditional Korean upbringing meant venturing into the wine industry was not an option I considered while I was a student. But life has a way of bringing you back to what you love and I found myself in the wine industry, first as a writer, then an author and later as a wine critic, editor, publisher and finally in 2008, becoming a Master of Wine. All along the way, my loving and generous family tolerated my indulgence and to them I owe huge thanks.


    What really makes me happy, besides spending time with my family and friends, is being able to turn people on to wine. Now, I spend as much time teaching, hosting wine and food television programs and speaking, or should I say preaching, to people about why wine is so wonderful and how it can transform your life. It helps slow down meals, I say. You can reach palate orgasm when you find that perfect food and wine pairing! You can become closer to cultures and places far away without ever having left your dining room. Plus, it tastes great and it makes you relaxed and happy. What more can you ask for?


    I was not born into a wine family nor did I grow up drinking wine or ever live near a wine region. If I can learn this, I say, so can you! Wine is a life enhancer, just like food. We need to eat every day, so why not make the most of every meal and enjoy it, with wine of course. My wine gospel goes something like this: Life is short and what makes life worth living are the people close to you and the time you spend with them. Bring wine into your life and it makes time and meals slow down; it may even make time stand still. And that is what makes wine more than just a fermented alcoholic beverage in a bottle.


    I started to give ratings to wine starting in 1992 when I started my wine diaries. These notes were meant just for me and I never imagined then that my wine ratings would ever be published anywhere. I always found the 100 point system very helpful especially when I review my previous notes of wines tasted five or ten years ago. Often when I taste wines now, the number surfaces even before the words start to form in my mind.


    Even before falling in love with food and eventually wine, my first love was writing. When I announced to my parents at the age of 10 that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, they replied, "That is a nice hobby dear, but that is not a real profession." But I never stopped writing and when I am not writing for magazines, newspapers or online sites I am writing journals to my daughters. To read my latest views and articles about wine, food, trends and more, click here. To buy my books in English, Chinese or Korean, click here.


    My father's ambition for me was to be a University professor and when I told him I was appointed in 2012 as Professor at Wine at the Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism Management, he was even more thrilled than I was. I really enjoy teaching and get a thrill when my students' eyes light up because of a new wine discovery. 

    Interested in wine business and management? Check out the Master of Science in International Wine Management that I helped to launch in 2015 and currently teach here.

    Television host

    When TVB approached me about hosting a weekly wine program, In Vino Veritas, in early 2014, I was honored but apprehensive. I was interviewed numerous times but I was never the host! I learned the meaning of pithy and how to do five retakes and each time do it with equal enthusiasm as if it is my first time. I have a newfound respect for all entertainers in television and film. 

    To watch TVB Pearl's In Vino Veritas, follow this link or download this app: mytvb.com.


    Speaking about food and wine takes me around the world. Here is a link to my upcoming events as well as previous ones. You might also enjoy my Ted Talk about how wine keeps you healthy, humble and slim.


    I have worked with many fine wine companies throughout my career, as educational consultant, fine wine specialist and advisor to companies such Watson's Wine, Ficofi and Berry Brothers & Rudd. I have created award-wininng wine lists for numerous hotels and restaurants, always mindful of the cuisine, the ambience and the guest profile unique to each venue. On occasion, I also help to create dream cellars, host bespoke events and create memorable wine events.


    This is pure indulgence – creating a set of wine glasses that not only meets my functional expectations, but makes me smile because they are so beautiful and elegant. A big thank you to Inhesion and Spiegelau for being such great partners and for allowing my creativity to run free. 

    To download the wine glass and decanter brochure, click here. To place an order, email or Call +852 2415 9288

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    Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and shortly thereafter moved to the United States where she later received her undergraduate degree from Smith College and a Masters in public policy from Harvard University. Since 1994, Lee has been based in Hong Kong initially pursuing a career in business journalism in Asia, writing for publications such as Asia Inc.Far Eastern Economic Review and The Asset, before contributing to international wine publications such as Wine SpectatorThe World of Fine WineWine and DineWine Business International and La Revue du vin de France. Later, in November 2010, she joined Decanter. as a contributing editor for Asia. She is also the Co-Chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards, a sister competition to the Decanter World Wine Awards launched in 2004. In June 2015, Lee is launching LE PAN, a magazine and website on fine wine, dining and luxury living.

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    Pro Me

    Lee is also the creator and designer of the Jeannie Cho Lee Signature Wine Glass Collection, which she launched in 2014 at the Vinexpo. Later that year, she co-hosted the wine program 'In Vino Veritas', which aired on the Hong Kong broadcasting network channel TVB Pearl from October to December.


    Jeannie Cho Lee Decanter Jeannie Cho Lee Writing Wine amp Life


    Lee is a frequent judge at international wine competitions such as the International Wine Challenge, Decanter World Wine Awards, Royal Adelaide Wine Show, Mundus Vini and Wines of the Pacific Rim. She has also been teaching Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses since 2004 and in 2008 helped establish The Fine Wine School in Hong Kong. In 2009, she received Vinitaly's International Award, and also became a wine consultant to Singapore Airlines and Galaxy Macau.

