Home / China / Society

Working in high spirits

By Song Wei | | Updated: 2017-04-26 09:22

Working in high spirits

Gao Ling tastes a cup of baijiu from a wine jar at the factory at Anhui Yingjia Distillery Co in Lu'an, Anhui province, April 25, 2017. [Photo by Song Wei/]

Taste in the making

"The most basic ability of wine tasters requires the ability to spot two similar cups of wine among five," Gao says.

"Of course, natural abilities such as a sharp sense of smell and taste are crucial, but it is diligence that is more important," says Gao, adding that she is where she is today due to 80 percent of hard work and 20 percent of natural skills.

In 2005, she became one of the 160 national-level wine judges – the highest honour of wine tasters in China. And she managed to retain the title, which is given out every five years, in 2010 and again 2015.

Gao discovered her talent in this field rather late in life. In 1989 at the age of 19, she joined Yingjia right after graduating from high school. She worked in a few other departments, including packaging and distribution, at the winery.

But it was not until at a wine training course about 10 years later that her talent in wine tasting was found. Gao achieved the top score during the training.

Generous in spirit

In 1996, Gao was promoted and moved to the research centre. In 2000, Gao started to train apprentices.

Xu Guangsheng, one of Gao's students, now one of the wine making masters in Yingjia, says it was Gao who spotted his gift. "Without her, I would probably still be an ordinary worker in the workshop."

Over the past 17 years, Gao has trained over 50 apprentices, and quite a few of them have become wine making and tasting masters in the brewery or in the industry.

Gao believes training is a good way to spot talent and learn professional skills. Each year, she holds wine making training courses for more than 500 staff members for a month. Every month, she holds wine tasting workshop for over 100 people.

And it's not just through training that she remains close to her students. Gao always tastes wine made by her students. "Only by tasting, I could tell them the places that need to improve."

"Though wine making and tasting is subjective, I try as best as I can to share with them my honest opinion and advice, and leave the rest for them to figure out," Gao says.

The job wine tasting comes with certain restrictions – no eating spicy food, for instance. As a woman, one of Gao's regrets is that she cannot use makeup.

"No perfume, no lipsticks, nor any skin care products with fragrance," she says.

But the positive side far outweighs any restrictions. "I'm the proudest woman in the world when my wine wins praise or positive feedback," Gao says. "Then I'm on cloud nine."

Previous 1 2 Next

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349