The rapid economic development that China seems to be enjoying extends into investments in the production of red wine, particularly as a means to attain long-term profits.

The Chinese wine market is expected to be worth 50 million nine liter cases within five years and up to 100 million nine liter cases in 10 years, according to Ian Ford, a partner at Chinese import firm, Summergate Fine Wines.

Speaking at the Wine Future conference in Hong Kong, Ford said that imported wine currently accounted for 23 million nine liter cases, showing an increase from 16.5 million cases in 2010.

The demand for wine in mainland China has grown rapidly over the past few years, which has resulted in the country becoming one of the top five producers of grapevines in the world. Although European nations like France, Spain and Italy remain at the top of that list, China, it seems, is all set to provide strong competition in the near future.

The increase in demand has also been accompanied with an exorbitant increase in prices. Certain brands, for example, have seen their prices rise by as much as 500 percent in the last three years

The wine culture in China is still a trifle unsophisticated, even as it gains in popularity. Experts have noted that many Chinese consumers are not in a position to properly distinguish good from bad wine.

While this should certainly change with the passage of time, until then the place of origin, the year of production and the brand will be the main criteria for buying a bottle of wine in China.