September 2011 - Posts
Antonio Argiolas introduces the finest wines from the
region of Sardinia, Italy
Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd has recently brought to India
Argiolas, one of Italy’s finest wines! Located amid Sardinia’s natural beauty,
just north of Cagliari, is the Argiolas estate, widely known for its crisp and
refreshing white wines and complex reds. Antonio Argiolas and his twin sons,
Franco and Giuseppe, have worked diligently to fulfill their commitment to
become the leaders in Sardinian enology.
Giacomo Tachis, father of prestigious Italian wines such as
Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia, has been instrumental in placing Argiolas on
the quality map. Like the Argiolas family, Tachis has a true passion for the
island’s native varietals.
Their first vintage was bottled in 1989. The process in
making this long-established wine involves it being aged for three months
followed by an additional three months in the bottle.
Antonio Argiolas, 3rd generation from the Argiolas family
said, “Wine drinkers in India have grown more discerning and the Indian wine
consumption market has undergone tremendous growth in the last five years. Over
the years the Argiolas family has strongly insisted on its native Sardinian
vines, focusing on the indigenous white varietals Nuragus and Vermentino and the
red varietals Cannonau, Monica, Carignano and Bovale Sardo. A fine wine
selection offering the perfect accompaniment to your meal.”
Sumedh Singh, CEO Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd. said, “We always
take pride in getting new varietals and top wine regions to India. Argiolas
family is among the first wine family from Sardinia. Argiolas wines highlight
just how intriguing the island’s unique terroir and indigenous varietals can be.
I am quite sure that wine lovers in India will appreciate the taste and quality
of Argiolas wines especially the Vermentino and Cannonau varietals.”
Speaking on the tie-up, Mr. Jackie Matai, Director Aspri
Spirits Pvt Ltd. said, “We at Aspri Spirits aspire and work towards enlarging
our portfolio each time with the best of wine brands in the world. We are happy
to launch Argiolas in India, with our research and vision we are confident to
make it a success among our wine enthusiasts and the beginners.” He further
added “We at Aspri Spirits always explore the opportunities to strengthen the
company further in terms of our management, quality, staff and penetration
reach.” With a clear see through straw yellow colour and light green tinges when
poured in a wine glass, Argiolas Costamolino is a subtle yet intense and a
delicately flavoured white wine with an enjoyable primary and secondary aroma.
This fine feel wine accompanies best with seafood starters’ fregola (small balls
of semolina) with crustaceans, fish stews, bass with artichokes, soft-textured
medium mature cheeses.
An opaque ruby red colour wine with violet tinges -
Argiolas Is Solinas – has a persistent perfume of ripe fruits and jam. This
powerful flavoured wine is warm and encompasses a fruity noted taste, sure to
savour with a lavish spread of first courses, grilled ventresca tuna, roast
suckling pig and well matured cheeses.
Meat-based sauces, spitroasted suckling pig, grilled red
meat, roast lamb, myrtleflavoured hen, Sardinian sausage, mature Sardinian
pecorino cheese are the finest combinations with the Argiolas Korem, Rosso
Barrique, lingering flavoured red wine. This warm, well balanced, velvety wine
is one of the most authentic wines currently existing.
Argiolas Costera blends excellently with tasty condiments,
roast suckling pig and lamb, Sardinian pecorino cheese, medium or long matured.
It is well structured ruby red colour wine with garnet tinges.
'It is a common enough phenomenon at five-star hotels. Guests arrive
for dinner. The waiter suggests an aperitif of a glass of champagne.
Guests think it sounds too cheap to ask how much? So, they just say
yes, thinking it can’t cost that much.
Actually, it can. Most hotels
buy their basic champagne at around Rs 2,000 a bottle or less. But, as I
discovered, that isn’t always reflected in the prices charged to
My colleague, Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi, asked Delhi hotels how much
their cheapest glass of champagne was. The variation in price went up to
90 per cent.
