Good Food Blog
Cheers China!Posted at 1:02PM, 23 July 2008 by Abbie Dobson - News journalist
So China's economic growth is slowing, but they're still on target to be the world's third largest economy, knocking Germany off the podium. When it comes to wine, though, the experts say they're the dark horse waiting in the wings. In the not too distant future (half a century or so), wine will be pouring its way to us from China on an unprecedented scale.
Now, I don't pretend to know a great deal about wine, despite having slaved over many paltry servings of Riesling and Pinot Noir during countless Monday nights at a local wine course. Sadly I still play it safe at the supermarket, sticking to the big three of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay (unoaked, of course!) and Pinot Grigio. But if China is indeed set to knock the socks off the wine world, would you be tempted to taste the tiger economy next time you're hanging out in aisle 13?
Global warming is set to change the landscape of wine production
In fifty years' time, China is set to become the biggest bulk supplier of wine in the world. The reason being that global warming is set to change the landscape of wine production, sidelining countries like Australia. China is already the fourth largest player in terms of vineyards alone. And the big boys in wine production are anxious and eager to give them the benefit of their substantial wine-making expertise.
However, this seems a perverse logic. Dinner parties up and down middle England are engaging in the same conversation: 'How are you enjoying our home-grown homemade gazpacho, Roger? No food air miles in this house... another glass of New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon?'
In some respects, fans of English wine may be pleased to learn that production here will be greatly increased by global warming, with some predicting that the amount of wine produced in fifty years' time will rival France. But isn't this all really rather worrying?
How we buy our wine will also change. According to wine merchants Berry Bros. & Rudd, the traditional bottle looks set to be replaced by reinforced cardboard or plastic. How does a carton of your finest Chinese wine sound next time you pop into Oddbins?