China’s love affair with French wine has been going on for the past decade or so, and judging by the increasing demand, it hasn’t lost traction.
The Chinese people have been experimenting with dinner drinks from around the world. From Italian to Australian to Spanish wines, the market has been growing steadily in recent years.
But, despite the availability of options from all over the globe, the Chinese seem to have a definite weakness for French wines.
The European culture of wining and dining has made its way to China, with wine becoming a staple drink in many households. More and more middle-income people don’t seem to think twice about spending their money on a bottle of good French red.
Rapidly Expanding Market
It is estimated that by the year 2020, China will be the second-largest wine consumption market. Currently, the United States leads the way as the world’s largest consumer.
But experts predict that, with China’s population and the ever-increasing demand for wine, it will eventually surpass the U.S. and become the world leader in terms of pure volume consumed.
This shift can be attributed to a number of factors. One such significant factor is global exposure. As many people youngsters travel to Europe, they develop a taste—and appreciation—for fine wine.
Another reason cited for the sudden increase in demand for wine is the changing preferences of the women and the younger generations, who enjoy indulging in a glass of red over imbibing in strong traditional spirits such as baiju.
Another driving force behind China’s love for French wine is the Internet. Online sales have seen a tremendous increase, with ‘’French wine China’’ being a popular online search phrase.
The ease of purchase and the convenience factor have made online alcohol sales a huge hit, so much so that it has caught the attention of many international vintners looking to tap into the growing market.
Did you know that China is the Bordeaux region’s biggest export market at present? It is no secret that the people of China absolutely love Bordeaux wines, to the extent that many Chinese investors have been buying Bordeaux vineyards in France.
Bordeaux wines are considered luxury items and are much sought after both by connoisseurs and amateur enthusiasts alike.
Red Over White
There is a huge distinction in the consumption of red wine over white in China. Red is clearly the winner, with China being the world’s biggest consumer of red wine. While in the U.S people seem to enjoy both red and white, in China red is the favourite at the dinner table.
This could be because of the full-bodied flavour of most red wines, which differs vastly from the tart taste of white options. There could also be cultural factors, as the colour red signifies prosperity and happiness in Chinese culture.
Every year, more and more Chinese youngsters are going to Italy and France to learn about wine-making and tasting. The domestic wine market is booming in China, with Chinese wine giving tough competition to some of the more inexpensive international vineyards.
China has surpassed Italy and France when it comes to land mass dedicated to vineyards. But despite all these advancements, French wines are still the most popular in China.
Their subtle flavours and traditional wine-making processes appeals to the Chinese and has garnered their respect and admiration.
For The love of Drinking
Not too long ago, the wine craze in China was attributed to the fact that rare and expensive bottles were considered investments. It is also used as corporate gifts and as a prestigious luxury.
But, in recent years, this attitude has changed drastically, with people buying wine for the primary reason that they enjoy drinking it. So, it has gone from being a commodity to be traded to a drink that is to be enjoyed with friends and family.
China’s long-standing love affair with French wine does not look like it’s going to end anytime soon. In fact, with the number of Chinese investors interested in buying French vineyards, it looks like the love story is going to make history.
A Google search on French wine in China will yield a number of articles about China’s obsession for the product. While China might be a relatively new player in the international consumption scene, with their affinity for the good French bottles, it looks like they have great taste after all.