The recent Vinititaly wine show in Verona was host to a delegation of Chinese government officials and representatives from online business sites for a special seminar dedicated to the prospects of Italian wine in the People’s Republic. In Asia’s largest market, Italian wine suffers at the hands of its greatest competitor, France, which got a head-start on “getting Chinese consumers accustomed to the taste of their wines”, reminded the group’s chief Wang Xuwei, adding “red wine accounts for 80% of consumption, while white and sparkling varieties are growing quickly.” According to a flattering report on the visit in China Daily Europe, another card to play for Italy is online. “Chinese buyers are timid when they buy wine,” explained Jared Liu, CEO of the e-commerce site YesMyWine, which sells 20,000 bottles of wine per day, “but they show more activity on the internet.” “Italian wine, above all those with a lot of fruit, are more suited to our tastes,” commented wine blogger Terry Xu, Wine Spectator’s guest at Vinitaly. “French wine,” he concluded, “is sometimes too complicated, while the Italians are potentially easier for us to understand.”
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