Vision and Ambition

Wine Maniacs’aim is to create stimulating dialogue about wine tasting. Individual palate preferences will always be respected and a spirit of open-mindedness will be promoted.

Lin Liu MW: Founder and Wine Critic

Lin Liu is the first female Chinese MW and has lived in France since 2010. She grew up in Hangzhou and has lived in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Scotland and south west France since she finished her first degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She also holds a Masters qualification. In 2020, Lin launched her wine critic career with her Bordeaux En Primeur 2019 report, gradually extending her coverage to the Rhône valley and Burgundy. Lin also participates in the winemaking in Château de Chambert with her partner and has extensive viticulture knowledge. In her previous life she worked as a Foreign Direct Investment consultant with many blue chip companies, and later gained experience in the Scotch whisky sector.

In her spare time Lin enjoys mushroom hunting, cooking, traveling, pottery, sailing, and walking her dog.

What others say…

I met Lin first when she was my Diploma student at Austrian Wine Academy. She had then very little wine knowledge and tasting experience but I have never met another person with so much focus and such a steep learning curve in wine in my 30 years in international wine education. „… She never stopped in her desire for perfection and sailed through Diploma and later on through the MW qualifications.

Dr. Josef Schuller MW, Managing Director of Austrian Wine Academy

Lin Liu is a talented young Chinese lady, who surprised me with her understanding of not only theory but also practices. This is so rare today among the prescribers. She knows how to read a vine, judge the winemaking installations and the cellar, analyse a wine before judging it and not be satisfied with an opinion. She will be of great service to the world of wine.

Michel Bettane, French Wine Critic, Co-founder of Bettane + Desseauve

Lin Liu MW is a sensitive and intelligent taster who can quickly see her way to understanding both the nature and appeal of a wine, and put that wine into its context within the larger wine world. She is familiar with the definitions of quality in every segment of the market, from entry-level wines through to fine wines. Her gastronomic expertise enables her to assess both the potential role of a wine in relation to food partners, as well as to gauge one of the most important yet difficult aspects of wine assessment: drinkability. I am always happy to taste with Lin, and I have great respect for her judgments.

Andrew Jefford, Wine Writer

I first met Lin Liu on our Master of Wine journeys. Most students are in over their heads at this level, but it was immediately clear to me that she had all the skills needed to sail through the examinations. She has theoretical knowledge, practical experience in both vineyards and cellars as well as a keen palate, fine memory and the ability to express herself well. That she was able to do all this a foreign language only added to my admiration. If she lived nearer, she would certainly be a permanent fixture on our tasting panels.

Joel Payne, Publisher and Chief Editor Vinum Wine Guide, Former President FIJEV (International Circle of Wine Writers), Co-founder of Grand Jury Européen

Our contributing writers

The Wine Maniacs team includes some of China’s most knowledgeable wine experts who write articles about their specialist regions and countries. With a breadth of experience in the wine field, they also speak English and/or French and/or Italian fluently.


Gus is the first Chinese Master of Wine. He started his wine career working as an educator under the guidance of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting founders Fongyee Walker MW and Edward Ragg MW.

In 2017, Gus graduated with an MSc. degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis. Gus’ commitment to wine academia is evidenced by his MW dissertation about the sensory science of wine; and by his co-authoring the review paper “A Quarter Century of Wine Pigment Discovery”, published in the Journal of Food and Agriculture. Gus provides wine education and consulting services to global wine professionals and consumers.

He is currently a residential educator with Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting and a guest lecturer at Napa Valley Wine Academy. He also gives tutorials and feedback to Diploma candidates around the world via the WSET Online Classroom.


Born and raised in Southern China, Jack decided to travel to Australia at the age of 16 to continue his education there. He developed a passion for wine at a young age, and moved to undertake formal wine studies at the University of Adelaide.

In 2011 Jack and his wife Ula formed their own company – Southern Vintners and Negociants – which has successfully operated for the last decade. Apart from making wines from growers’ grapes, the company also owns vineyards in South Australia. Jack operates his own import and sales team in mainland China, where he has in-depth knowledge of Chinese wine distribution. In 2013 Jack founded Adelaide Wine Society, which focuses on wine education and themed tastings. As an AWAC (AWRI)- certified wine judge, Jack has been involved in numerous wine shows, as well as being a contributing tasting panelist for wine magazines.

