Chinese wine market: Make mine red and forget the coke!

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The Chinese wine market is booming. Think only American’s and European’s drink wine? Think again. China’s new emerging middle class is helping to drive wine imports. The new wealthy are waking up now to the pleasures of imported wine. According to reports, the Chinese enjoy the sophistication of drinking wine and are incorporating it into their everyday lives. They even attend wine auctions. A new sophisticated wine scene is emerging and they opt to drink because its seen as fashionable. Younger Chinese drink wine while older adults drink traditional Chinese rice wine. They drink at parties because it promotes conversation between people and in particular they have a preference for red wine because red signifies good luck.

Their longing for wine wasn’t alway the case. Traditional Chinese enjoy beer and rice wines and have been known to even cut their Cabernet with coke or even infuse it with garlic. YES, Cabernet and Coke! (make mine diet)
What a thought.

Tariffs from imports were as much as 65 percent a while back but have dropped to as low as 14 percent over the years. This is great news to wine importers because there is more money left over for wine. China is now the 8th largest wine consumer by volume. Though wine consumption is expected to increase exponentially, marketers still have much work to do. The question becomes which wines will they drink and how to market to this population. It’s an immature market and the door is wide open.

Wine bars are popular with New Zealand wines becoming the biggest sellers.
They’re affordable and approachable. In contrast South American wines are perceived as cheap and unapproachable. And of course they are warming up to Californian wines. The French have been marketing wines to the Chinese for decades so they have a strong hold in the Chinese market.

And believe it or not, China even makes their own wine. Exports are small but steadily growing.

Make mine red and forget the coke!

For your enjoyment, read this

Adrienne, PIWC

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