I’ll Drink to That

China has now become the world’s biggest consumer of red wine after besting the French for the first time in 2013, according to a study by Vinexpo, which runs wine and spirits trade shows and the British International Wine and Spirit Research thinktank.

China including Hong Kong drank more than 155 million cases of red wine in 2013 which vaulted China ahead of France which only drank 150 million cases of red wine last year. They also beat outas Italy (141 million), the United States (134 million) and Germany (112 million).

Overall the United States has been the world’s top consumer of wine since 2011 and its red wine consumption is still expected to jump 1% in the next five years.

Demand for wine (especially red varietals) has grown exponentially in recent years in China as rising personal wealth and a perception of luxury and wealth has made the product more attractive to Chinese consumers.

Meanwhile wine consumption in France has dropped consistently for over 5 years.

“There has been a real change in the Chinese mentality. Vineyards are being planted in a massive way and the distribution network has multiplied,” said Guillaume Deglise, the director general of Vinexpo.

The study showed that global consumption of wine continues to increase. Between 2008 and 2012 it grew 3.2 % globally and is expected to jump another 4.9 % by 2017.

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