China splurges 430% more on ‘expensive wine’

China is now the world’s second biggest consumer of high-priced wines, following the US, according to a report prepared ahead of international wine show, Vinexpo.

China WineThe Chinese, including buyers in Hong Kong, were second only to the US for their willingness to spend US$10 or more on a bottle of wine, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

Its positioning comes shortly after China was declared the world’s biggest consumer of red wine, overtaking France last year consuming 155 million nine-litre cases in 2013.

The Chinese wine market is now fifth in the world following significant growth in recent years.

Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo chief executive, said: “We cannot expect the market to have more three-digit growth, but we can still expect the growth to continue”, adding that he believed people were still “afraid of the new laws and regulations,” following austerity measures introduced by the Government.

According to the report, China’s spending on more expensive wines surged almost 430% from 2008 to 2012, with further growth of 60% expected by 2017.

British drinkers were listed as world’s third pricey wine purchasers followed by France and Canada.

Of the wine consumed in China, 90% is red, a trend attributed to the belief in its health benefits, however Deglise said that could change as China’s palate matures.

He said: “China is like Japan 20 years ago. The Japanese started with red but the market is now very mature with a huge space for white, rosé and sparkling.”

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