The Indian wine market seems to be growing, at least according to the recently published India Wine Market Report.
The research states that the wine market in India is currently small and consumption is tiny compared to that of beer and spirits, but interest is growing a constant rate. Wine consumption in India is expected to grow year on year and could reach 2.4 million nine-liter cases by 2020.
Currently, wine is only enjoyed by the small population of Indian businessmen, their foreign guests, tourists, and sometimes up-market women and cosmopolitan affluent youths. Despite the difficulties of pairing wine with Indian food, an underground enthusiasm is developing for wine consumption and it is becoming more and more accepted at launch parties, business receptions and sometimes even weddings.
The expansion of the wine market is hindered by the difficulties of trading on the Indian market, such as a limited number of skilled importers, an underdeveloped infrastructure and retail system, and the costs of taxes and licenses.
Since 2001, India has possibly been the fastest-growing wine market worldwide, and the one that is viewed with an enormous amount of interest by winemakers everywhere.
Indian wine is also creating a dent into foreign wine market. last year, upmarket British grocery chain Waitrose became the first UK supermarket to line its liquor shelves with wine from India.
As per our study “Indian Wine Industry Forecast to 2012”, low wine consumption translates India into a highly lucrative market for wine sales in coming few years.
Besides low consumption levels, factors such as changing consumer trends and preferences, growing westernized corporate culture, and many others have been continuously driving wine sales in the country. We have found that many international players have entered into the Indian wine market during the past few years and many are evaluating the option to do so.
Everyone in the wine world has all eyes on China at the moment, but India could indeed be the sleeping giant. Of course, if consumption by the Indian public is increasing and wine imports are going up, then it only makes sense that the number of Indian wineries would also increase.
Indian wine, of course, intrigues me. Do I have high hope that the first bottle I taste will be mind-blowingly awesome!?!? No. No I don’t. But everything goes through an evolutionary phase and I have very little knowledge about the soil and climate in India, so I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve tasted it.
I am starting to see more Indian wines come onto the scene (although I’ve yet to see one on a retailer’s shelf) and it’s only a matter of time before I get one in my hands and review it.
As the article states, I think one of the biggest obstacles that Indian wine faces is that wine generally doesn’t go with Indian food (since it’s so spicy). The emphasis therefore by Indian winemakers should probably be towards low alcohol, low oak, made in either a drier style/or with a slight hint of residual sugar, and most important of all be affordable (under $15). This if the product is going to “get a foot in the door” and work its way towards International acceptance.