SHANGHAI | 4 Nov, 2019
2019: What’s trending in the Chinese World of Wine
China pours itself a glass of wine while charging its way through the global wine market!
The concept of wine drinking is slowly seeping through the cracks of the world and China has been no exception, especially in the past few years. With the consumption of wine in China increasing, as the years pass by, new wine trends are bound to pop up all the time and 2019 is no different. Here’s a rundown of the wine trends that are going to be taking over the wine world in China this year.
A little sparkle in life is always needed, and this year sparkling wine is going to help in adding that sparkle to life. 2019 is the year where sparkling wine is planning on taking one of the top spots in the world of wine in China. Sparkling wine is making its way through to the two tier and three tier cities and bless the lower price points of sparkling wine, they’re creating a higher margin than competing products like beer. However, sparkling wine still only covers a very small percentage of wine drinkers in China, but those numbers are going to shoot up this year.
Wine tasting - a party culture
Wine is still more of decadence in China, however this year it’s going to move more towards the casual side of things. Wine tasting is going to be one of the main party entertainers or even one of the many reasons to throw a casual soiree. As niche as wine tasting sounds, it’s definitely going to climb the ladder of norms in China this year.
White Wine Growth
Red wines have always been a crowd favorite in China, however, this year white wines seem to be in the run as well. People with a higher income tend to delve more into the white wine sector as it’s pricier than the reds and in particular in China, has a high-status point too. The upper classes are delving into the tastes of the white wines this year, potentially giving the reds a run for their money.
Red wines hit the younger generation and the middle class
Even though white wine is going to be one of the running wines this year, red wine isn’t backing down. Red wine is going to be soaring in between the younger generation who are just getting into the art of wine drinking or have lower wages. Similarly, red wines are going to end up in a lot of middle-class homes due to their low price points and overall soothing tastes, especially for new wine lovers.
The rise in Oenotourism.
Oenotourism or Enotourism is wine tourism whose sole purpose is to taste, consume or buy the wine, often at or near the winery. It is becoming popular because it has started including vineyard walks, and it allows the tourists to take an active part in the harvest and other activities, making the consumer feel involved in the entire process of winemaking. Enotourism is a great tool to advertise a vineyard as well as the wine brand.
So, this trend is not only beneficial for tourists but also for the vineyards. You get to see and experience beautiful places because let’s get real- Vineyards are never boring. Plus the Chinese are now getting more and more aware of the type of wine they are into. Not only do they want to just taste one kind of wine- they want to explore more and know about the rich background that the wine brings with it.
Scan and tech.
Technology is pushing its way into each and every field of human understanding and the wine industry is not unaware of that fact. With technology increasingly developing, innovations that allow you to scan the label of the bottle and give all the details, are being created. From the name, pricing, whereabouts to even the food pairings, the tech-savvy Chinese customers are looking forward to using the tech services provided by the market.
Companies selling wine accessories like trays-stands, styrofoam bottle protector pouches, luggage for wine bottles for travelling is creating a hype amongst the Chinese consumers. Companies like Zhangjiagang Kingdom Shopfitting Corp., Xiamen Chengfengxin Industry & Trade Co., Ltd, Forever Standing Stationery Co., Ltd, and more, are providing the consumers with the latest trendy wine accessories which are skyrocketing in terms of demand.
The cork landscape in China is changing.
Changes are advancing in the wine industry as some titans want to eliminate the cork-taint once and for all. There are times when the wine is corked and sent back to a restaurant. That is because of the harmless but unpleasant odor present in the cork named TCA, resulting in its smell to spread to the wine. Due to these limitations, there is a rise of screw-caps, glass vinoloks and other closures that didn't have this problem, but cork still remains the world's most popular closure by some distance.
Being said that, Wine Intelligence predicted that the situation is going to change in China in the coming years.
‘We anticipate that perceptions of screw cap will begin to change with time, particularly as China is importing more and more wine from countries who routinely bottle under screw caps, such as Australia and Chile,’ the report said.
Other than screw caps, China is the only market that has synthetic closures getting more popular day by day.
Online videos are the king.
Just like everywhere, even China is not left behind. Online video marketing has taken China by storms and is showing no signs to stop. It has become a very large platform to establish connections with consumers. The rise of video-centric networks like Tik-Tok as well as the ability to live video stream on platforms like WeChat and Weibo have boosted the China wine markets. A large built-in audience of this industry is the mobile-tech savvy and social media influencers, who are able to communicate the brand through the online social media activities.
Cool Climate wines
The classic reds and whites might be out of trend this year, instead, wines made of grapes grown in cooler regions will create all the buzz. The red lovers are going to be gravitating towards Pinot Noir, Gamay, Schiava, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Rondo, Regent, Lagrein, Chambourcin, etc. that have a higher acidity, lower alcohol, a lighter body and a little bit of a spicy tang to them. The white wine enthusiasts are guaranteed to hit the shelves for Müller-Thurgau, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chasselas, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Madeleine Angevine, Bacchus, Solaris, etc. which mimic the reds in the higher acidity, lower alcohol and lighter bodies, but have a more lemony-lime feel to them.
Premium wines of a greater make, higher quality and some with higher prices will hit the Chinese markets this year. The middle class might splurge a little more than expected on premium wines due to their quality and status in general compared to the classics. However, not all premium wines have an exorbitant price point, making them acquirable for the masses as well as the classes.
Until a few years ago, the wine was looked at as a luxury in China, but now it’s become a norm. Drinking wine is something that people have started doing almost on a daily basis. China won’t be sitting in the backseat when it is about wine! Wine brands from all around the world are looking for a market where they can successfully sell their brand and access the vital customer bunch, keeping the business in mind.
With this, trends are bound to swoop in and out in the world of wine, and it’s a delightful growth, for businesses exporting to China.