Does anyone remember that Germany and the UK were once two of the world’s largest importers of fine wine from Bordeaux? It wasn’t that long ago, but their places on the list have now been lowered as China took over the fifth spot. When the Chinese entered the wine market, few believed that it would cause such a major upset in the balance of wine consumption, but it has succeeded to do just that. And when it comes to the region’s Bordeaux exports, China and Hong Kong hold the keys, as they account for more than 60% of that market. New York, which was once considered to be the world’s wine auction capital, had to pass that title on to Hong Kong when its total sales amounted to some USD $155m. According to Hon John Tsang Chun-Wah, who is the financial secretary in Hong Kong, through newly developed ties with the wine world, Hong Kong now views wine as not only good for the stomach, but for the bank account as well.
Since 2009, China has been gaining strength in the wine world after hosting a series of wildly successful auctions, an event which lasted six days. Following some record-breaking sales that took place during those days, China has been steadily emerging as a powerful player in the market. The Chinese people have changed from buying fine wine only for consumption and now consider it to be a worthy investment as well as a top choice in gifting. Senior Market Analyst, Daniel Paterson, points to three points that helped trigger these buying trends. The first is the generous government stimulus, the second is soaring stocks in Shanghai and the third is an explosive property market. Put these three together and you get Chinese tycoons that are the world’s highest net worth individuals, who view wine as a prestigious “must have.”
In short, Asians now have a lot of money, and are making the decision to invest it in something that not only safeguards its value, but is likely to appreciate in the coming years.