Shangri-La: Bollinger Special Cuvee; Rs 850
Leela Palace: Louis Roederer NV; Rs 1,350
Taj Mahal: Pommery; Rs 800
Taj Palace: Mumm Cordon Rouge; Rs 1,100
ITC Maurya: Piper-Heidsieck; Rs 950
The Oberoi: Moet et Chandon; Rs 1,500 (includes tax)'
The dapper French envoy to India, Mr Jerome Bonnafont, is leaving New Delhi this week after a ‘happy and personally satisfying' four years.
Excerpts from interview
We also believe our cultural, scientific and university cooperation is good but there is big room for improvement.
On EU and French complaint about high duty on imported spirits by India, denying due market access to their popular beverages
It is one of the main points discussed in the free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the EU. It is important that the import duty structure makes it possible to export French wine to India which we believe is not at all against development of wine production in India.
In India wine is only two per cent of the total alcohol consumption and the rest is other alcohols. Wine is extremely marginal and there is vast room for improvement. We are convinced by our culture that one can have wine as a health drink when it is taken in reasonable quantities by knowing what you drink and how to drink it.
More: The Hindu Businessline
Good Earth Winery Pvt Ltd has launched a new line of high-quality wines designed to demonstrate the synergies of wine and Indian food pairings. 'Blanca' is a white wine made from Nashik Chenin Blanc grapes. It exhibits aromas of guava, lychee and apricots. 'Bella' is a rosé made from Shiraz grapes. It is dry, fruity and redolent of buttered toast and jam. 'Bleu' is a complex blend of Shiraz and Cabernet that evokes oak, vanilla, pepper, spice and berries.
More: Hospitality Biz
In India, wine was traditionally used to bring back health. Ayurvedic wines as medicine is documented in the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda. Arishthas and Asavas are fermented juices, and herbs.
Draksharishtha, the name indicates grape wine. Draksha, the sanskrit word means grape. The Kannada speaking people would recognise the word to mean grape. Drakshi is the Kannada name for grapes (Bangalore Blue included).
Draksharishtha is made of grape juice and herbs, but minus the micro-filtration process that modern wineries use, and minus the stringent temperature monitoring in its making and storage. It may have a bit of a vinegary taste. Yet, that’s the oldest Indian wine, guys! Its wood and sweetness stands out on the palate.
Even now Draksharishtha is prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians as medicine, 6 spoons of Draksharishtha mixed in equal amount of water, with meals. Just as the French traditionally have their red wine!
Several other Arishthas and Asavas in Ayurveda too use fermented juices and herbs, and they all have a specific purpose – to heal the body of specific ailments.
Originally, wine was used in India to take care of ill health. Later on, it may have been refined to enjoy the high one gets for it, and socialising.
Ayurveda, the oldest, documented system of medicine does not recommend wine for everyone. Wine is a potent healer for specific health conditions, on the other hand drinking wine without getting a pulse diagnosis done by an Ayurvedic doctor, may work the other way around. For instance, wine is recommended in specified quantity for Kapha body types, as wine has the fire and air element which eases the kapha imbalance. The same wine is capable of creating havoc in the body of a Pitta or Vata body type person. The pitta body type, identifiable with a fiery temper, high rate of metabolism, sharp intelligence is not going to do well with a liberal glass of wine!
In the cool climates, such as in Europe and North America, the Kapha element is predominant. In the tropical countries, it is Pitta that is easy to find. If a Frenchman in France has wine with his meals, it would fire his digestion and work in his favour, whereas an Indian in Rajasthan would be ruining his digestion and consequently body if he drinks the same quantity as the Frenchman!
Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis
As you enjoy the elixir called wine, it would be a good idea to use the wisdom of Ayurveda by getting a pulse diagnosis done by an Ayurvedic doctor and know how much wine is good for you, and how much of it could upset the health apple cart.
In an Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, the Ayurveda physician checks your pulse to tell you about past, present and future ailments and recommends non-intrusive medicine, herbal supplements. If you get a recommendation of wine in specified quantity, well that’s just another reason to enjoy!
The Australian Trade Commission showcased award winning
Australian wines as part of the “Australian Wine Experience”
session organised in Chennai on 9th September 2011.
The session is the first in the series of Australian wine
tastings organised by The Australian Trade Commission across South India. The
Wine Tasting sessions will focus on wines from different wine regions across
Australia. The first in the series of Wine tasting sessions featured fine wines
from De Bortoli Wines.
