China has officially become the world’s biggest everything as this week it was announced that the People’s Republic has become the world’s largest consumer for red wine. What does this mean for the future of the tradition of red wine?
At the Ideal Wine Company we always keep track of the news in the wine industry. After all if you don’t keep track of what’s going on in the industry, how can you make sure that you continue to bring the best deals on luxury wines to your client base? That is why we’ve already come to grips with what this news may mean for the world of red wine.
The Guardian newspaper featured an article on the subject late last week (at the time of writing) and it proved quite illuminating. The surge in the red wine market in the People’s Republic was attributed both to a booming urban culture and the fact that red is a lucky colour in China.
According to the Guardian, London based Company International Wine and Spirit Research compiled research on who was drinking the most red wine. The shocking result was that China beat out usual winners France, who have taken the title for years.
Specifically the Chinese drunk 1.86 billion bottles of wine in 2013, this was an increase of 136% in the last five years and has been attributed by the company to rising Chinese interest in French vineyards.
However France did manage to clinch second place and Italy scored third. As for wines of all colours, the US, according to Vinexpo the Bordeaux chamber of commerce organisation that commissioned the study is still its largest consumer.
A Vinexpo spokesperson commented on the results to the Guardian. They said that “apart from the healthy aspect in comparison to the excessive consumption of rice wines, the success of red wine [in China] is largely down to the symbolism of its colour,”
They elaborated on this by saying that “red is a very positive colour in Chinese culture and is synonymous with wealth, power and luck. In the business world these three values are fundamental, therefore red wine is often found in banquets to seal partnerships. And red is also the colour of China.”
Whatever the reason, China has become the largest consumer of red wine and this is going to have consequence for the way red wine is produced, marketed and consumed. However it highlights a global trend.
China is taking over everywhere and quite frankly it was only a matter of time before it took over in the wine industry too. The Ideal Wine Company will certainly be watching to see how the emergence of China as a wine powerhouse will affect the industry.