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February 27, 2014

Struth! Chinese drink the French under the table

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says the Chinese have knocked the French off their perch as the world's Number 1 consumers of red wine.

 

In 2013 the French (and guests in their country) downed 1.80 billion bottles of red wine, the Italians 1.69 billion – and the Chinese a whopping 1.87 billion bottles (compared with an almost apologetic 312 million bottles of whites and sparklings.)

 

And according to those in the know, the Chinese appreciation of red wine didn't necessarily have anything to do with it being a nice drop to go with their cuisine: rather, the Chinese believe that red is one of the luckiest colours in the spectrum, and that red wine therefore aids their health – whereas white (embracing still white wines and bubblies) is one of the least lucky colours.

 

But while China may be the world's biggest consumer of red wine, as far as overall wine consumption is concerned, it's the Americans who lead the way here with over 4.02 billion bottles of reds, whites, rosés and bubblies going down their collective throats in 2013, followed by France in #2 place, Italy #3, the UK #4 and China in fifth place (with total wine consumption there of 2.17 billion bottles of reds, whites, rosés and sparklings.)

 

PHOTO CAPTION:

 

VINEYARDS grow up to cities' high-rise doorsteps in parts of China.

 

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