Frequent sparkling wine toasts featured in popular Chinese movie Tiny Times (小时代) not only add to the luxury-filled film’s sense of glamour, but are also causing an unintended side effect: they’re making their viewers thirsty for Champagne. In its newsletter last week, market research company Wine Intelligence said that “Chinese movie Tiny Times has provoked something of a trend to drink sparkling wine in China, according to trade sources in China.”
The Drinks Business reports:
“Continuing, the market research company then asked whether this could be China’s Sideways moment, comparing the impact of the Chinese romance drama on the demand for sparkling wine in China to the effect of 2004’s US box-office hit Sideways on Pinot Noir sales in North America.
Wine Intelligence noted that wine, especially sparkling, is frequently shown in the film, which is focused on four young girls who go through different life and career experiences in Shanghai.
According to the company, the film acts as particularly effective promotion for sparkling wine as the characters in Tiny Times are people who Chinese consumers can easily identify, while the fizz features at common occasions, such as graduation parties or birthday parties, as well as at romantic dinners in restaurants.”
Tiny Times 1.0 and 2.0 were released last year, and according to The Drinks Business, were commercial successes despite poor reviews from Chinese critics. The film features four young girls navigating their romance, work, and friendship in Shanghai. A prominent activity among the characters is drinking, especially consumption of sparkling wine during special occasions such as New Year’s Eve.
The presence of sparkling wine in China has been small as red wine remains the preferred drink of choice. Only 0.5 percent of wine consumed in China is sparkling, and the most popular types are currently Bordeaux or Burgundy, which are consumed mostly for business. As Champagne producers strategize ways to appeal to the China market, Tiny Times may help promote the trend of drinking for celebratory purposes and start a new wave of sales for Champagne and sparkling wine.