Edward Ragg MW, the China-based Master of Wine, has just been announced as the new wine reviewer for The Wine Advocate, covering China.
An experienced wine educator, well versed in China’s wine market, the appointment to The Wine Advocate gives Ragg another reason to celebrate just two months after achieving his Master of Wine title.
The news is also seen as a tacit nod to China’s growing prowess as a wine producer. The country is ranked as the world’s second biggest country with land under vine, and the 7th biggest wine producer in 2017 by OIV.
Speaking to Vino-joy.com, Ragg says, “’It is an honour to join Lisa Perotti-Brown’s team of experienced palates as the Wine Advocate diversifies and looks more intently at the China market from its base in Singapore.”
Having read English at Oxford University, Ragg’s journey in wine began in earnest at Cambridge whilst writing a Ph.D. on American poet and Burgundy tippler Wallace Stevens. A former Captain and Coach of the Cambridge blind-tasting team, he co-wrote and revises regularly the Cambridge University Guide to Blind-Tasting.
He moved to Beijing in 2007, where he co-founded Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting with his wife and partner Fongyee Walker MW.
An experienced writer, Ragg has published widely in international wine magazines, literary journals and has authored three collections of poetry. He completed the WSET Diploma in 2012 and began his MW studies in 2015, achieving the Master of Wine in 2019. He also has judging experience, having served as guest international judge for the McLaren Vale Wine Show (2012) and Perth Royal Wine Show (2019), as well as judging regularly in China. He has been tasting and evaluating Chinese wine for over a decade and also has an interest in Australian fine wine.
Asked about his expectation for his role as the new Chinese wine critic, he explains in detail, “I come to wine as an independent commentator to begin with; so welcome the chance, on behalf of Wine Advocate, to assess the current quality of Chinese wines across the board from a global perspective. It is only fair to consumers within and outside China – as well as to Chinese producers themselves – to evaluate contemporary Chinese wines by global standards of quality.”
“As a recent Master of Wine, and frequent wine judge I am used to assessing wine quality from examples from all over the planet. So it will be fascinating to judge where Chinese fine wine exists now in that international spectrum,” he continues.
The Wine Advocate was founded by Robert Parker, arguably the most influential wine critic in history, in 1978, and the current team has 10 reviewers in total led by Lisa Perrotti-Brown.
In 2012, Parker sold his controlling stake to Singapore-based investors, and in 2017 Michelin acquired 40% stake in the publication.
After years of reducing tastings and handing over responsibilities to his strong team, Parker formally announced his retirement earlier this year.