4 out of 4 stars
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Inside the Chinese Wine Industry by Loren Mayshark is an insightful look into the history of wine consumption and production in China and where the industry is headed. The book begins with providing an overview of the important events that led to the introduction of and interest in grape wine in China, such as Emperor Kangxi drinking it to cure his ailments in the 17th century. Mayshark tracks these turning points up to modern day events, highlighting important incidents like Premier Li Peng’s proclamation in 1996 in which he promoted the consumption of red wine and denounced using grain to produce expensive liquor when it could be used to feed China’s impoverished citizens. The book covers all of the main points as to past and current trends in wine consumption in China (including the Bordeaux craze) and looks at where those trends may be headed.
Additionally, readers can expect to learn a great deal about Chinese wine production (including big producers like Dynasty Fine Wines and The Great Wall Wine Company) and what types of wine are being made in the country. Mayshark’s overview of where you can taste wine in China, his description of the various Chinese wine regions, and his explanation of why we don’t see much Chinese wine exported are particularly insightful. Overall, the book is a comprehensive look at a country who is quickly rising in the wine industry.
I have many good things to say about Mayshark’s book, and I was particularly interested in reading it because I’m not only a huge wine lover, but my husband, a French chef, often leads wine tastings as part of his job. Being well versed in French, Italian, Spanish, and South American wine, I was shocked that neither of us had a clue when it came to Chinese wine. I was greatly rewarded by reading this book which did not disappoint in its diverse information and introduction to the Chinese wine industry. Mayshark has done his research well, and the book is full of evidence to back up everything the author asserts.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, as it is extremely well-organized in both format and content, following a logical layout of events and statistics that provide insight into the wine industry in China. The content is also well-rounded, not ignoring things that could easily be overlooked such as the impact that mobile commerce or climate change are having on the wine industry. Furthermore, the look at personal stories of people who have gone to China to set up vineyards provided small narrative breaks from the more factual prose. I only noticed a handful of errors such as an extra space between two sentences and the use of the word “factor” instead of “factory” once. These few errors were not enough to take away a star as they were scarce and non-intrusive.
Inside the Chinese Wine Industry will appeal to wine lovers or those who work or have an interest in the wine industry. It’s a book for readers who like statistics and enjoy speculating about what those facts mean for the future. I certainly learned a lot and am itching to try some Chinese wine!
Inside the Chinese Wine Industry
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