The “Australian Wine Experience” session was organised
jointly by The Australian Trade Commission and Courtyard by Marriot, supported
by Terroir – The Madras Wine Club. Discerning consumers & wine aficionados,
representing prominent businessmen and prominent socialites in Chennai sampled
De Bortoli‟s range of fine wines paired with a four course dinner. Live
instrumental music, blind tasting wine quiz along with gift hampers from
Courtyard by Marriott made the session more lively.
Michael Carter, Consul-Commercial & Trade Commissioner for
Australia to South India; Karan Berry, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott
and Captain Arjun Nair, President, Terroir – The Madras Wine Club spoke about
the initiatives undertaken by their institutions in promoting the wine culture
De Bortoli Wines
The event showcased fine wines from De Bortoli Wines, part
of „Australia‟s First Families of Wine‟.
De Bortoli Wines is a third generation family wine company
established by Vittorio and Giuseppina
De Bortoli in 1928. De Bortoli‟s wines have varietal detail
and reflect the site and season.
De Bortoli‟s wines are a produce from some of Australia‟s
best known wine regions across Victoria and New South Wales including the Yarra,
King, Hunter Valley & Riverina regions.
De Bortoli Wines are exported to over 80 countries,
including India. De Bortoli has an active presence across India and their wines
are available in select restaurants, hotels and retail outlets in Bangalore, New
Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
With more than 2000 wine producers in 60 designated wine
regions covering approximately 160,000 hectares, Australia is the 4th largest
wine exporter in the world. Australia has established benchmarks for a number of
varietals and major grape varieties in Australia includes Shiraz, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling.
The Wine tastings offers an excellent opportunity for
professionals from the hospitality, food & beverage businesses to sample
Australian wines, and explore opportunities for sourcing and offering Australian
wines in their hotels, restaurant chains, etc. For more information on accessing
Australia‟s supply capabilities across the spectrum of food and beverages,
please email to
1/50G, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021. Tel:
45756200 Fax: 41494491
Jagdish Holkar, president, All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA), said, "As the adage goes Charity begins from home, we approached representatives from the civil aviation ministry, defence and embassies seeking their help to promote domestic wine abroad. Representatives had accepted our proposal and have given us a three-month time period for the same."
Holkar added that the initiative will help in building a market for Indian wineries. According to recent figures, 2.3 crore litre of wine was not sold and also further elaborated that the plan will open up job offers to at least 25,000 families by 2020.
And it seems that winemakers have welcomed the plan. CEO of Sula Vineyards Rajeev Samant said, "We will be glad if the move is passed successfully. Wine is served the world over while flying and I see no reason why Indian wine should not be served on flights. Till a few years back, it was mandatory to serve only Indian wine at defence functions, which proved to be successful. This is an excellent move and I hope things go in our favour."
To begin with, only wines that have been selected by the Indian Grape processing board will be used.
More avenues for promoting Indian wine
Other ideas were also presented to boost the sale of Indian wines during the meeting:
Indian wines to be sold in Defence canteens
Central Police Canteens to also sell domestic wines
Ministry of External affairs to conduct wine tasting sessions to promote Indian wines
More: Mid Day
Waitrose becomes the first UK supermarket to stock Indian wines. Waitrose is featuring Ritu Viognier and Zampa Syrah (produced by United Breweries, a Vijay Mallya company) as part of the Waitrose World of Wine Showcase.
Waitrose describes UB’s Ritu Viognier as a ‘crisp, aromatic white wine with floral and peach aromas.’
Awards’ chairman Steven Spurrier thinks that the initiative by Waitrose points to a wider trend for Indian wine.
‘Indian restaurants have always been a natural for stocking Indian wine. But Waitrose doesn’t supply restaurants so they must think that the public is a natural for Indian wine too. And I think they’re right.
‘Indian wineries have spent the last five years improving their cellars. It’s all very recent and a lot of money is being invested.’
With a burgeoning middle class increasingly interested in wine, and punitive taxes on imported wine of up to 300% in some states, India has a good reason to increase domestic production of wine, Spurrier added. ‘The wineries are very much being supported by the government.’
