March 21: Launched at SulaFest 2020 where young millennials could be seen drinking the Dia Red and Dia White Wine Sparklers in a Can (WIC), the low cost, low alcohol Frizzante was another first from Sula Vineyards known for its pioneering status in many segments of the Indian wine industry, especially in introducing varietals, wine tourism, screwcaps and sustainability. It has paved way for other producers to introduce WIC, writes Subhash Arora who feels it has opened a new uncharted territory that will help expand the wine market
Though it was introduced in the Mumbai market a couple of weeks before the formal launch at SulaFest 2020, several young people were seen chilling with the fizzy and chilled Dia White and Dia Red sparklers directly from the cans, as if it were Beer-in-a-can. The can does look like a beer/cola can because of its 330 mL size. It is a low alcohol alternative with 8% alcohol.
The most important part in canning is the inside lining. Karan Vasani, says the Chief Winemaker at Sula. He adds that the quality team worked with a Can company in Aurangabad for 6 months before approving and accepting only after several sample trials and certifications. Sula already has been producing both white and red (Shiraz) sparkling wines for the last few years.
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Dia is available currently in Maharashtra, Goa and West Bengal and has reportedly done very well in these markets. It has made several other brands like Fratelli and Casablanca joining in the race and grab a share of the expanding market. The canned wine market is growing very fast with younger consumers preferring wines on-the-go because of the convenience. Cans are also easily recyclable, lighter and easy to transport, saving on the carbon footprints as well and are ideal for picnics, banquets and parties for the young where they can be exposed to wine through a low alcohol entry.
Like food products, it is important to have Instagram-able packaging for wines today. Dia contemporizes the tradition perfectly with its sleek and Instagram-able packaging. It needs no corkscrews or decanting. Just chill the can (strongly recommended), crack it open and drink-up. These wines are recommended to be consumed young.
Also Read: SulaFest 2020: Sula introduces Dia Wine-in-Can (WIC) bubblies
Spumante or Frizzante
Dia in the Can is an ‘Italian style Spumante wine’ according to Sula but in reality it is a Frizzante by definition at 2.8 -3 bar pressure, as confirmed by Vasani. Any sparkler with a pressure of 2.5-3.5 bars is technically a Frizzante while 5-6 bars pressure makes it a Spumante (Think Champagne, Prosecco or Cava). Today’s technology makes it difficult to package Spumante in the cans.
The standard can of 330 mL is available at Rs. 180 and may be shared between two people, making it Rs. 80 a glass of 150 mL, an affordable alternative to beer. Sula targets around 150,000-200,000 cans yearly. The nationwide lockdown announced in March 2020 was a big blow for the wine industry as restaurants, bars, and even retail shops were shut. Despite the marketing difficulties, Dia claims to have done really well and 2021 looks even more promising.
The low cost is an attractive factor for the youth although the slightly sparkling and sweetish feeling is pleasant too and makes it a preferred mate with spicy Indian food. The low alcohol content is the unique factor, making it a beautiful entry level supermarket wine, even though tad high in sugar; 60 gms residual/ liter compared to 12-15 gms/ liter for Sula’s off -dry Chenin Blanc. Yes, the wine needs to be polished off while young and can be stored in a fridge as well- or even the freezer for 30 minutes before opening.
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Dia WIC (Wine-in-Can) Red and White have a unique position, where the youth and the urban smart woman can pick up a beautifully labelled can as a personal drink on any occasion. But don't expect it to be a 5-star performer. It is a nice, fruity, wine-cooler like, low alcohol wine the young, especially women can drink whenever they want.
Only red and white variants are available right now? Can the Rose be far behind? Unfortunately, it is not available in Delhi right now but hopefully, the winery will look at the market requirement and register it in 2021-22.
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