Wine “Made in China”?

chinaBefore long, it won’t just be cheap plastic trinkets, sneakers and television sets that bear that little gold “Made in China” sticker. You may someday find yourself drinking a bottle of Made in China wine.

We should have seen it coming — China is making more and more of the consumer products we buy in America. Besides that, the Chinese population is being transformed, as a growing middle class aspires to the products consumed by the rest of the civilized world — like wine. And their “wants” in turn drive China’s production machine.

That may explain why China has just become the 8th largest wine consuming country in the world, according to “People’s Daily Online”. And it’s now the 6th largest producer by volume. Right behind Italy, France, Spain, the U.S. and Argentina.

Did you have any idea? I certainly didn’t. Furthermore, a British wine publication, “Berry and Rudd’s Future of Wine Report”, estimates that in less than 50 years China will be the world’s largest wine producer. Wow!

Now I don’t begrudge any citizen the chance to enjoy a glass of domestic wine, but China has an odd distinction that might not bode well for its fledgling wine industry. Get a load of this quote from WorldNetDaily:  “Imports from China were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission twice as often as imports made everywhere else in the world!”

Their wine could be like their toothpaste (contaminated with DEG, a solvent used in anti-freeze), dog food (contaminated with melamine that killed American pets), or seafood (farmed in raw sewage and rejected by the FDA), to name just a few incidents of dangerously unhealthy products.  And let’s not even get into the electrical products that burned down houses, baby carriers that dumped kids on their heads, and circular saws that sawed fingers instead of lumber.

Call me skeptical, but I’m not sure that a country with no history of winemaking or tradition of wine drinking, and a national consciousness that doesn’t seem to promote quality,  can create a viable, quality-conscious wine industry. If we do start seeing Chinese wine on the “Imports” shelf at our local wine store, I for one will be sending a bottle out to the lab for a little testing and evaluation. You know, instead of “Sniff, Swirl and Sip”, it’ll have to be “Analyze, Report, and Verify”.  Cheers!


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