    Lee's first book, Asian Palate was launched in November 2009. In February 2010, at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Asian Palate was awarded the 'Best Food and Wine Pairing Book in the World'. In June 2011, at the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards 2011, Asian Palate won under the category of 'Wine, Beer or Spirits' category Same month, Asian Palate won under the category of 'Wines and Gastronomy' category at the 2011 OIV Awards. Lee launched her website AsianPalate.com in May 2010.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  2 Producers 

Domain Leroy Richebourg 1955 / 100p / Wonderful generosity and ripeness on this Richebourg that is incredibly powerful on the palate. Exuberant, intense and explosive on the palate with such youthfulness that if tasted blind, no one would guess it to be a 1955. Sweet dried fruits and flowers on the palate with a salinity on the incredibly long finish.

5d 3h ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  6 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Colgin Tychson Hill 2013 / A luscious, generous Cabernet with velvety tannins, ripe plum, a hint of eucalyptus and blackberry fruit. The mid-palate offers sweet flavors of fresh prune and licorice with lively freshness. Delicious now even in its youth. 94 points

1m 10h ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  11 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1975 / A gorgeous, mature Champagne that has a natural sweetness on the nose and palate - sweet biscuits, butterscotch, honeysuckle and toffee. A remarkable Champagne with a long finish that is perfect to enjoy with food - the flavours remind one of a complex, mature, white Burgundy. According to winemaker Richard Geoffroy, this vintage was one the latest harvests with grapes picked in October. There is a richness and generosity here that is not present in many other vintages from the 1970s. This 1975 Oenotheque was disgorged in 2008.

1m 22h ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  4 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Domaine Leroy Musigny 2012 / A silky, very fine Musigny that whispers and reveals intricate details as the wine swirls in the glass. This is a celebration of flowers, red berry fruits and lovely minerality. This is one of the best Musignys produced in this vintage; a wine that combines both finesse and amazing concentration. Only 2 barrels of this wine was made in 2005.

2m 3d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  2 Producers 

Lalou Bize-Leroy is often referred to as the Queen of Burgundy. She is a trailblazer who has been involved in the wine business since 1955. She joined her father in the negociant business when her father was running Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC). She was co-manager of DRC until 1992 and since then she has focused on both her family’s negociant business as well as Domaine Leroy for which she is renowned.

3m 20d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  29 Wines  from  2 Producers 

Domaine Leroy vintage 2015 / Chambertin 2015:This magnificent Chambertin nearly brougt tears to my eyes. The wine has depth, stature, and an incredible presence on the palate. There is focused minerality, dark berries and savory herbs and earth that mingle on palate. Despite the power and generosity of this wine, there is finesse and the finish of a great Burgundy. The wine is complete, incredibly complex, with a persistent finish. Magnificent! Only 2 barrels made in 2015. 100 points

5m 20d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Harlan Estate 2013 /Dark brooding blackberry, forest fruit and tobacco flavors - there is more density here than in the 2012. This is a powerful, dense, intense Harlan that will take time to unfold but will eventually offer much more than the 2012 and probably keep longer in the cellar. Firm, chewy tannins. This vintage had a lot of wind leaving small berries with thick skins. 98 points

6m 12d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  18 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Screaming Eagle 2010 - 100 points / A beautiful vintage for Screaming Eagle that brings together the best of this wine's complexity, elegance and depth. The wine is seamless from beginning to end starting off with layers of gorgeous, intense flavors that are in balance with the firm, velvety tannins and wonderful freshness. Flavors unfold gently, without obvious power or opulence, offering layers of mocha, incense, blackberry and savory spices. Incredibly long finish. This is a perfect Screaming Eagle.

8m 13d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Colgin IX Estate 2005-2013 / 2013 vintage 98 points / Vibrant blueberry and black currant flavors with layers of complex flavors. Tannins are supple, velvety and firm with ripeness. Generous wine with unleashed power and potential lurking in the background. A wine for long-term aging.

9m 21d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Dom Pérignon 1996 Oenotheque / This is the most impressive Dom Perignon that I have tasted with an incredible linear focus and a tension that suggests this wine will cellar for decades. This Oenotheque was re-released in 2012, about ten years after its first release in 2003/2004. A very youthful Champagne with a light lemon hue with flavours that are incredibly fresh; the toasty, layered flavours are very long in the finish. 98p

10m 13d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  12 Producers 

My TOP Bordeaux from 2010 vintage / Deep ruby in colour, the Lafite has wonderful aromatics, with a gorgeous perfume of violets, cedar, cassis and blackberries. With its velvety tannins and layered, delicate flavours, there is a succulent juicy character to its fruit profile, accented with hints of violet. It is a gorgeous wine that is filled with delicate layers of flavours and at the same time is not heavy or dense. This is clearly a very successful vintage for Lafite in both style and intensity, producing a wine that will outlive the outstanding 2009. 100 points

11m 4h ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  had a tasting of  11 Wines  from  11 Producers 

Petrus 2009 / 100 points / If a wine's aroma can be sexy, then this is it: Vibrant mixed spices, sweet, ripe plums, blackberries and violets. The wine has amazing density and richness with Petrus' signature layers of flavours including hint of game, anise and exotic Asian spices that go on and on. This is an intoxicating wine that will be a hedonists' delight in its youth or after decades of aging.

11m 18d ago


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