Chinese consumers need time to understand wines they like, says China's head of Christie's
The Chinese wine market needs time to evolve before the industry can truly determine what are the key wine trends and consumer likes and dislikes, according to Simon Tam, head of auction house, Christie's Chinese division.
He said at the moment you would not find any "dust in a Chinese wine cellar" as everything that is bought is bought to drink. But the Chinese consumer should not be dismissed as only been interested in prestige and premium wines. The Chinese consumer is changing so quickly that it was almost impossible to keep tabs on them, he told the Wine Future conference in Hong Kong.
"We need time to say who we are and what we like," he added. "We need time to understand the wines we like."
This evolutionary process was happening almost day by day, stressed Tam. He, therefore, said it was important any company looking to build a business in China took the trouble to really understand the consumer.
There was an enormous appetite for knowledge and education around wine and that the wine sector in Hong Kong, in particular, had gone through "massive changes" in the last two years.
"It is now the most exciting place for wine in the world, but we need time to see where the market is going."