Like every global industry, the wine business follows trends that influence the market. Demand for specific products has a certain impact on prices and how winemakers create their "chefs-d'oeuvres." I will create a series of posts that will summarize some of the most prominent trends that impact the modern wine industry. Here is what you need to know about the interest for wine that has propelled Asia up the list of top wine consumers.
The Asian Market As the economic power is making its way towards Asia, so is the pleasure of drinking wine. Japan and China are ahead of the pack, but the market for wine is taking shape in other countries such as India, Taiwan and South Korea. Money has a large influence on wine consumption, the western customs of drinking wine as a social status has obviously made its way to Asia. Winemaking is also in development. In China, over the past decades, there has been a refinement of the wine production with the introduction of European grapes and western winemaking techniques. Many big names have expressed interest in Chinese winemaking, notably : Pernod Ricard, Torres, the Lurton Family and Baron Rothschild.
How does the wine popularity in Asia impact the North American industry?
The style of wines : with China estimated to consume over four billion bottles of wine per year by 2017, big companies will have to take into account the preferences of the Chinese and Asian markets. Red wine is by far the biggest seller in Asia. Everyday drinkers will go for New-World style red wines: rich, bold and fruity with residual sugars.
Access to famous wines : The "connoisseurs" and big buyers are extremely aggressive in obtaining notable wines such as Great Bordeaux and Elegant Burgundians. Record sums of money were spent by Chinese collectors in the past years. But what is most interesting is the fact that large Asian buyers have now reserved large batches of new vintages from famous wineries, which could make the prices skyrocket based on offer and demand.
Drinking Asian wine: Asian wine should hit our shelves in the coming years. For example, Chinese and Japanese have had consistency problems for many years. Quality wise, the wines are getting better with the arrival of western techniques and traditional grapes. With Asia's business sense and its potential for wine culture, it's only a matter of time before Asian wines catch up to the rest of the world.