--- SEARCH ---
Film in China
War on Poverty
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar
Telephone and
Postal Codes

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Chinese Drinking Habits Change As Grape Wine Catches On

For the Chinese, alcohol long meant beer or Chinese wine, which is made from grain rather than grapes.


But spreading prosperity is changing drinking habits. Local and foreign vintners say the Chinese are increasingly interested in grape wines.


"Five, 10, 15 years ago, they wouldn't have been able to afford it. But now with more disposable income, a sophisticated Chinese public is experimenting," says Ethan Perk, who runs a wine shop in the capital.


"Before you would see your customer settle for your standard dry red or white. Now you see them leaning for more varietal wines such as merlots, cabernet," Perk says.


Consumption of European-style wines has grown dramatically in China's cities, by as much as 15 percent to 20 percent a year, according to some industry estimates.


China's state statistics bureau says per capita consumption of such wine has doubled in five years.


Supermarkets in big cities sell foreign wines, which are expensive, but they also stock locally made varieties from producers who have started vineyards with imported vines.


Alain Leroux came to China in 1996 after working at wineries in Burgundy, Alsace and Cote du Rhone and has been making wines with vines brought from France.


He says conditions for growing grapes are good, but it has been difficult to transplant knowledge and love for the work.


Nurturing the vines is also difficult, particularly during northern China's harsh winters, when the plants must be buried to survive the cold. But Leroux contends his Chinese-made wines can stand up to those from back home.


Jeanette Wu, a Beijing native, is among the Chinese who have learned to cherish a good red wine.


At a cheese and wine picnic at Leroux's vineyard, Wu smiles and raises her wine glass when the Chinese and foreigners gathered for the feast proclaim "ganbei" _ "cheers."


(China Daily/Agencies August 4, 2005)

South Africa Develops Wine Tourism
Wine Industry Awaiting New Standard
Famous Winery Sells Shares to Private, Foreign Investors
Daily Drink Improves Thinking in Older Women
Is Smoking and Drinking Really Cool?
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688