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Chinese Wine lovers develop a thirst for knowledge
2020-02-26 09:59:10   来源:中国酒业新闻网   

Everyday wine drinkers may struggle when asked to describe the contents of their glass. Typical comments, which are inadequate at best, range from "delicious" to "not very good".
 
But Fongyee Walker, one of around 400 people worldwide recognized by the Institute of Masters of Wine, has no such problem.
 
At her Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting School in Beijing, which she founded in 2007, 3,000 wine traders and enthusiasts are trained each year.
 
Zhu Yong, of consultancy Roland Berger China, said there is an increasing demand for wine education among merchants and consumers because of China's economic development and consumption upgrades.
 
According to the Wine& Spirit Education Trust, the largest global provider of wine, spirits and sake credentials, 108,557 candidates qualified for a WSET certificate in the 2018-19 academic year, a year-on-year rise of 15 percent.
 
The Chinese mainland market, which has grown for 11 consecutive years, is the second-largest for the WSET, after the United Kingdom. In the 2018-19 academic year, 18,206 Chinese candidates sat for a WSET certificate, a rise of 20 percent on the previous year.
 
Zhu said Chinese, especially those born in the 1980s and '90s, are seeking quality lifestyles.
 
China's economic development and consumption upgrading means that wine is increasingly being served to accompany meals. Among the younger generation in particular, drinking wine is viewed as being elegant and fashionable.
 
"Continuous growth in wine consumption has triggered a demand for knowledge, and 'wine culture' has also become a topic discussed on social occasions," Zhu said.
 
Walker said that just a decade ago, wine education was rare in China. "But since around 2012, the number of people learning about wine and the number of training schools have both seen explosive growth."
 
Once, only those working in the wine industry took part in the courses, but now, more than 75 percent of Walker's students are consumers.
 
"The progress has been huge," she said. "In 2007, few Chinese had heard about WSET wine courses. Now, almost every industry insider knows about them, and many of them have achieved WSET certification and various other global certificates."
Zhu, from Roland Berger, said Chinese consumers' enthusiasm for wine education will endure, and more people will join the industry. Some wine schools offering a professional approach to their training systems are closely connected with wine-producing areas around the world, he added.

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