CultureCurious John

Curious John

English Service host John Van Trieste is curious. There’s nothing about Taiwan’s many cultures that he doesn’t want to know more about. Join him every week as he gets to the bottom of yet another question. What will he be curious about this time?

What's On

24 October, 2020
How Taiwan's award-winning wine came to be

When the late Ben Yang said that his dream was to make a world-class Taiwanese wine, there were only a few who believed it was possible. Ben Yang didn’t live to see it, but he proved the naysayers wrong. Though he had no background in winemaking, he did have a background in agriculture, and he believed in Taiwan’s soil and its farmers. He also happened to know many experts spanning a range of fields, who, when assembled as a team, filled in all the pieces of how Taiwanese wine could succeed. The result is Weightstone, a Taiwanese winery with several estates, and a number of outside grape farmers to boot. Last week, we heard from the brand’s Sean Huang about the story of Ben Yang and his daughter, the current owner. We also heard about how the brand’s unusual name came to be. This week, though, Mr. Huang will fill us in on all the technical challenges that stood in the way of Mr. Yang’s dream, and how the company overcame them to create wines fit for well-heeled VIP’s and heads of state.

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17 October, 2020
Award-winning wine, made in Taiwan

Bordeaux, Napa…central Taiwan? If it seems to you like one of these names doesn't belong, you're not alone. There are many famed wine-producing regions around the world, but you won't find any of them in Taiwan. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Taiwanese wine not only exists but has won global awards. Over the past few years, a small Taiwanese company called Weightstone has created a range of wines worthy of well-healed VIP's and even heads of state. And you don't have to be a wine connoisseur or even drink wine at all to appreciate the remarkable story of how this wine came to be. Here with us this week to share that story is Weighstone's Sean Huang.

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10 October, 2020
National Day live broadcast behind the scenes

A look at just how much goes into RTI's annual live broadcast on National Day.

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03 October, 2020
Mooncakes

Mooncakes, mooncakes, mooncakes. When the weather starts to cool and the autumn moon rises, mooncakes are what’s on the menu. If you know a Taiwanese person, chances are you’ll get gift boxes full of them around this time of year. And you’re sure to see them all over the place when you go out, too. Just about every pastry shop has its own for sale. What exactly are these mysterious-sounding treats, though? And, after so many years of giving and receiving gift boxes full of them, do Taiwanese people really appreciate mooncakes anymore? Taiwanese food blogger Sam knows all about these seasonal gifts, and he joins us today for a look at how the classic mooncake has been updated, and even replaced in recent years.

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26 September, 2020

An exploration of the history of Taiwanese Opera and its routes in Yilan county through the newest exhibit at the Lanyang Museum.

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