Currently enrolled in the Master of Wine programme, Jack makes his own Pinot Noir and Grenache as an hobby.

Lingling LIU

Lingling was born in north-east China and graduated from China Agriculture University with a Master of Engineering degree in Oenology, and a dual degree in English Literature.

She lives in Beijing and has a great deal of wine education experience. Among her many achievements, she has won Best WOFA Educator in China (2019), and National Champion of Wine Australia Blind Tasting Competition (2017). She is also co-author of La Ruta 40, Argentine Wine and Tourism (to be published), and an education and award development expert for China’s National Certification of Vocational Skill Levels for Sommeliers.

Lingling obtained her WSET Diploma in 2022 from London’s WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) headquarters. A proficient educator with a pragmatic approach, Lingling will be writing about wine stories about Argentina and China.


Tao was born and grew up in Shanghai. A high-profile IT engineer by career, he has also nurtured a passion for wine for many years.

Prior to Covid restrictions he resided in Singapore, and he travels the world frequently. With more than 300 wine books in his collection, his nickname is “wine book librarian”. His favourite region for research and writing is Burgundy, and he is the proud owner of over 80 Burgundy wine books: the history of Burgundy’s wine plots, their division and owners is fascinating to him.

His style of writing is very geeky. In fact, very very geeky.

Karen LIU

Born in Shanghai, Karen grew up in Beijing and has been passionate about wine for many years.

Following on from a senior management role in Fortune 500 companies, Karen has been based in London and is currently pursuing her new life as a wine consultant. She passed the WSET Diploma exam in 2013 and is now on her MW journey (Stage 2, theory exam passed). Karen is also an AWAC (AWRI) Certified Wine Judge and holds the Wine Scholar Certificate – Master Level for Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.

Looking ahead, her focus will be writing about Italian wines.


Born and raised in Sichuan ( China), Lan currently resides in Italy.

The co-author of the Jumbo Shrimp Guide to Italian Wine, he graduated from Northwest A&F University (China) and holds an MSc. degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Montpellier, as well as an MBA in Food and Wine Management. An accomplished wine storyteller, Lan likes to write as an archeologist, digging and revealing hidden treasure.

Young and talented, he prefers to be called Uncle Lan…

Ran (Nature) LI

Born and raised in Shanghai (China), Ran chose to travel to Australia to pursue his wine dreams.

After obtaining an MBA in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide in 2018, Ran also passed the WSET Level 4 Diploma exam and became an AWAC Certified Wine Judge (Advanced Wine Assessment Course conducted by the Australian Wine Research Institute).

Currently he works as a wine educator and marketing manager in South Australia.

Weiran (Bill) LIU

Bill was born in Shenzhen and travelled to the USA at the age of 15 to pursue his studies.

After obtaining degrees in International Relations and French Literature from Emory University (Atlanta, USA), he spent some time in Paris where he completed an internship with Château Margaux and decided to pursue a career in wine. Bill obtained his WSET Diploma in 2016 and is now on stage 2 of the MW programme. After several stints in the fine wine trade, working with companies ranging from from a Hong Kong-listed group to international auction houses, he is now focused on wine education and consultancy in his hometown of Shenzhen.

An avid fan of fine food and wine, Bill will be recounting some mouthwatering food and wine moments, as well as telling the stories behind some legendary labels.

Yang (Leon) LIANG

Born and raised in Shanghai (China), Leon won five Champions of National Blind Tasting Competitions, starting in 2014.

He works as a wine educator at Grapea & Co. and is the founder of Sannianjian: since 2018, Leon has been running more than 180 courses and events every year. As a WSET Diploma holder focusing on Italy and New Zealand, Leon was the first Chinese national to win the Vinitaly International Award in 2019, and the only Wine Expert of Hawkes’ Bay.

He has a great passion for wine, and a burning desire to introduce more people to the wonderful world of vinous delights…

Ziran li

Born and raised in Chongqing (China), Ziran Li’s adopted region is La Rioja (Spain), where he graduated from Univerdad de La Rioja with a degree in Viticulture and Enology. He has lived in La Rioja since 2010.

After three years working on the technical side in iconic Spanish wineries such as Aratadi and Clos Mogador, Ziran decided to make a change: today he is working for Murua Group, developing the wine barrel business for the Asian market.

In his spare time, he contributes to many Chinese wine journals and media outlets.


Born and raised in Nanjing (China), You Zhou discovered his passion for wine when he moved to France.

An IT engineer in his working hours, he dedicates almost all his spare time to wine tasting. His knowledge of French wine is both deep and broad, and it was on his wine journey that he met his wife Xiaoyi Sun, a well-known Chinese wine writer.

Today they live happily together in Paris.


Based in Taipei, Rex works as editor-in-chief for a wine e-commerce platform in Taiwan, with the sharing professional knowledge at the heart of his mission.

Rex’s interest extends to viticulture, winemaking, and food and wine pairing. Rex is motivated and curious, and has been studying wine and spirits for the longest time. He holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma, among many other certifications. To create more content for Chinese-speaking markets, he has translated a selection of articles written by wine industry experts from around the world, from English to Chinese.

Xiangyu (Sam) CHEN

Born and raised in Changzhou (Jiangsu Province, China), Xiangyu Chen has lived in Shanghai for over 20 years.

He became fascinated by wine in 2010 while helping his father import Spanish wine. While completing his WSET Diploma studies he visited many wine-producing countries and regions of the world. He is a true believer in blind tasting, and has twice won the China Blind Tasting Competition.

Today he lectures on wine and runs wines courses. In 2021, he accepted a new challenge by joining the Master of Wine programme. Xiangyu will write articles about Spanish wine for Wine Maniacs.

Jialei  lI

Born and raised in Shanghai (China), Jialei Li has lived in Hungary for 22 years where he runs an accountancy business.

His love of wine was born when he first set foot in Hungary. In his spare time he co-runs a fine wine bar in Budapest which has become the gathering place for the country’s wine geeks: tastings (sometimes blind) are regularly hosted.

A keen tennis player, he lives in Budapest with his wife and two daughters.

Jiaqi LIU

Born and raised in Taiwan, Jiaqi Liu has been a wine enthusiast since 1998, and his first Pinot Noir (a 1996 Chambolle-Musigny by Domaine Michel Gros, tasted in 2000) kindled his passion for Burgundy.

A keen consumer himself, he loves sharing his thoughts and research, conducted from a consumer view point. He has published over 300 articles in Greater China (mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) with a focus both on Burgundy wines and those of other regions.

His day job is in semi-conductor product manufacturing, and he travels frequently between Shenzhen and Taiwan for his latest project in this field.


Born in Taiwan, Eve is currently based in Spain. In 2010 she became deeply passionate about Spanish wines and a short time later, she obtained the CETT Sommelier Diploma at the University of Barcelona.

Eve is a certified Spanish Cava and Jerez educator, and each year she runs a training course in Taiwan, helping students obtain their certification. She is also a wine writer with regularly published articles about Spanish food and wine culture, a wine tour guide, and a wine importer (her company is Salud Food & Wine).

A regular traveler to Spanish wine regions, Eve often takes part in wine growing and winemaking activities at the different wineries she visits.

Our English editors

Wine Maniacs has a team of native English speakers with expert wine knowledge who handle translation into English.


Philip had an international corporate career with a Fortune 50 company, and spent five years as an advisor with the World Bank and IMF based in Washington DC. He has lived and worked in the UK, the US, Japan and Brussels. During these years he maintained a close fascination with wine and food. This included studying wine, training as a chef, and working as a wine educator. In 2012 Philip retired from his corporate life, establishing and running a successful wine bar, restaurant and wine school in New York: in spring 2016 he sold it as a going concern. For 10 years Philip has been a full time wine consultant, advisor and educator. He passed the WSET Diploma with Merit and has an MSc ( Distinction) in Viticulture and Oenology from the Royal Agricultural University at Plumpton College.


Doug began his wine career working at Majestic Wine in London back in 2001.

After returning to his native Scotland he spent almost 20 years working for several of the country’s leading wine and spirits retailers. After passing the WSET Diploma in 2008 he began teaching a new generation of wine professionals. He became a Certified Sherry Educator in 2018, a reflection of his passion for this neglected region.

He currently hosts tastings for a mix of both wine professionals and amateur enthusiasts.

To know more…