Wine knowledge extremely limited among China’s wealthy elite
Almost one third of China’s richest citizens have admitted they know nothing about wine and just buy top end brands for gifting or displaying, according to a survey by Fortune Character Magazine in China.
The information was revealed in the magazine’s “2013 China Wine Report”, which asked 679 “wealthy consumers” in the country about their wine knowledge and consumption behavior.
When the results of the survey by the influential Chinese luxury title were published last month, it showed that 27% of those polled admitted they didn’t know anything about wine.
Furthermore, just over half said they only had a basic knowledge of the drink, while as few as 9% identified themselves as wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
The survey also highlighted that 37% of wealthy Chinese admitted that they saw fine wine primarily as a way to impress their business clients and guests, while many of the wealthy consumers said they were more interested in investing in fine wines than drinking them.
In terms of influencing what wine they chose to buy, 28% considered branding to be the single most important influence on their decision to purchase or collect a wine.
The vintage was also a factor, with 24% citing it to be the second most important influence on their buying decision.
The survey also showed that 17% of consumers said that their choice of wines is influenced largely by recommendations from friends and family, and that they prefer to obtain wine information and news through of word-of-mouth channels rather than from the mass media.
When asked about their reason for purchasing wines, 27% of wealthy consumers said they bought wines predominantly as gifts, while 18% purchased wines just to appear “up-to-date” with the latest wine trends in the market.
Some of these consumers admitted that they would even purchase fine wines solely to display them at home as a status symbol, rather than to drink them.
Wealthy Chinese consumers have been noted not only for their fine-wine purchasing habits, but also their acquisitions of vineyards in various parts of the world, particularly in Bordeaux and Burgundy.
When asked what were the challenges they faced in vineyard investment, 61% stated the largest obstacle was the lack of professional vineyard managers, while 33% felt that it was difficult to obtain wine investment news and information that would allow them to make better informed investment decisions.
In contrast, according to the Hurun Report 2013 Wealth Report, which was released in London last month, 50% of China’s millionaires declared themselves as “connoisseurs of red wine”, with red wine remaining the “preferred alcohol” for 49% of those surveyed, followed by whisky (16%), Chinese spirits (15%), Champagne (12%) and Cognac (8%).
As previously reported by db, the report, which surveyed 551 millionaires, showed that China’s super rich enjoy collecting watches, art and red wine, holidaying in France, driving Maseratis, gifting Château Lafite and drinking Rémy Martin’s Louis XIII Cognac.