Do people in Vietnam enjoy wine as much as people here in the U.S.? What kind of wines are most popular?

Is there a market for imported wine (wine from the U.S.) in Vietnam?
Would people in Vietnam be willing to pay a premium for imported wine?
Is wine drinking in general popular in Vietnam?

The Tet holiday just passed. I visited several VN friends and all served wine, French wines, and the serve it in small glasses, not in the western style glasses. And they drink very little. (I was at another friend’s house last evening for a dinner party and beer was served.)

Beer is much more popular, as is rice "wine" (rice vodka?).

I think it is seen as a luxury, special occasion drink. I gave a nice bottle of Australian wine to a friend for her birthday. I asked her recently how she liked the wine, and she said she was holding it for a special occasion – it is 4 months now since I gave it to her, and they served me French wine during Tet.

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Actually, there are a lot of wines available, AU, French, Chilean, US. And there are wine shops all over. Someone I know, an expat, has just started an online discount wine shop with some friends.

There are Vietnamese who drop BIG MONEY in restaurants. There is a pricey restaurant here, run by an expat. He did an interview in the Viet Nam News last year and he said his biggest spending customers are Vietnamese, not expats – he has people come in and drop $1000+ on an evening! He provides only expensive wines.

Wine is a growing taste. I suspect though that you are "behind" the curve, lots of folks already doing it! The masses drink "fresh beer", dirt cheap, and not bad. Rice wine is an acquired taste, for me not yet acquired.

4 Comments

  1. l d says:

    The Tet holiday just passed. I visited several VN friends and all served wine, French wines, and the serve it in small glasses, not in the western style glasses. And they drink very little. (I was at another friend’s house last evening for a dinner party and beer was served.)

    Beer is much more popular, as is rice "wine" (rice vodka?).

    I think it is seen as a luxury, special occasion drink. I gave a nice bottle of Australian wine to a friend for her birthday. I asked her recently how she liked the wine, and she said she was holding it for a special occasion – it is 4 months now since I gave it to her, and they served me French wine during Tet.

    ***************************

    Actually, there are a lot of wines available, AU, French, Chilean, US. And there are wine shops all over. Someone I know, an expat, has just started an online discount wine shop with some friends.

    There are Vietnamese who drop BIG MONEY in restaurants. There is a pricey restaurant here, run by an expat. He did an interview in the Viet Nam News last year and he said his biggest spending customers are Vietnamese, not expats – he has people come in and drop $1000+ on an evening! He provides only expensive wines.

    Wine is a growing taste. I suspect though that you are "behind" the curve, lots of folks already doing it! The masses drink "fresh beer", dirt cheap, and not bad. Rice wine is an acquired taste, for me not yet acquired.
    References :

  2. Ng A says:

    Not much. Right now the latest rave is Chivas Scotch. People do pay a premium for French cognacs though.
    References :

  3. Hien T says:

    do you know, i’m Vietnamese so i can answer your question, almost Vietnamese like rice wine, if have other wine , import from other country,you know wwe have to pay high taxe for that, so we just use in some special case (importent cases )
    -If in Hanoi capital you can find market sales for imported winse at Hang Da street ( in Old quater Hoan Kiem district ).
    otherwise we drink " fresh beer " sometime you can find in some corner od old quater, just 5000 vn d/ 1 glass of beer ( about 0.3$ ), very cheap and very simple right? hahaha
    ,……………cheer……….
    References :

  4. Paul R says:

    Wine importing will not be that easy. Here are the reasons: 1) you need a lisence to do this 2) you need a market

    As you can see on the GDP of Vietnam most people earn USD 2-3 per day which makes it hard to buy a bottle of exported wine. On the other hand there are some wealthy people and this people buy their wines in METRO (a swiss wholesale chain).

    What US Wines you can buy here ?
    You can get a Ernest& Julio Galle, a standard woodbridge for 10-15 USD (the cashier looks at you strange when you buy this expensive wines… so you got the picture ?)

    If you are still keen to import wine here – check the US Embassy in Hanoi – good luck
    References :

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