Thursday, May 9, 2013

Importing wine in China: what cork you should choose?

You import wine in China.

But what cork should you choose?
  • A screw cork?
  • A standard cork: in oak? or in synthetic material?
This is a tough and very important choice. I share my knowledge with you ;-)

It all depends on your customers!

Choose a screw cork if you sell wine for some meals and for amateurs customers who don't know anything about wine.
Par instance: wines for weddings, wines for restaurant banquets

In these events, customers will only pay bottle they consume and only open bottles!
For a happy events, Chinese people love drinking. It is polite du toast and drink. You fill in your neighbour glass. You drink with other guests at your table.  Chinese people will drink up their glass while drinking wine. Wine quality and type of cork don't matter. Customers could look at the wine origins (France, Bordeaux...).

However in China, restaurant service is not the one we know in France. Waitresses all come from the countryside. They don't have any training. They are often young and shy. They don't know anything about wine...

It means that waitresses only put bottles on the table. They don't fill in glasses! They don't open bottles except you ask them. And to do this you must often stand up and fetch them. You should also wait that the waitress fetches some collegue (often a male collegue) who can open a wine bottle. At last you should wait for the collegue to find the wine bottle opener.

To conclude if the bottles have a oak cork, it is probable that guest will drink less wine.

Source photo:

Choose a oak or synthetic cork for customers who know something about wine or more "snob", "prestige" customers.
For example: a big restaurant, western restaurant, café, wine bar, buffet with service...

Beware, wine can easily leak when you use a oak cork. Wine will move a lot during transportation and can leak.

Don't choose synthetic cork in China.
This is my personal opinion. I think that synthetic cork can easily waste the wine. In China temperature can vary a lot and risk to waste the wine are high with a synthetic cork!

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