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Thirsty Dragon: China’s Lust for Bordeaux and the Threat to the World's Best Wines

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews
An inside view of China's quest to become a global wine power and Bordeaux's attempt to master the thirsty dragon it helped create

The wine merchants of Bordeaux and the rising entrepreneurs of China would seem to have little in common—Old Europe versus New China, tradition versus disruption, loyalty versus efficiency. And yet these two communities have found their desti
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 10th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published October 27th 2015)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Stephen Yoder
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
What a roller coaster of a book. China comes on strong buying up Bordeaux wines, wine turns into a bubble, pop!, then . . . what next? I've never read so much about wine. Usually the extent of my reading about wine begins & ends with the flowery purple prose found on the back of cheap bottles of Pinot Noir, but I certainly do not regret picking up this book. Cross-cultural exchange is rarely boring, and Ms Mustacich aptly captures the drama of two rather different cultures feeling their way ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are two different stories being told here: the first is the story of the business of wine and how the Chinese communist model clashed with the wine culture of the Bordeaux; and the second is the story of making wine in China and the struggle of finding the right place to grow the grapes, make the wine and find actual wine drinkers in China. Full of first hand accounts of those that worked to bring wine and the wine business to China, it was a fascinating look into the cultural conflict bet ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
A good overview of China's turbulent love affair with Bordeaux that, unexpectedly, also has some good coverage of China's own burgeoning wine production efforts. A bit too tactical and overly focused on individual negociants and Chinese traders. Would have benefited from taking a somewhat broader view.
Nathan Schmidt
Nov 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I received an advance copy of Thirsty Dragon through Goodreads First Reads, and am grateful for the opportunity.

Before reading Thirsty Dragon, I had only a basic understanding of wine's history. I knew that the best wine traditionally came from France, particularly Bordeaux. However, I knew little about the actual culture and business practices behind the trade.

Therefore, this book has opened my eyes, both to the complex nature of wine dealing within France and internatio
MJ Brummitt
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wine in the Wild East. What a story!

Most of us drink wine, yet know so little about the industry, especially the worldwide wine industry. This book pours a good glass of wine information.

Thirsty Dragon by Suzanne Mustacich tells the story of the role wine played in China's good fortune in the last decade and how it went hand in hand with Bordeaux's. The Chinese learned to like and, indeed, embrace wine. Not surprisingly, the wine industry hasn't been immune to China's affinity for counterfeiti
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
A very informative and interesting read. The politics behind wine in France and now China are truly eye opening. Well researched and could get a bit boring with all the details but all in all a very good read.
Gerald sliker  jr
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Un libro eccezionale, "eccezziunale veramente"!

Non è solo molto profondo, ben ricercato e estremamente informativo, ma in alcuni tratti è anche appassionante! Il capitolo sulle "avventure" di Nick Bartman contro i contraffattori cinesi è diverse spanne sopra tanta fiction, come anche lo scontro tra il négociant Philippe Papillon e i suoi (ex-) clienti cinesi. Confesso di aver provato un po' di ansia leggendo della reclusione di Don St Pierre Jr in un carcere cinese, soprattutto perch
Rebecca Long Okura
It’s both interesting and a slog. It’s worth the effort. I love the individual stories of the people the author interviewed and tracked, and she also was very able to look at the bigger market and wine industry as a whole. Well-done overall. Just slow going.
Doug Gschwind
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The research done for this book was quite in depth and revealing of how China allows the Wine business to exist, both locally and on an import basis. An interesting read and cautionary tale(s) for anyone thinking of doing any kind of business with the Chinese.

The timeframe covered is largely the last 20 years.

Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Exceedingly well-researched, if at times a bit meandering, this book delves into the complexities that result when an emerging and at times uneven economic powerhouse collides with a centuries-old establishment. The results? Counterfeiting, smuggling, meteoric rises, stunning falls, dropped contracts, and perhaps the emergence of a new wine superpower (yes, China can make wine and it's good). You could hardly ask for a better guide to the complicated system of en primeur and negociants, a system ...more
Randal White
Interesting I found this book interesting, but a bit dull. Sorry, just not much more to say about it. Just okay. 
Yishen Kuik
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Henry Holt
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Steven Ridgely
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Jim Laughren
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wine-etc
I don't think you could write a more comprehensive account of Chinese-Bordeaux interaction covering the past twenty five years than Ms. Mustacich has done. Her research and inside info are fantastic. This book will not only illuminate the newly emergent Chinese wine scene, including the love-hate, now-I-screw-you, now-you-screw-me, East vs West, capitalist vs. state-controlled atmosphere pervading the entire relationship of China with Bordeaux, but Thirsty Dragon will also give you insights into ...more
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Eric Van
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Apr 02, 2016
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