Sotheby’s Serena Sutcliffe explains why Chinese buyers have developed such a taste for fine wine, especially at auction:
Sotheby’s says that more than half of all the wine sold by value at its auctions this year has been snapped up by Asian buyers, with mainland Chinese proving the most enthusiastic imbibers. At its London auctions alone, nearly 40 per cent of wine has been bought by Asian buyers, up from 10 per cent just three years ago. […] The sale of wine has also benefited from the growth of online bidding at auctions: at Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale in October, 67 per cent of lots received online bids.
Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby’s international wine department, said it was logical for wealthy Chinese to become interested in fine wine. “They are people who pull a lot of corks,” she said. “They love entertaining in style and in numbers. They are extremely hospitable.
“There is kudos in building up a collection of fine wine, of course, as with amassing highly recognisable art that everyone can value, but the Chinese do love serving it and seeing the enjoyment it spreads. The Asians are deeply interested in food, so it is a natural progression to be interested in what one drinks too.”
Auction Houses Toast Wine Sales Success (Financial Times)