Wine buying in Taiwan: Affordable, Lots of Reds, and Good Selections

By | June 19, 2008

When I first came to Taiwan quite a few years ago, there were quite a few things that were hard to come by:

  • 1. decent ground coffee and cappuccino
  • 2. inexpensive wines
  • 3. English language TV

Since those early days in 1992, things have changed a lot. I can now saunter down to the local supermarket, and pick up any of half a dozen choices, or go to the local coffee shop, and have a decent choice of coffees (fresh, ground or beans!).

Wines, too, are a lot easier to get. The better supermarkets provide quite a range of wines, (Jason’s, Carrefour, the better Wellcomes and there are any number of smaller wine shops), mostly reds from the New World, France, South America. It’s more difficult to buy whites here, and roses are quite scarce, but findable. Pricing is keen: a typical table wine starts at about NT$250 or so, a reasonable red NT$300 and up, and better wines pop in around NT$500 plus.

Getting a wine rack isn’t really so useful here, as most apartments just don’t have the space for one, and the price range isn’t typical of wines that you’d buy and keep. Also, good red wines NEED to be kept cool, and Taiwan’s humidity is just too high, as well as the ambient temperature. I suspect an old gold mine would be more appropriate to store the bottles!

Still, smaller wine racks should be quite fine, unless you’re going through a dozen bottles or more a month! Mmm.. Oh, and there’re lots of English TV channels here now… You may even find one or two programs on Asia Travel + Living that explore the wine growing regions of the world! I know, I’ve already learned quite a bit about Champagne (the region, and the wine!).