India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Sweet Paradox from Yellow Tail

Posted: Tuesday, 06 September 2011 14:02

Sweet Paradox from Yellow Tail

September 06 : Indian wine drinkers have not yet entered the seductive world of dessert wines but the producers and importers could take a useful tip from the Aussie producer of the brand leader Yellow Tail, which has an order of 300,000 cases of sweet Moscato wines and could sell a million cases in the USA this year, writes Subhash Arora who chatted with his colleague at MundusVini and Senior Brand Manager of Casella Wines, Travis Fuller.

The world of sweet wines is full of exotic wines like Icewine, Beerenauslese (BA), TrockenBeerenAuslese (TBA), Vin Santo and several other wines made from late harvest grapes, drying  in the open or on straws,  sweet Ports and Sherries and even sweet to very sweet sparkling wines including Moscato d’Asti as a part of the wide spectrum. This is because drinking a small glass of sweet wine with or as dessert comes naturally to drinkers breathing in the wine culture.

However, the only choice available in India is a late harvest Chenin Blanc from Sula, Big Banyan and Vinsura with the hordes of producers waiting in the wings for the time when the market opens up for this yet-to-be-discovered territory. But surprisingly, the white wines being produced contain a higher level of sugar than in most countries.

There is a change in that trend in the USA. My ears perked up when Travis Fuller, a judging colleague in MundusVini, who is also the Senior Brand Manager of Casella Wines- the second biggest Australian wine exporter behind Treasury Wine Estates - told me that they had received an order of Moscato wine for a million cases but would be unable to meet the demand due to non-availability of the grapes.

‘We are going crazy planting the Moscato grapes and buying as much as possible from outside to meet a potential sale of a million cases,’ says Fuller. Interestingly they produce 16 labels and yet this is the first time this style of wine- with a sugar content of around 35 gms/liter- is being added to their portfolio with an initial order of 300,000 cases.

Talking of the latest trends in the US market, Travis says, ‘’our research shows that there is a burgeoning new class of women drinkers between the age of 35-45 years who like to have their wines sweet and with low alcohol; our Moscato has only 7% alcohol. During the last 6 months alone 12 new Moscato have been launched. Interesting part is that the wine is adding new consumers to the market rather than cutting into the share of other wines. There seems to be a general feeling of health consciousness in women in the US and they seem to prefer low alcohol wines.’

Casella Wines produces about 12.5 million cases of wine out of which 8.5 millions are sold in the US through a partner distributor W J Deutsch which has been an extremely dynamic company and a major part in the success of their wines which typically retail for $6.99. Although there was a reduction of Aussie wine exports by 15% last year according to Wine Biz, Casella grew in the US from 8 million to 8.5 million cases last year, contrary to a few reports in the press that it had been losing a chunk of the market due to recession.  Australian companies have been facing a sales crunch due to increasing production and glut of grapes. During this 10th anniversary year, Casella plans to increase its sales to 9 million cases in the US, a bulk of which coming through the additional sales of this Moscato wines.

In India, the ubiquitous Chenin Blancs have a sugar content of up to 25gms/liter (keeping in view the new drinkers and as it goes better with the hot Indian curries) though a few producers are also offering a beautiful, elegant , dry version of the wine too. Several importers, the most notable being Torres, are already importing this style of wine but with a lukewarm response. One reason could be that Yellow Tail is making this Moscato in the frizzante version- keeping the carbon dioxide in the bottle by Charmat method and bottling with screw-cap, making it a lower alcohol, zingy wine- a perfect match for Indian food as the bubbles keep on cleaning the palate without one realizing.

With several producers in India targeting the youth market, they could well develop this style of wine for the young drinkers and women, in a frizzante style. It would also be interesting to see how the initial public response would be in India as Farhad Bhabha, MD of their importing company Berkmann Cellars India has just ordered it and expects it to be on the shelves in a couple of months. It would cost the same as other varietals like Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay etc- Rs.1400 MRP in Mumbai and Rs.850 in Gurgaon (prices are negotiable in Mumbai and Gurgaon, if the quantities are large) and Rs. 1350 in Delhi.

What would also create a new market and one would find extremely interesting to taste also is a Pink Moscato in the offing-again to create a new market in the US. ‘It is a Moscato only but with a touch of Shiraz to give colour and a bit of body and complexity,’ says Travis. 

In the meanwhile the exotic sweet wines like Icewine, TBA and Vin Santo etc will have to wait a while longer till the Indian palates evolve.

Subhash Arora


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet