The wine and spirits sections at Jenny Wang and Jenny Lou have certainly grown over the past few years. Offer after offer spotlights wines from every country and region as well as imported and local spirits and beers. However, where these supermarkets struggle is in their lack of product knowledge. If you’re looking for a certain wine from a certain year or want a recommendation for a full-bodied red, you’ll likely come unstuck. Despite being staffed by "experts," it’s unlikely that the sales clerks will be able to assist you unless you have excellent Mandarin.
That’s why it was refreshing to come across Arcadia, a new wine store near to Yosemite Villas. It’s a relatively small shop but stocks a good range of reds, whites, champagnes, spirits, and beer. The guys that run the store speak excellent English and are keen to help you find what you’re looking for. They provide plenty of suggestions and were able to describe some of the different wines on display. If you want something specific, they’re happy to try and source it for you. They also deliver, in case you’re looking to stock up or plan for a barbecue.
Arcadia is no Pinotage, which has an excellent range of high-end wines and experienced sommeliers to guide you. But what it does have is a solid selection of wines in the RMB 55-82 range; some great Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Sauvignon Blanc in the RMB 100 range; and – much to my surprise – Pimm’s, a British summer fruit drink. (Think Hugh Grant, regattas, and Wimbledon.)
This being Beijing, I wasn’t overly surprised to see that some of the shop space was reserved for…porcelain. Yes, porcelain. So if you need some tequila for your margaritas and a nice ceramic bowl for your nachos, Arcadia is the place for you. With the adjoining vegetable shop and Tasty’s also close by, it’s a wonderful addition to this small parade of shops.
100m east of the south gate of Yosemite, Section A. Houshayu, Yuyang Lu, Shunyi District (Li Liming: 137 1878 1806, firstname.lastname@example.org) 顺义区榆阳路后沙峪优山美地A区南门东边100米
Photos by Sally Wilson