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08.08.2008

Hear That? It's the Sound of a Billion Wine Corks Pulled in China.

It's no surprise that with the Olympics going on, all manner of news media have turned their eye on China. The wine media have taken this opportunity to explore and explicate the rapidly growing interest in wine that seems to have arisen in China in the last few years. Much of this coverage is quite superficial, but increasingly journalists are actually exploring China's wines, wine regions, and wine culture.

Two recent articles are worth reading for their thoughtful commentary on China's burgeoning wine culture.

The first, from the ever articulate Mike Steinberger at Slate, draws on his experience living in Hong Kong for several years and paints a nuanced view of just what the obsession with wine among China's nouveau riche may mean for the world.

The second article, which appeared in the online version of Men's Vogue, explores the efforts to produce local wines in China. My own experiences corroborate the findings of of this article. Namely that most of the supposed top wines produced in China have a long way to go. However, it's only a matter of time before someone cracks the code (or simply spends enough effort and money) to produce excellent wine there.

Both articles are highly recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the future of the global wine industry. Like in so many aspects of the global economy, China's effect on the wine industry will be huge.


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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.