The red wine market is booming and buying wine has become a symbol of good fortune and social status in China. However, champagne – associated with luxury and power for centuries – has yet to receive widespread recognition by the Chinese. “Compared with red wine, the acceptance of champagne is still limited,” said Wang Wei, director of the Comit Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) in China. Figures from consulting firm Euromonitor show that a total of 1.3 billion liters of red wine were consumed in China in 2011. Champagne consumption was only 900,000 liters in 2011. Champagne is increasingly seen at weddings and parties in China. However, in many cases, newlywed couples only pour champagne down an ornate arrangement of glasses for a photo but do not drink it. Federico Tabja, Chile’s trade commissioner, who saw red wine exports from Chile increase 19.6 percent in the first eight months of 2012, “Red wine entered the Chinese market early and people are more familiar with it. Drinking red wine is trendy nowadays” said Federico Tabja. “We have seen significant growth in the past six years and we have high expectations for the market” said Wang. In line with the forthcoming boom of Sparkling wines, Freixenet, the Spanish Cava wine group (since 1830) has just entered the CWSA (Best Value) for the first time. Given the success of red wine and increasingly white wines in China, it is highly likely that sparkling wines will follow the same positive development.
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