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Chinese become world's top tipplers of "lucky" red wine

Published on Jan 29, 2014 6:01 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - China has overtaken France and Italy to become the world's number one consumer of red wine, although the United States (US) remains the world's biggest tippler of all types of wines, the wine and spirits trade association Vinexpo said on Tuesday.

China drank 1.865 billion bottles of red wine last year, or in trade terms 155 million nine-liter cases, contributing to a 136 per cent increase in consumption over five years.

That beat France into second place for red wine and Italy into third, Vinexpo said, based on figures compiled by the London-based International Wine and Spirit Research firm.

The reason for the massive surge in red wine drinking in China, apart from growing affluence, is the Chinese preference for red over white on cultural grounds based on the colour, said Mr Guillaume Deglise, the new CEO of Vinexpo.

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