Wine in red and white

Mar 16 2014, 03:24 IST
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SummaryThe latest market report by VINEXPO, the international wine and spirits exhibition, released last week throws up some interesting findings about the Indian wine market

In India, wine consumption is sparkling. Literally. The latest VINEXPO market report released last week, forecasts that Indian sparkling wine consumption will double in the next five years. That would suggest that bottles of bubbly have replaced laddoos as celebratory intake. VINEXPO is the international wine and spirits exhibition which commissions an annual study from International Wine and Spirit Research (The IWSR). This survey of world wine and spirits consumption, production and international trade with five-year forecasts up to 2017, covers 28 producing countries and 114 consumer markets. Its findings and forecasts for the Indian wine market, have some other interesting findings. One is that Indians consume more red wine than white. More than 61% of the wine drunk in India are red, and it’s a segment that is expected to grow by 71.6% in the next five years. That does not mean that white wine producers should shut shop, not by a long way. The survey shows that the entry of local wine producers making white wines has gone up, and with it, consumption is also expected to increase by 71%, which puts it on par with reds.

Incidentally, this growth comes at the end of a period of relative drought when wine consumption in India actually decreased for several years. It only started picking up in 2012, which saw a 11.8% increase which further jumped to 16.3% in 2013. The new survey pegs the growth over the next few years to reach an impressive 73.5%. Much of this wine, is, of course, local brands but the taste for imported wine is on the up. One out of every four bottles drunk in India is imported wine, with the largest supplier being Australia, which explains the dominance of Jacob’s Creek and Lindeman’s in the wine shops.

Australia’s share of wine sales in India increased by a massive 71.7% between 2008 and 2012. Sales of Italian wines increased even more, by 104%, according to the survey, while the consumption of Chilean wines went up by 75.89%, but by volume, Australian wines are number one. Indians are generally not wine snobs which would explain why the consumption of French wines declined by 22.83%.

Indians have traditionally been more interested in spirits, and that leaves wine consumption far behind. India is currently the fifth largest spirits importer in Asia, and by 2017, will rank fourth according to the VINEXPO forecast, overtaking Thailand. Indian

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