Having downed more than 155 million 9-litre cases or nearly 1.9 billion bottles of red wine in 2013, up 136 percent compared with 2008, China, including Hong Kong, is now the largest red wine market worldwide, followed by France, now in second place with nearly 150 million cases and Italy with 141 million, according to Vinexpo, the international wine and spirits exposition.
Chinese consumers have become increasingly attracted to red wine since 2005, Vinexpo says. Between 2007 and 2013, the Vinexpo/The Iwsr study reveals that red wine consumption was multiplied by 2.75 in China, while it decreased by 5.8 percent in Italy and 18 percent in France.
Apart from its virtues with regard to health, which have been widely lauded as an alternative to the impact of excessive consumption of rice-based spirits, the popularity of red wine is largely due to the symbolic importance of its color, the Vinexpo team asserts. Red is a very positive hue in Chinese culture, associated with wealth, power and good luck. In business circles, these three values are fundamental. Red wine is therefore an obvious choice for business hospitality, where partners can drink to each others’ health. Red is also the color of China.
More than 80 percent of the wines consumed in China are made there, and the nation is currently the 5th largest producer in the world. However, imported wines are rapidly gaining market share. Between 2007 and 2013, wine imports were multiplied by seven and account for 18.8 percent of all wine consumed in China today. It likely will be a major topic of conversation at Vinexpo Asia Pacific, May 27 to 29 in Hong Kong