More and more Chinese are turning to wine as their drink of choice.
China is becoming one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more on what’s driving the craze.
A love of wine is spreading across the country.
“I choose wine as I feel more like sitting down with friends and chatting,” said Xu Luyang, a wine lover. “Wine is mainly for conversations and sit-down chit chats. Strong liquor is more for parties.”
According to the International Wine and Spirit Research Organization, last year, China imported nearly $2.8 billion of wine from around the world.
“Wine production worldwide is relatively in surplus,” said Li Demei, Deputy Secretary General of the Wine Branch of the China Alcoholic Drinks Association. “Therefore, creating new markets has become a strong desire of wine industries across the world. As a result, wines from various countries have all come to China.”
By 2020, China is expected to become the world’s second-largest wine consumer by value, surpassing France and the UK and finishing just behind the United States.
“I drink imported wine more often because I like the taste of different soils of foreign countries,” said Zi Lu, a wine lover. “I drink wine almost every day, as a wine lover, I drink wine with daily meals.”
Experts point to a few factors for the trend.
For one, the flood of wine into China has pushed prices to relatively lower levels.
Also, it’s not just the taste of wine but what it represents.
Ella Zhong knows the market well.
She co-founded Chic Choc in Shanghai which teaches people everything about wine, from differentiating flavors to how to properly open a wine bottle.
“In China, first of all, as people are becoming wealthier, they’re focusing more on their spiritual happiness,” explains Zhong. “They want more from life, and they know how to truly appreciate something, instead of how much it costs. They can see the lifestyle and culture wine represents, so they are becoming more interested.”
Overseas businesses are also cashing in.
Wang Ziwei holds a diploma from “Wine and Spirit Education Trust,” a British organization that provides courses and certifications from students.
“In recent years, the industry has been exploring ways to improve consumers’ overall experience of wine consumption, because drinking wine has been labeled as a kind of relaxing and high-end lifestyle,” said Wang, who is also the founder of Multi-Dimensional Wine Studio.
Stephen Rannekleiv discusses China’s growing love for wines
For more on China’s increase love of wine, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Stephen Rannekleiv, global beverage sector strategist for Rabobank International.