China: Top 10 improvements

And finally… Kicking the gan bei habit 

Gan beiThe ubiquitous gan bei (a word composed of two characters meaning dry/empty and glass) has been the preferred method of consumption for all alcoholic beverages since long before bottles of red wine were ever found around the banqueting table. Yet it is in the recent surge in popularity of red wine that China might find an answer to ending the binge-drinking dinner banquets that are the hallmarks of business and social gatherings.

The gan bei almost makes sense when looked at through the context of the fiery sorghum-based baijiu that was red wine’s predecessor as the preferred drink to mark one’s social stature. Its fiery taste begs to be consumed as quickly as possible. Yet the exact opposite is true for a well-made bottle of wine that needs to be slowly savoured and sipped. As wine culture advances and the propensity to sip rather than skull takes hold, wine has a chance to pave the way in kicking the gan bei habit in China.

One Response to “China: Top 10 improvements”

  1. H says:

    Fine article about habits and traditions. How often do you see people drinking wine in China? is it really possible that consumption has reached 1L per capita? Or the statistics refer only to imports of wine, which no one knows whether it was sold? is wine consumption going to rise as much as press says?

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