People participate in the grape harvest of the Grand Cru Rangen, on October 17, 2012 in Thann, eastern France. - 

A day after the EU Trade Commission placed anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, the Chinese government has launched an investigation into doing the same on EU wine exports to China.

You don’t like our cheap solar panels? Well, we’ll make your wine even more expensive.

Xu Bin, economics professor at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, says China is sending a clear message to the EU.

"Chinese people are developing a taste for wine, so it is very deliberate for the Chinese government to pick on the wine industry," says Xu.

Xu says it was a calculating move that targets the wine countries of Italy, France, and Spain, but spares Germany, which has taken China’s side in the solar panel dispute.

Vincent Hess chats with a customer at a French wine shop in Shanghai. He’s not worried about the trade dispute.

"I think it’s going to be difficult for Chinese people to put barriers for French wine," says Hess. "I will say [Europe] has much more history and much more famous wine.

And for many among China’s flashy nouveau riche, a higher priced bottle of wine provides even more incentive to buy.


Follow Rob Schmitz at @rob_schmitz