IWSR: CHINA BEAT FRANCE AND ITALY TO BECOME WORLD’S TOP RED WINE CONSUMER
By Tony Zhu
Credit: Siulan Law Mathews
China has overtaken France and Italy to become the world's biggest consumer of red wine, while USA remains the biggest consumer of all wine types, according to a study by International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) commissioned by Vinexpo.
The report said Chinese drinkers consumed 1.865 billion bottles of red wine last year, representing a 136% increase compared to five years ago.
The world’s red wine consumption has long been dominated by France and Italy, but last year’s figures pushed them into second and third place.
According to the report, China consumed 1.865b bottles of red wine last year, France consumed 1.8b bottles while Italy consumed 1.69b bottles.
Chinese consumers have long preferred red wines over white. As a matter of fact, many Chinese people refer grape wines as “hongjiu” which literally means red wine.
Colour red symbolises good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture, added with the belief that moderate red wine drinking is good for health, these could be why red wines are more popular than white wines in China.
But according to Wine Intelligence’s China Portraits 2019 report, this attitude is gradually changing.
The report, released in September last year, said that Chinese wine consumers have become more knowledgeable and matured in their attitudes.
It said more Chinese consumers who used to drink only red wines have now evolved and are more prepared to explore beyond red and other conventional categories.
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