Dragon Vintages for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Dragon wine collection

Lunar New Year is fast upon us and with the new year comes a new zodiac symbol. The Dragon, the animal of the next Chinese year, will roar into being on Saturday 10th February. Thinking about the dragon and all that it symbolises made us think how wines from previous years of the dragon would make an excellent collection. Come with us as we take a journey back in time to see what these vintages have to offer us. But first, the dragon!

The Dragon

In the Chinese culture, the Dragon is believed to represent power and valiance, excellence and determination, dignity and divinity. A dragon is believed to have the power to overcome obstacles to achieve success. Characteristics of this sign are spirited, confident, enthusiastic, intelligent, and determined.

If you were born in 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940 and 1928, then this is your Chinese zodiac symbol.

The Chinese zodiac system

According to the Chinese zodiac system, an animal is assigned to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. It might be worth mentioning that the dragon is the only mythical animal.

Each animal symbol represents unique characteristics, cultural significance, and prospects for the people born in that year. Just like wine, each vintage is so diverse in taste and quality, primarily due to the weather that affects the vines throughout the growing season.

While Lunar New Year is not traditionally associated with wine in the same way as Western holidays are, incorporating wine into your celebrations can be a delightful addition. Lunar New Year 2024 will fall on Saturday 10th February, starting a year of the Dragon. If you’re looking to create a Lunar New Year wine collection, consider selecting wines that complement the festive spirit and the flavours often associated with this time of year. Since 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, you may want to focus on wines with bold and dynamic characteristics.

Did you know that iDealwine has a dedicated page for vintage guide.

The iDealwine vintage guide

Year of the Dragon wines

We have selected some of the Dragon vintages to help you start your own Chinese zodiac wine collection, for yourself or your loved ones.


When we look at our vintage chart, focusing on French regions, , we see that Burgundy – for both its red and white wines -, Champagne, the southern Rhone, the Loire, and Alsace all share the same score of 16/20. You are bound to find something that matches your tastes among them, but Champagne is probably one of the biggest success stories of the 2012 vintage.

It was an excellent year for Champagne vineyards and some people have no reservations about comparing it to historic vintages such as 1990 and 1996!

The cuvée Comtes de Champagne Taittinger 2012 is crafted with care and is only produced when the harvest is of exceptional quality and it is worthy of being released as a vintage Champagne. It is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes grown in the most famous Côte des Blancs vineyards. Only the first pressed wine is used, guaranteeing absolute finesse and 5% of the wine used in the blend has been aged in oak barrels (a third of which are renewed each year), which enhances its intrinsic qualities.


This is a spectacular vintage and Bordeaux red wines stand out, being awarded a 18/20. The weather conditions were perfect for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines and this vintage surpasses the great vintages of 1996 and 1998. Médoc and Graves wines shine supreme with the best crus coming from the Pauillac and Saint-Julien appellations. Wines from Margaux follow closely behind and easily outclass those from Saint-Estèphe.

We recommend Carruades de Lafite Rothschild Second vin. Château Lafite Rothschild’s second wine has an excellent reputation, and rightly so. Its name comes from the Carruades’ plateau. The parcel of wines there bordered Château Lafite and the estate acquired them in 1985. The wine is made up mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon (up to 70% depending on the vintage), with Merlot (30-50%) and a hint of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


This is a great vintage for sweet wines, one of the best seen during the 20th century. The Sauternes, marvellously rich and concentrated, have an incomparable aromatic strength like that found in Château Doisy Daëne Deuxième Grand Cru Classé.

Classified as a second cru in 1855, Château Doisy-Daëne has been owned by the Dubourdieu family since 1924 and wines from this estate boast unrivalled richness. Generally possessing fantastic aging potential, they are a joy to consume from their youth onwards. Characterised by elegance and purity, they are flavourful, refined, supple, and fruity, developing notes of honey and rose.

Another must-have would be one of Sauternes’ oldest estates: Château Lafaurie Peyraguey. Located west of the Rabaud Promis and Sigalas Rabaud estates, the vineyard sits on soil containing medium-sized gravel combined with fine alluvium, resulting in a wine that is renowned for its rich and complex characteristics.


How about a different type of sweet wine? Rivesaltes is a vin doux naturel, a  naturally sweet, fortified wine and you just have to try the one from Riveyrac. A large majority of the blend comes from Grenache Noir (at least 70%) complemented by other white grape varieties such as Maccabeu, Grenache Blanc, Malvoisie du Roussillon (or Tourbat). Some wines were kept longer, especially from the 1960s, when sales began to decline. The best barriques were then left in reserve, waiting for better days. Riveyrac acquired wines still in barrels at the beginning of the 2010s and bottled them when they were still at their best.

Another idea – consider including wines from Chinese vineyards. Explore the emerging wine scene in China. Some regions are producing high-quality wines that can be a unique addition to your Lunar New Year collection. And why not look for wines with dragon-themed labels to tie in with the Year of the Dragon. You might even find labels that feature dragon imagery or have a name associated with dragons.

Whether you’re enjoying a traditional Lunar New Year meal or incorporating international flavours, there’s a wide range of wines to enhance your celebration.

Cheers to a prosperous and joyous Lunar New Year!