The colour red carries great cultural significance in China. It is associated with fire, success, happiness and good fortune. This contrasts sharply with the colour white, which is associated with purity but also death. White is a colour for funerals and mourning.
Perhaps it is not surprising then that in the world’s fifth largest market for wine, over 85% of the 2.17 billion bottles consumed annually are red.
According to research by VInexpo and International Wine and Spirit Research published last year, consumption of wine in China rocketed 136% between 2008 and 2013, making China the largest consumer of red wine in the world. Through the same period, consumption of spirits also increased over 82%. This means that China consumes over 40% of spirits annually world wide!
Around one in five of those 2 billion bottles is imported and half of those imported come from France. Perhaps its not surprising then that recently the Telegraph reported that the hundredth Bordeaux chateau has passed into Chinese ownership. China is now the principle export market for Bordeaux wines, with the UK the second largest market.
Apparently 80% of wine produced from those 100 chateaux now makes its way to china were it can fetch prices around ten times higher than the achievable price in France.
Do not fear though, if you are interested in purchasing a chateau in Bordeaux there are more than 8,400 others to choose from!