After years of slumping sales, China's found its palate for wine again, but drinkers are reaching for cheaper bottles in light of President XI Jinping's campaign against luxury spending. As Ryan Brooks reports, online sales and frugal customers are taking a bite out of the big importers that thrived during the boom years.
China's wine market - back in a steady flow... after a dry spell from President Xi's war on lavish spending. But today, it's not all about the fancy Bordeauxs and Beaujolais. Many customers aren't reaching for the high shelf like they used to... In fact, they're not even leaving the house. Reuters' Adam Jourdan has been mapping the explosive trend of wine sales online. SOUNDBITE (English) ADAM JOURDAN, REUTERS HONG KONG, SAYING: "We spoke to wine consumers all around China for this story and the real impression that you get is of wine consumers that are a lot more savvy than they might have been lets say five years ago, especially with the rise and the advent of these online platforms- its increasingly transparent, its easy to find out, is a wine any good, should I be paying this amount of money for it. That means that at a time when the economy is cooling, people are going online, to really find decent quality wines at a good price - and they're no longer willing to pay any old amount for any old plonk." It's a major change for China's 14 billion dollar wine industry... with the tables turning on the giant importers that ruled the roost in the boom years. Now they're outmaneuvered by smaller online rivals offering a wider selections at lower prices.