Rickesh Kishnani offers his predictions for the red wine regions that will dominate Asia’s palates in the year to come.
While we continue to see a general broadening in consumer demand for wines across Asia, one thing remains constant: red wines are our top choice. According to VinExpo 2016 statistics, over 75 percent of consumers in Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong prefer red wine over white. However, while many consumers began their wine journey in Bordeaux, as we head into 2017 there are a few other wine regions to keep an eye on.
Burgundy is Still King
“There is definitely a shift from Bordeaux to Burgundy. The market has fully grasped and digested the fundamentals of Bordeaux, and now they are moving to explore another famous region in France,” says Simon Tam, head of wines for Christie Wine Auctions in Asia.
Auction sales for Burgundy wines continue to shatter records (six magnums of 1995 Romanee-Conti recently sold for US$155,879 when the auction estimate price was only US$20,191) while restaurants and wine merchants are now focused on having a strong selection from Burgundy to meet the demands of their top clients.
Australia on the Rise
China is the most valuable export market for Australian wine (taking over the US just in the last few months), with exports to mainland China growing by 51 percent to AU$474 million (US$353 million) in the 12 months leading to September 2016 — almost 18 times its value from a decade ago.
Interest in wine is increasing in China’s growing middle class and the average consumption frequency of imported wine is on the rise, according to Wine Australia. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon lead the pack as the top Aussie varietals in demand (both reds of course!).
Italy Steals our Hearts
Brunellos, Barolos, Barberescos, and even Super Tuscans will all be on the tip of the tongues of Asian wine drinkers in 2017. Italian wines have always been the perfect complement to Italian food with strong access to wine lists at Italian restaurants.
The next evolution we hope to see in 2017 is if the vineyards, wine merchants, and restaurateurs can convince us of the opportunities to pair Italian wines with all the rich flavours of Asian cuisine.
Across Asia consumers enjoy different wines for different reasons but two things continue to unite us as wine lovers, our continued passion to learn, and our love for the reds!
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