January 21, 2014

Become a wine connoisseur or, my wine tasting in Burma

I’m French so people assume I know about wine, but I don’t !
I don’t want to become a wine connoisseur for the cliché. But I must say I’m actually enjoying this nectar of the gods and in the past years I have found myself deepening my pleasure of experiencing new wines and discovering the complexity of the vinification …

A few months ago I was traveling in Burma and in a conversation with backpackers in Rangoon, the words « Wine tasting » popped up. Wine Tasting in Burma, really ? So I grabbed my Lonely Planet to find out that there were two wineries in the region of the Inle Lake, in the eastern part of the country. A must try !

So I tried. But I would like to clarify my intentions: I was planning to go to Inle Lake regardless of the winery tour !
After days of intense heat it was nice to enjoy much cooler temperatures…

Back to business ! Myanmar Vineyard or Red Mountain Estate ? I went for the second.

The project of a vinery in Burma started in 2002 : French winemaker. Winery equipment from Italy. 75 hectares. Altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. Plants from France, Israel and Spain. Oak barrels from Hungary. Bottles from France. Fresh nights and sunny days. First harvest in 2008. Production of 85,000 bottles in 2011, 120,000 bottles in 2012… My wine tasting in 2013*.

The wine tasting takes place outside on the terrace. The winery overlooks the vineyard. The sun sinks. We can guess Inle Lake in the distance. Peaceful silence. A couple of visitors, breathless, push their bike uphill toward the winery…

Sauvignon blanc : dry, fruity, metallic aftertaste
Rose d’Inle : Dry, savorless, strong, dull color
Shiraz – Tempranillo : Strong
Late harvest : Semi-sweet, fruity

Not very moved by this selection so I order a glass of my favorite wine : Pinot noir !
Amazing Pinot noir… Bright color, clear, dense, ruby at sight. Rich in aroma, toasted-smoky smell. Another swirl… fabulous bouquet. Well balance as I don’t like so much excessive acidity.

Amazing view, good wine, few vegetable tempura and the peaceful silence turns into loud laugh !

I went home with one bottle of Pinot noir 2012 and I wish I had brought home some more !

* This reflects only my personal taste. Make your own opinion.


  1. Come to Cape town, the south african wine area (Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek, Robertson, Montaigu, McGregor...). There are plenty of "domaines" to experiment your taste... This week-end starts the harvest season. Do I keep a spot for you in the barrel to squeeze the grape ???