A new Chinese relationship with wine

The Chinese have, so far, used wine for socialising, not in-home consumption. But, says Jim Boyce, there are signs that the epidemic has changed that.

A delivery from Hulu/Hulu
A delivery from Hulu/Hulu

China’s wine trade has relied heavily on sales tied to socializing: from business, government and holiday gatherings to friends enjoying dinner everywhere from five-star hotels to local haunts. The recent measures used to combat Covid-19, including self-quarantines, closed restaurants and cancelled tastings and trade fairs, slowed sales to a trickle and forced importers and distributors into survival mode. 

But just as the SARS crisis in 2003 is tied to the rise of the Chinese e-commerce sector, Covid-19 seems to have shifted how people buy and drink wine.

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