Sandy Ou from Guangzhou in China represented Beijing DYX Trade CO at the 2011 edition of “Buyer Meets Iberian Cellar”. We talked with her after the workshop about her company and wine consumption in China.
When was Beijing DYX Trade CO. founded? What was the impetus behind starting the business? Beijing DYX Trade CO. was founded in July 2009 with the head office in Beijing. I run the office in Guangzhou, Guangdong province which was founded in December 2009. Our motive for starting the business is simple, we just want friends around us to be able to drink the original bottled wines from overseas giving them good quality and a reasonable price.
How did your business get its name? The company logo is a Chinese character for trust and DYX is shorthand for this character.
What is your specialty? Are you looking to expand? We have been dedicated to selling and promoting Spanish wines for nearly two years. We now have some wines doing great in the market but still cannot meet the requirements of all of our customers so we are looking for more wines. We still plan to concentrate on Spanish wines but are also considering some French wines and Portuguese wines.
What did you get from the workshop? I found several interesting wines. Unfortunately there was not enough time to meet with everyone who wanted me to try their wines because so many want to break into Chinese market. I like that the wineries will help sell the product to the consumer not just sell to the importer. This support in marketing is important.
The Chinese way of doing business is very different from the western style. The Chinese may spend days or weeks building relationships before they are willing to do business. How do you like the western style where price and product outweigh personal relationships? I actually prefer the western style; it is easier and more relaxed. It makes me feel dizzy dealing with the Chinese style.
How does wine drinking in China differ from Europe? Drinking wine in China is a very different from drinking wine in Europe or North America. For instance, at a dinner business meeting, as they are forming relationships, two people will each fill a wine glass to the rim with wine. This is called a pet. They will then toast with “Gambei” which translates to “Bottoms Up” and drink the entire glass at once. This will happen repeatedly during the evening. I remember one time when this worked to my advantage. I usually use the western style of wine tasting when leading tasting sessions but in one session they started to Gambei after the first wine and it continued very chaotically with people drinking entire glasses of wine at once in whatever order they felt like. To my surprise, at the end of the evening 50% of the people ordered wine which was much more than after traditional tasting sessions.
Here’s Sandy giving her impressions of the Priorat: