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New York, Jan 31: China guzzled almost 2 billion bottles of red wine last year, according to a new report.

Red wine consumption has skyrocketed in the country since 2007, partially because the color red signals good fortune, experts said.

The colour and the health benefits of red wine have helped place China over France and Italy as the biggest red wine-consuming nation in the world, the New York Daily News reported.

According to a joint report out of Vinexpo and The International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR), Chinese oenophiles tipped back the equivalent of 1.865 billion bottles last year (or 155 million 9-liter cases). That marks a 136 percent growth since 2008.

For comparison, France consumed 150 million cases, while Italy consumed 141 million cases.

According to figures out of the IWSR, the consumption of red wine in China has been taking off since 2005, but showed particular growth between 2007 and 2013, rising 176 percent.

At the same time, consumption in Italy declined about 6 percent in the same period, while in France consumption plummeted a whopping 18 percent.

Interestingly, more than 80 percent of the wine consumed in the country is also produced domestically, placing China as the fifth largest wine producer in the world. (ANI)

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