5 September 2013 Last updated at 20:02 ET By Celia Hatton BBC Beijing correspondent

When the European Union raised tariffs on Chinese solar panels earlier this year, China said it would investigate complaints from Chinese wine producers about the “dumping” of European wine on the Chinese market. For many it was news that China made wine at all. But it does – of widely varying quality.

“Like cough syrup.” “Disgusting!” “It coats the teeth.”

Fifteen years ago, a group of Beijing expats tested a selection Chinese, Californian and French wines. “The Chinese stuff can’t be that bad, can it?” they asked each other.

The answer was a resounding “Yes”. Unanimously, the panel ranked the Chinese wines at the bottom of the bunch. The Chinese wine was by far the cheapest, but it showed.

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