The white wine pages in Chinese restaurants may start to look a little more interesting in the near future, as a recent study by analysts Wine Intelligence finds that white wine consumption in the country is set to increase dramatically over the next five years.
Cloudy Bay has made a huge dent in the market, according to the analysis, as the Chinese look to import more Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The author, Jenny Li, said that although red wine still accounts for 85 per cent of the market, white wine is growing in popularity, and this number could be significantly evened out in the near future.
She told Decanter: "It is a reflection of regional palates: southerners tend to dislike astringent and tannic styles. In addition, lighter southern cuisine is a more appropriate match for white wine."
Figures from the International Wine & Spirit Research on wine imports into China, found that ten million nine litre cases of still white wine were imported in 2010, compared with 8.7 million in 2009. The IWSR data indicates a slow, but constant increase since 2006, when China imported just 7.2 million cases.
As China's love of wine grows, consumers are looking for other wines outside their conventional Bordeaux preferences. The risk of fraudulent wine is also lower with white wine, which is something that has become widely recognised in the country.
Ms Li's research indicated that Sauvignon Blanc is set to be the grape of choice in China, accounting for a significant percentage of New Zealand's rising wine exports to China. A major Beijing retailer told Wine Intelligence: "New Zealand has made a huge dent in the market with their Sauvignon Blancs and Cloudy Bay brand."
Wine Intelligence's research is based on interviews with 40 wine consumers in Beijing and Shanghai. With such a strong year for Bordeaux whites, consumers may look to switch red for white when importing from the renowned region.
Thank you for your enquiry, do you wish to proceed