Send more chianti (or what economic growth feels like)

There’s a little piece in the FT’s Lex Column today about wine in China that reminds me of an experience we had in Beijing:

So fast is the market expanding that China is now Pernod Ricard’s second-biggest market. Sales of its mass-market Jacob’s Creek should grow at 40 per cent this year.

On our second evening in Beijing (staying at the very nice Orchid hotel) we found ourselves at a free wine tasting for an Italian wine importer. The guy doing the importing was in his late twenties and from Italy but had learned Chinese at university and always wanted to move to China. Although he liked wine, he’d never planned to go into the wine business, but now surfing the wave of demand he was cleaning up because there are so few Europeans who can speak the fluent Chinese you need to be an importer. His only problem was getting enough of the stuff into the country.

It’s hard to think of anything where there’s demand like that in Europe at the moment and just reminded me how different an economy feels when there’s so much growth.


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