"Red or Dead" - Chinese wine drinkers enjoy a glass Image: USDA China
The Chinese consumed a massive 1.87 billion bottles of red wine in 2013, or 155 million nine-litre cases in trade terms, according to statistics from French trade association VINEXPO.
China drank the competition under the table. French coinnoissuers put away a still-impressive 150 million cases, followed closely by Italy and the USA at 141 million and 134 million cases, respectively. German trailed in the leagues with a comparatively restrained 112 million cases.
While China is leading the way in red wine consumption, the US still takes the lead in overall consumption of wines with sales expected to reach 385 million cases in 2017.
Choosing the right colour of wine is important in the world's second-largest economy. Whereas red represents wealth, luck and good fortune, white is the colour of death and therefore not the best dinner party gift.
China's thirsty wine drinkers are not restricted to their home market. Chinese wine tourism is booming across the Australia, where they form the second-largest group of winery visitors after the British, according to Tourism Research Australia.
The Middle Kingdom is also now the fastest growing export destination for Australian wines, according to Wine Australia.
Published 16th March, 2014
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