South Korea

    My Column

    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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    My Today

    All of the tasting notes of the wine critic mentioned above in tastingbook, comes from press releases from wine importers and vineyards, or directly from the critic and can also be found on the critic’s own website, which can be easily accessed by clicking on the link above.



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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.

    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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    Digital Me

    MY TOP 10 WINES 

    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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Wine Moments

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

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Chateau Musar 1998 / This is a beautifully mature wine that is delicious to enjoy now. The wine has elegance, persistence and ethereal flavours of dried autumn leaves, black truffles and pu'er tea. Lovely, silky texture, supple palate and a long finish. An impressive wine that rivals the best of Bordeaux

1m 24d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  22 Wines  from  6 Producers 

2004 Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millenaires / Toasty and layered with wonderful depth and a long finish. This prestige cuvee offers wonderful concentration and is often under-valued in the market compared to its peers. Since 1983, the Blanc de Millenaires is only sourced from 5 villages of Cote de Blanc. 30,000 bottles made per year. Aged for 13 years on its lees and made only every 5-7 years.

6m 9d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  29 Wines  from  28 Producers 

1982 is an iconic vintage for Bordeaux, and for many wine lovers, it’s a reference point as a modern, ripe year that was delicious from the onset. The top wines are still holding up well and show no signs of fading. However, some of the lesser wines are starting to show its age. This ripe vintage has given us a wide drinking window, regardless of the specific appellation and terroir. For those that still have some top 1982 Bordeaux in your cellar, there is no rush to pull the cork. A long life ahead awaits these beauties.

7m 13d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  19 Producers 

My overall impression after tasting over 300 wines from across all appellations of Bordeaux is that it is generally an excellent vintage for red wines. The 2020 red wines have as much depth and concentration as the previous two vintages, 2018 and 2019, but tastes lighter, less denser on the palate. For example, the four first growths I tasted – Mouton, Lafite, Margaux and Haut-Brion were outstanding in their sculpted expression of their own individual terroirs. Anyone who really wants to understand the character and terroir of Lafite for example, should really seek out the 2020 vintage. What I loved about Margaux in this vintage is the sculpted, precise, detailed expression despite the immense concentration of flavors. Haut-Brion was incredibly layered and complex while Mouton was expressive and deep with amazing freshness.

10m 16d ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  26 Wines  from  19 Producers 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2016 / Gorgeous, subtle, layered Mouton with delicate and detailed flavors that linger on the palate for a long time. The density of the tannins combine with wonderful freshness and layers of flavors that range from dark berries, savory spices to cedar and earth. A glorious Mouton that has stature and concentration without any heaviness. The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cab Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The latter two varieties were co-fermented.

99 points

1y 1m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  15 Producers 

2011 Quintorelli Giusseppe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico – A lighter more elegant Amarone that is beautifully composed, well balanced with a lingering finish. The magic of this wine is the lightness which belies its intensity and concentration. Long finish with layers of floral notes that surfaces at the end.

1y 2m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  47 Wines  from  45 Producers 

Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru 2017
Incredible intensity and depth in this Montrachet in 2017. Focused, complex with layers of toasted nuts, white flowers and lots of minerals. Wonderful example of this grand cru vineyard. The wine stands out as clearly the most complex and intense from Sauzet. From 50-60 year old vines; only 4 barrels made.

