Times do change. Once, not long ago, Chinese consumed less than one bottle of wine per capita per annum.
In 2012 the country consumed 155 million 9-Liter cases of red wine, which breaks down to 1.2 bottles. This figure includes the consumption of tourists, which is in the, millions. This is an increase of approximately 175 per cent in five years, compared to less than 500 ml. in 2008.
During the same the same period the French consumed 18 per cent less, and Italians 5.8 per cent less red wine.
Some researchers are boldly projecting that Asia pacific will consume four billion 750 ml. Bottles of wine in 15 years by 2029.
Projections happen to be extrapolations of past growth, and cannot be regarded as totally reliable, but indicate what might happen if financial conditions in the region and in the U.S.A remain the same.
Asia Pacific industrial evolution depends on exports, especially to the U.S.A and Western Europe.
Chinese prefer to drink red wine because the colour is perceived as being “lucky”. The media and younger generation of Chinese help wine drinking to become trendier. It is “hip” to drink wine, especially red wine.
China traditionally does not produce wine in the western sense. In fact there is no specific words for wine, but approximations.
Now there are several wineries, and many European and Australian interests help establishing a viable wine industry.
White wine on the other hand is not popular in China since “white” is associated with death.
Wine consumption all over the world, except in Muslim countries, is changing drastically.
Once French were the highest per capita wine consumers, followed by Italians. Now, both populations still considerable amounts – 150 million 9Lite cases of red and 141 by Italians respectively.
Overall, the U.S.A as a jurisdiction consumed more than 200 million 9-litre cases of red wine (due to high population of 330 million), followed by France with 303, 300 Italians, 283 by Germans, 155 Chinese, followed by Argentines, Russians and Australians.
French producers and exporters look forward to exporting millions of cases of red wine more to China then they are now, hoping that the country continues to exports as much as it did in the past two decades.
French producers and exporters assiduously promote wine consumption in China, have started joint ventures, and enjoy the benefits of wine writers who believe French to produce superior quality.
Australian, and Spanish also started joint ventures, and hope to open a huge untapped market for their wines.
Times as indeed changing!