Blog: Vinisud 2012 - An emerging concern about wine in China
Chris Mercer | 21 February 2012
Here's the thing about China: is anyone actually drinking the wine?
I'm here in Montpellier at Vinisud 2012 and the eary morning sky is full of promise for the day ahead. You can probably see where I'm going with this; yes, it's just like wine sales in China.
No one doubts that China's wine market is going to grow. Per capita consumption is still less than one litre. Meanwhile, most of the world's big wine producer nations are reporting strong export growth to the country.
But, from conversations I've had with people in some of those producer nations, I'm hearing more and more concern about what's actually happening in China. There is a suspicion that a lot of bottled wine is fetching a high price but is, in the end, providing ornamental value on the mantelpiece rather than enjoyment at the dinner table.
This fits with the Chinese penchant for French wines with old labels, preferably with the word 'chateau' plastered across the front. Status and Western memorabilia are big in China. At Vinisud, as at the Australia Day tasting I attended recently, the message is increasingly that vintners should approach China with caution, despite its exciting prospects.
Back here in Montpellier, last night was a bit special for me. I've wanted to attend the Michelin-starred 'le jardin des sens' here for some time and, finally, I have achieved it, thanks largely to Vignobles Foncalieu, who are kindly paying for my trip and subsistence while here. The food really is exquisite. If you're down this way, just go.
Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
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