Needless to say, moving to China has been one huge culture shock after another. We’ve almost been here for a year now and it still happens sometime. One of the biggest shocks has been the lack of affordable yet tasty wine that was abundant in Prague.  Great Wall, Dynasty and Changyu are the popular cheap brands of Chinese red wine that are only great the first few times you drink them.

We also tried a bunch of Chinese rice wines and didn’t enjoy those either. Unfortunately, foreign imports are not quite affordable if you enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner every night. But even the expensive imports are hit and miss – some have been on the humid shelves for a while and taste sour or stale.

As always, I solved this problem the way I’ve solved all my others. By shopping on Taobao. You can buy quality imported foreign drinks for cheaper than you would abroad. Czech Becherovka, for example, is cheaper here than in Prague! Then there’s other drinks like Baileys, champagne, wine and beer are all unbelievably cheap online.

It gets even cheaper if you go for sets. For just 698 RMB you can get a fancy cocktail set including 11 bottles of liquor, some mixers, various glasses and mixing tools! If you don’t believe me, just take a look here. Wouldn’t this be a great purchase for a house party?

If liquor always makes you feel sicker, go for a more classic set of 12 bottles that include red wine, white wine and several different types of champagne. While this would cost hundreds in a super market, it only costs 309 RMB. When you buy these sets you need to keep an eye out on alcohol percentages, as they sometimes will try to scam you on those. This particular set only has one bottle of champagne under 10%; everything else is the standard 11-12%.

To find more liquor or wine sets, just Google translate “cocktail set” or “wine combinations” and search that. If this doesn’t work, then go to www.taobao.com and search a photo featuring several bottles. Another option is to add one of the items above to your cart and look through the suggestions based on it. I always fill up my cart with things I won’t be buying just for the recommendations that often lead to cheaper prices and more options!

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