99 points

1y 7m ago

Krug Collection 1990, Krug
Dom Ruinart Rosé 1990, Ruinart
Château Latour 1990, Château Latour
Le Mesnil 1990, Bruno Paillard
Salon 1990, Salon
Lafite-Rothschild 1990, Château Lafite-Rothschild
Château Haut-Brion 1990, Château Haut-Brion
Château Ausone 1990, Château Ausone
Harlan Estate 1990, Harlan Estate
Unico 1990, Bodegas Vega Sicilia
Château Palmer 1990, Château Palmer
Côte-Rôtie La Mouline 1990, E.Guigal
Grange Hermitage 1990, Penfolds
Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 1990, Penfolds
Château Smith Haut Lafitte 1990, Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Dominus 1990, Dominus Estate
Chambertin 1990, Domaine Armand Rousseau
Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1990, Henri Jayer
Echezeaux 1990, Henri Jayer
La Mission Haut Brion 1990, Château La Mission Haut-Brion
Barolo Sperss 1990, Angelo Gaja
La Romanée 1990, Bouchard Père & Fils
Château Cos d'Estournel 1990, Château Cos d'Estournel
Hermitage La Chapelle 1990, Paul Jaboulet & Âiné
Barolo Monfortino Riserva 1990, Giacomo Conterno
Hill of Grace 1990, Henschke
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1990, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1990, Château de Beaucastel
Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réservé 1990, Château Rayas
Richebourg 1990, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
Château Angelus 1990, Château Angelus
Echézeaux 1990, Domaine Dujac
Corton-Charlemagne 1990, Coche Dury
Maya 1990, Dalla Valle
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1990, Château Pichon-Longueville Baron
Château Branaire 1990, Château Branaire-Ducru
Château D´Issan 1990, Château D´Issan
Domaine de Chevalier 1990, Domaine de Chevalier
Château de Fargues 1990, Château de Fargues
Château de Figeac 1990, Château de Figeac
Corton-Charlemagne 1990, Domaine Bonneau du Martray
Volnay Les Champans 1990, Domaine des Comtes Lafon
Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1990, Luciano Sandrone
Volnay 1er cru Caillerets 1990, Domaine Marquis d'Angerville
Château Doisy-Daene 1990, Château Doisy-Daëne
Balestard La Tonnelle 1990, Château Balestard La Tonnelle
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 1990, Château Beau-Séjour Bécot
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Bordeaux, France
Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, United States
Château Balestard La Tonnelle, Bordeaux, France
Paul Jaboulet & Âiné, Rhône, France
Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco, Italy
Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Burgundy, France
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Burgundy, France
Château Doisy-Daëne, Bordeaux, France
Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Bordeaux, France
Henri Jayer, Burgundy, France
Château Ausone, Bordeaux, France
Domaine Armand Rousseau, Burgundy, France
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Bordeaux, France
Ruinart, Champagne, France
Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera el Duero, Spain
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, United States
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, Bordeaux, France
Giacomo Conterno, Piedmont, Italy
Krug, Champagne, France
Château Haut-Brion, Bordeaux, France
Château La Mission Haut-Brion, Bordeaux, France
Domaine de Chevalier, Pessac Leognan, France
Château Latour, Bordeaux, France
Château de Fargues, Sauternes, France
Château Palmer, Bordeaux, France
Château Angelus, Bordeaux, France
Salon, Champagne, France
Domaine Dujac, Burgundy, France
Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Burgundy, France
Bouchard Père & Fils, Burgundy, France
Château de Figeac, Bordeaux, France
Château D´Issan, Bordeaux, France
Henschke, Eden Valley, Australia
Domaine Marquis d'Angerville, Burgundy, France
Château Branaire-Ducru, Bordeaux, France
Bruno Paillard, Champagne, France
Coche Dury, Burgundy, France
E.Guigal, Rhône, France
Dalla Valle, Napa Valley, United States
Château Rayas, Rhône, France
Luciano Sandrone, Piedmont, Italy
Château Cos d'Estournel, Bordeaux, France
Penfolds , South Australia, Australia
Château Lafite-Rothschild, Bordeaux, France
Château de Beaucastel, Rhône, France

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  23 Wines  from  7 Producers 

Ornellaia 2016 / 95 points / Ornellaia red is distinctly Tuscan, with a slightly bigger body than Bordeaux and firmer, chewier tannins. The texture is more opulent and the fruit is ripe and sweet; in vintages like 2007 and 2010, these wines gather you in their warm embrace and seduce you with their charm and depth. Recent twin great vintages, 2015 and 2016, have the potential to become another 2007 and are wines to lay down in your cellar for decades.

1y 9m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  17 Wines  from  14 Producers 

1968 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon Cask H12, This bottle took about an hour to come around. At first, the flavours were closed with only hints of dried fruits and smokey notes. After over an hour, the wine started to open up in the glass offering an array of lovely bottled aged flavours – black truffle, autumn leaves, dried violets and leather. Impressive wine, not just because of its age, but because it improved rather than fell apart in the glass over 3 hours. (91)

1y 10m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  18 Wines  from  16 Producers 

Domaine Liger-Belair, La Romanée Grand Cru, Burgundy, 2011/ Seductive nose with complex layers of flavours that are persistent and long. Gorgeous wines with focus, depth and a profile that ranges from flowers, spices and herbs to red berry fruits. Delicate, persistent and classy.

2y 1m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  28 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Vega Sicilia Unico 1942 / Lovely silky texture on this 72-year-old wine under its original cork. Dried autumn leaves accented with sweet oak and vanilla. Incredibly fresh and lively; impressive. Drink 2014-2023 97 points

2y 5m ago

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  9 Producers 

2017 was a very good vintage in Burgundy and a pleasure to taste from barrel. The red wines are juicy and fresh with light tannins and body while the whites are linear with wonderful detailed flavors. In terms of overall quality, whites trumped the reds in quality both in terms of their finely-etched and flavor profile and consistency across all levels and appellations. Below are my top 10 white wines from the 2017 vintage.

2y 6m ago


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