Lu, previously sommelier at Peninsula Shanghai, won the inaugural Penfolds China sommelier contest, co-organized with ASC Fine Wines, in 2008, as well as the second China National Sommelier Competition, organized by Tommy Lam, in 2010. His Chinese translation of "How to Taste" by Jancis Robinson went on sale in 2011. And, as noted in this Wine Business International article earlier this year, he is one of several people involved in establishing an official national sommeliers association.
Jim Boyce of the Grape Wall Daily first interviewed Yang while he was at the Peninsula and asked him what makes being a China sommelier unique:
"The Chinese market and culture is unique, and that makes being a sommelier in China unique. But I think it is normal everywhere: being a sommelier in Japan or Thailand must be unique as well. Peninsula is a top hotel, and the business we handle is different from most other hotels and restaurants, so I cannot speak for the general market but one thing I think is crucially important for sommeliers here is to learn how to give 'face' to certain types of local guests. 'Face' is a very important part of our culture. You need to positively affirm a guest's ideas if they are right, and correct them in an extremely subtle style if they are wrong. At the same time, you need to showcase your own knowledge in a humbly confident yet very delicate fashion, to somehow positively link your own proper knowledge with what they have just told you and what they believe, even though they might be wrong. If you are able to do this, you will gain their trust, and more importantly, their fondness. This is a subtle art, and guests will keep coming back if you can master this. Also in China, sommeliers really need to be careful about the serving order for certain type of guests. It's a big thing here."
Yang graduated from the Sommelier Diploma Program of the International Sommelier Guild in 2007 and passed level 2 of the Court of Master Sommeliers exam in 2008, both firsts for someone from continental China.