The Asian F & Love for Wine

Curated by CLAI

THE ASIAN F: Doing well in school means: getting straight A’s, graduating as valedictorian or salutatorian, getting into one of the top UC (University of California) schools or an Ivy, and pursuing some type of graduate education in order [to] work in one of the ‘four professions’: doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, or engineer.

  • Asian families have incredibly high standards. If kids come home with a 3.5 grade-point average, parents are disappointed that it’s not 4.0 — and they show it. If a child gets into, say, Cal State, the question is why they didn’t make it into Stanford. If a son or daughter comes home and settles for a bachelor’s degree, they’re made to feel less accomplished because they don’t have a PhD.
  • On an Asian scale ‘A is for average, and B is an Asian fail.

Confucius, Beijing, China (Credits: Christine Lai)

WINE LOVERS OF ASIA: Fine wine comes at a price in Asia, but there are plenty of buyers. Asian
consumers have become a major factor in the global wine market, with China overtaking France and Italy last year as the biggest consumer of red wine. Now, customers in the region are getting more sophisticated, educated and diverse in their wine choices.

  • Asians have traditionally been drinkers of whiskey, brandy and local spirits like baijiu, a liquor distilled from grain, rather than wine. But rising wealth, a penchant for giving gifts and a constant search for new types of investment have turned affluent Asians into avid buyers of top wines and other luxury items in recent years.
  • For Asian buyers, it’s a lot about prestige — about enjoying wines as a luxury. They are prepared to pay substantial premiums for wines that come directly from the vineyard and they put a lot of importance on the cosmetic appearance of the bottle.
  • Nearly 1.9 billion bottles of red were consumed in China last year. That is more than twice the amount in 2008. China is also one of the world’s biggest producers of wine, though the quality is for the most part still low.
Asian Wine Lovers

Visitors from mainland China shopping for wine in Hong Kong, where taxes on wine were abolished in 2008. (Credit Dean C.K. Cox for The New York Times)


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