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New Zealand wineries pair wine with hotpot for China market

CHENGDU, March 24 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand wineries eager to tap the Chinese market have racked their palates for the perfect match of wine and Chinese food.

Wine tasters and gourmets chose hotpot and Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp, dry, refreshing white, as the most popular pairing, Natalie Potts, marketing manager in Asia with New Zealand Winegrowers, told Xinhua on Wednesday night.

The combination of red wine Pinot noir and spicy duck blood soup was also popular, she added.

New Zealand's wine exports to China reached 1.85 million liters in 2015, 14 times the amount imported ten years ago, but still only 20 percent more than the amount drunk by Singaporeans, who make a country with a population of only 5.5 million. New Zealand Winegrowers still see China as a market with long-term opportunities.

"New Zealand is known in China for its milk and scenery. But few have heard about its wine," said Alistair Crozier, New Zealand's consul-general in Chengdu city in southwestern China.

New Zealand Winegrowers hosts regular tastings in China and plans more campaigns across the country. Exports to China are increasing as wine becomes popular among young people, Potts said.

Thanks to robust sales in China, France's renowned wine-producing region Bordeaux is recovering from a poor 2013 harvest. Sales to China, the top export market, jumped to 48 million liters in 2015, up 31 percent year on year, according to the Bordeaux's winery association.