Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Obsession with Red Wine in China

Local and foreign vintners say the Chinese are increasingly interested in grape wines. The most important reason is due to its health promotion benefits, and I think curiosity is an important factor to its popularity too.

Red wine enjoys a greater market than traditional wines such as beers or white wines because it can both consumed by women and men, even pregnant women.

Consumption of European-style wines has grown dramatically in China's cities, by as much as 15 percent to 20 percent a year, according to some industry estimates. China's state statistics bureau says per capita consumption of such wine has doubled in five years.

Supermarkets in big cities sell foreign wines, which are expensive, but they also stock locally made varieties from producers who have started vineyards with imported vines.

Parts of the Benefits of red wines

Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics, so many studies to uncover a cause for red wine's effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.

Common red wines sold around China, Some notes:

Dynasty Red Wine, $4. A quite quaffable wine made with French help. Dry, light and well-balanced, but the fruit was more faded-savoury than forward.

Yunnan Red Wine, $4. A local wine, drinkable if one has been stranded in the local mountains for about a year.

Great Wall Red Wine, $3.75. Found everywhere and selling to westerners on its novelty name. The wine tasted oxidized. But it's a "must-try" to say you have sampled Chinese wine.

Tibetan Dry Naked Barley Red Wine, $4.50. Caramel, dried figs and plums on a wine that deserved a second sip.


It's a good trend, and I hope China's grape wine manufacture capacity would soon catch up with some world class level.

2 comments:

Allguff said...

$4 a bottle? I don't know which Great Wall or Dynasty you are talking about. The cheapest Dynasty that I would call even remotely "A quaffable wine" would be at least 15 dollars. I did try a $2 bottle of Dynasty once which should have been renamed DieNasty.

Janey said...

From cheap to expensive, it cover s large price range. So pick the one you like.