Wine is important

Wine is very important in Chinese lunch or dinner. Drink as much as you can is an essential sign of your respect to the host. So please never try to reject this while having a meal with your host. Wine from Europe also is considered a great gift to give on a first meeting with the host.

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Drinking in China

Don’t be shocked or unhappy if your Chinese counterpart insist you to drink again and again during meal. Some Chinese are drinking a lot, especially in dinner, sometimes for business. Some people would like to show their hospitality by asking you to drink again and again even after you reject. Also, they may have a lot of reasons to ask you to drink. If you are good at drinking and don’t mind drinking, you may accept and drink with your Chinese ‘friends’. But if you can not drink or you don’t want to, you can just ask your interpreter or assistance to explain that you are really not able to, at the same time, explain that your culture is a bit difference from Chinese and ask your Chinese counterpart not to mind about it. Don’t be shocked or unhappy if some Chinese may mix different wines or even red wine with Sprite sodas, which is a bit strange, but some people do it. Of course, if you don’t like, just ask your interpreter and assistance to explain to your Chinese hosts or guests.

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Tea is the most common drink

Tea to Chinese is just like coffee to westerners. Almost everyone in China drinks tea. In some regions, drinking tea is a crucial part of daily life. Prepare some good tea for people to drink when hosting a meeting or business event. Most Chinese families have a few thermos at home where hot water is stored. Cold or icy water is not favored in China.

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Don’t drink baijiu on an empty stomach

Although wine will be supplied at most business banquets, the Chinese would also like to offer you a very strong Chinese liquor – Baijiu, Known as the white devil. Don’t let its water-like appearance and slightly sweet taste fool you. It may appear similar to other liquors like Japanese Shochu or Korean Soju, but in fact, Baijiu has a significantly higher ABV, normally about 40%-60%. It is a strongly advised to eat something before the toasts. Never drink on an empty stomach.

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