Early last month, Li Nanxing was gushing to us about his friendship with Vicki Zhao over a glass of wine, before announcing that the Chinese actress would be gracing our sunny shores to personally launch her Château Monlot range of reds.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon (Sep 24), and we were finally raising glasses together with the pair (plus artistes from Ah Ge’s management company LNX Global, namely Julie Tan and Constance Song) at the Fullerton Hotel’s Grand Cru Wine Concierge, where the Bordeaux wine is available for purchase.
It’s certainly no secret that Vicki has a great passion for the grape (as evidenced from the fact that she splurged on a multimillion-dollar vineyard in France and made an entire business out of it). But where did it all begin?
During our group interview, the 43-year-old shared that she only started drinking alcohol when she was in her mid-20s, and discovered that not every type of poison was for her. “I chose red wine because it’s the most suitable for women: it won’t make you gain weight, and it’s good for your skin and health,” she explained.
In case anyone’s wondering just how well Vicki can hold her liquor, she modestly claimed that she’s “all right” at it, but according to Nanxing, she can easily down two or three bottles without any problem. She denied this, however, quipping that if she were to really drink that much, she wouldn’t be able to go home (isn’t that what designated drivers are for, though?).
As for who between them is the better drinker, well, they’ve never really thought of “competing” with each other to find out. What Vicki could tell us is that many of her fellow mainland stars really know how to drink.
“People from China have a particularly high tolerance for alcohol, and most of the famous ones you know are generally not bad at holding their liquor,” she divulged, casually adding that her celeb pals are repeat customers of her Château Monlot line (nice, nonchalant sales tactic there, we must say).
One person Vicki hopes will grow up to take an interest in wine culture as well is her nine-year-old daughter April. “It’s a very relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, so I hope she will like it when she’s older,” she said. “She’s never been to our winery before, but I may take her one day.”
That said, she noted the importance of going with the flow and not forcing her little girl - or anyone who isn’t fond of booze, for that matter - to like anything she doesn’t.
“You can’t ‘train’ someone to be a good drinker against their will,” she said. “A person should decide for themselves whether or not they like alcohol - they should choose the drink, the drink should never choose them.”
We’ll toast to that.
Photos: Tammi Tan, Brand Cellar, Weibo/Vicki Zhao, PBE Media