Korea's Taste for Expensive Wines On the Rise
Staff Writer – January 15, 2008
In 2007 wine became the year's best selling alcoholic beverages on the in the South Korean market.
The Asian country imported $143 million of wine (see up-to-date value in other currencies) in 2007, marking a solid increase of 61.9% in value from the previous year, announced the Korea International Trade Association, which also highlighted the fact that this is the highest percentage growth registered in the past five years for this product.
The fact that the volume of wine imported in 2007 though, increased 43.8% only, is a telling tale about the taste of Korean wine drinkers, who evidently favor more expensive wines. According to industry insiders the disproportion between the increased value and volume of wine imports is due to the greater demand for more expensive wines purchased as gifts.
French wines turned out to be the most popular, with the Chilean wines taking the second place. Not bad at all the performance of Italian wines, which imports doubled compared to 2006 year, bringing Italy in third place, followed by the US in forth position. Spanish wine popularity increased significantly as well, with imports shooting up 76.7% from the previous year.
Whiskey and soju, the second a traditional Korean distilled liquor, sold about the same amount as in 2006. Within the whiskey types, the super-premium products, which are at least 17 years old, grew to fill the 27% of the total whiskey consumption in Korea, up from 25% in 2006 and 24% in 2005.
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