In China, wine is fine

Wine imports surged by 91 percent in the first nine months of 2006, sources say.

China has a growing urban middle class, and the newly affluent in Beijing and Shanghai have driven sales of a wide variety of luxury items. Although wine is expensive in China, cost is part of the charm. Wine drinking is perceived as fashionable, and is often featured in advertising, lending an elegance and desirability to products and services. Interestingly, the surge in wine imports is largely the result of an increase in bulk wine arriving from Australia, Chile and elsewhere in 6,000 gallon-bags. Later, the foreign wine is combined with local ingredients and sold as Chinese bottled wine with names like Dynasty and Great Wall. While some wine is being produced in China, its quality is not up to western standards. Still, packaging and presentation are key to elevating the price point.
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