The depressed wine and spirits beverage markets are beginning to sparkle again.
For those wanting to see an U turn in their fortunes should look towards India
to get their high growth rates on track.
The wine and spirits industry is on the path to recovery following a hard 2009
during which many markets were affected by the credit crunch, according to The
IWSR’s Forecast Report 2010-2015.
Several countries and categories are returning to stability or growth in 2010,
but the time and speed of recovery will vary considerably depending on local
The global spirits market will continue to grow, albeit at a more moderate rate
than in the five years leading up to 2009 – a CAGR of 1.4% is predicted between
2009 and 2015, down from 2.4% between 2004 and 2009. India and China are
expected to be the two fastest-growing markets for spirits globally and India
will overtake Russia to become the second-largest spirits market globally in
2013, at least on registered taxed sales. All spirits categories will show
growth in India in the forecast period, with vodka predicted to show the highest
percentage growth: 12% between 2009 and 2015. In China, Scotch will lead growth,
up by 7.8% to reach 2.8m cases in 2015. The US is predicted to be the third
fastest-growing market worldwide until 2015; the vodka market alone is likely to
gain over 12m cases.
Most spirits categories will see more moderate growth until 2015 than they have
in the last five years. This is largely due to the cautious spending behaviour
adopted by consumers after the economic recession took its toll on many markets.
Rum and whisk(e)y are expected to gain share of the overall spirits market,
while vodka’s share will decline.
Whisk(e)y is expected to see the highest increase in percentage terms, gaining
around 100m cases over the next five years. The booming market in India is
leading the growth with Indian molasses-based whisky. Scotch consumption will
grow at a rate of 1.2% until 2015, compared to a 2004-2009 CAGR of 1%. As
consumers are switching to Scotch from other categories such as aniseed, beer
and even wine, and larger bottle sizes are growing in popularity, France is
forecast to show the strongest volume growth in Scotch over the next five years.
Due to its growing popularity among young people and its fashionable image in
many key markets, rum will continue to increase at a similar CAGR as that of the
previous five-year period. After a difficult year in 2009, more premium products
are expected to return to growth in the long term.
The global vodka market will grow at a CAGR of 0.7%, returning to gradual growth
after falling marginally between 2004 and 2009 (-0.1%). Consumption of vodka in
Germany is expected to outgrow that in the UK, while India is likely to overtake
both Germany and the UK to become one of the top five markets for vodka
worldwide by 2015. Despite repeated claims to the contrary, the vodka market in
the US continues to develop well and growth is expected to be strong in the
future. By 2015, more than every third bottle (35.1%) of spirits sold in the US
will be vodka.
In spirits generally, the super-premiumand- above price segments are likely to
see the highest increases in percentage terms, as consumers will be more
confident and able to trade up once again. The recovery of the on-premise
markets should also help the growth of this segment.
On the other hand, the food and beverage (F&B) market in India is worth nearly
$230 billion and it has experienced a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of
nearly 20 per cent over the past few years. With the likes of Pepsi, Coke and
Parle dominating consumption the per capita consumption remains very poor on
account of the majority of the people living below the poverty line. The
unorganised sector is unable to penetrate the market.
Although over 100 billion litres of non-alcoholic beverages are consumed by
Indians every year, the number could be nearly double. With health concerns on
the rise the demand for soft drinks is falling. Beverages like lassi a liquid
yoghurt with sugar and buttermilk meet their taste requirements and considered
healthy and useful for digestion.
Fruit drinks are also perceived to have high sugar content and sugar free juices
have not been able to penetrate the market because of high pricing. Cheap fruit
drinks are available at every street corner and satisfy the needs for a cool
refreshing drink. Energy or sports drinks are not easily available and the price
and taste cannot boost huge volumes and are best suitable for the high end
market. Drinking orange juice or that of any citrus fruit is not a habit by most
Indians preferring their morning cuppa. Despite the challenges, India's
organised non-alcoholic beverage sector still presents opportunities. Nearly 90
per cent of trade in India is considered “traditional” or grocers. The food
processing industry is trying to get its act together with newer and fresher
juices at a reasonable price to penetrate the market.