Robert Beynat is on a 14-city world tour to tell the world how it drinks booze. Thing is, all the world wants to know is how much more wine China can guzzle. The head of Vinexpo, a large wine fair that alternates between Bordeaux and Asia each year, was in Hong Kong on Thursday to chat about his findings of the latest study on world wine and spirits consumption. Vinexpo produces the study, now in its ninth year, along with International Wine and Spirit Research, a UK consulting firm. The study covers 28 producer countries and details the consumption patterns of 114 markets.
While the study is global, he says it seems that most people are wondering the same thing. “Everywhere I go, everybody is watching China,” said the Bordeaux-based Mr. Beynat in an interview. “China, China, China. All the producers want to go there and find a distributor. In one way, they’re wrong. The biggest market in the world is still the U.S. But China is growing so fast.”
According to the study, Chinese wine consumption doubled in five years and the country is now seventh-largest in terms of volume and the eighth-largest in value. Of that wine drunk, the Chinese overwhelmingly prefer red wine: 90% of consumption was red . Because of that preference, China is the fifth-largest red-wine market in the world by volume. The study forecasts China will grow a further 20% to 2014.
China Grows Taste for Wine