Home    Number 4, 2019

French Wines: A Totem Drink of the Transnational Elite?

[Frantsuzskie vina: napitok-totem transnatsional’noi elity?]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150006195-4

About author(s)

Boris Petric | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8838-2423 | boris.petric@ehess.fr | Centre Norbert Elias (2 rue de la Charité, Marseille, 13 002, France)


French wines, Bordeaux, Burgundy, luxury consumption, transnational elite, China, Hong Kong


The 2000s have marked a new phase of the global circulation of wine. The unprecedented increase of the interest in this beverage in Asian countries may give rise to the Great transformation of the wine industry, which is further propelled by the general shift of the consumer mass market toward China. The French wine, which is in particular demand, has significantly risen in price as a result. The infatuation with wine in China may be attributed both to the emergence of social strata of nouveau riche exhibiting desire for conspicuous consumption, and to the broader development of the society which is becoming increasingly open to the global world and willing to adopt its values and norms. The growing demand has met the interests of French winemakers looking to expand into new international markets. Thus, new social connections have been established and new social patterns of wine consumption have sprung up in line with the strategies of social distinction characteristic of the new transnational elites. Hong Kong, with its prestigious wine fairs and trade shows, has been playing an especially prominent part in this process.


Petric, B. 2019. French Wines: A Totem Drink of the Transnational Elite? [Frantsuzskie vina: napitoktotem transnatsional’noi elity?]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 103–113. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150006195-4 ISSN 0869-5415

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