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Indian Wines Waltzing Away at Waitrose

Posted: Tuesday, 20 September 2011 16:43

Indian Wines Waltzing Away at Waitrose

Sep 20 : Despite lukewarm British reviews from critics and experts the two Indian wines, Ritu White and Zampa Red are reportedly flying off the shelves of British chain of supermarkets, Waitrose and could become a fixture after coming close to selling out in record time, despite their perceived high prices

Although wine experts have questioned their quality and suggested the popularity is due to their novelty value, some of those trying to buy the wines have found their local stores were already out of stock, according to a report in Guardian on Sunday. It was encouraging to notice two articles in the same paper on the same day, speaking highly of the perceived interest among their readers and wine drinkers.

The two wines imported and being distributed by Waitrose are Ritu Viognier 2010 white  and Zampa Syrah 2008 red, both produced in Maharashtra. Both are discounted in price as part of the supermarket's autumn promotion, with the white initially costing £6.99 and the red £8.49. However,the report erroneously quotes both wines coming from the global spirits and beer company United Breweries, owned by Vijay Mallya. While Ritu is produced by Four Seasons Wines (the Indian wine label Four Seasons has been rechristened as Ritu)- a part of the UB group, Zampa is owned by three partners two of whom are ex- senior employees of UB group who were quite close aides of Mallya till a few years ago.

To the supermarket's great surprise, both labels have been selling strongly although the white was closer to being ‘sold out’ says the report. "Sales far exceeded expectations so we are looking at adding them permanently to our wine range," according to Waitrose. The run was in part sparked by BBC1's Saturday Morning Kitchen, which recommended the wine to partner a curry dish.

‘Earlier this month, Waitrose became the first UK supermarket to stock the little-known brands from the sub-continent as part of a showcase of unusual wines from across the world,’ reads the report even though Champagne Indage reportedly used to export Omar Khayyam, the export version of the local sparkling wine, Marquis  de Pompadour  more than a decade ago. Indage is under bankruptcy and is hardly in a mood to contradict.

Another article in the same day edition of Guardian concedes that in the past decade, a flood of investment, rapid growth in the number of wineries and an influx of foreign expertise have taken the industry from the tentatively experimental to something much more credible and the wines have certainly improved.

It looks like Indian wines are waltzing away in England and soon will be rocking and rolling.



Abhay Says:

Subhash, Just to clarify,on the point of lukewarm response from wine experts.There is just one journalist who has expressed his apprehension about quality,as it comes from unknown country for wine like India. Nobody has really written negative about wines having. tasted them prior. Waitrose has a team of qualified Wine Masters,and they put their money where their palate is. To me that supersedes all. The response from 150 participants in 'Saturday Kitchen Live' says it all. Regards, Abhay

Posted @ September 26, 2011 14:40


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