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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, October 06 2009. 10:21

Tesco promotes Smaller Wine Bottles

The UK supermarket Tesco is featuring 500 mL size wine bottles this month as an experiment, ostensibly to promote responsible drinking but in fact, making decent wines more affordable for its customers during the tough economic conditions.

The initiative is possible in collaboration with two New World producers from Chile and Australia. Concha Y Toro, the biggest Chilean wine company whose Casillero di Diablo labels are very popular not only in off-trade in UK but also in India in restaurants as well as off-trade.  Both the ubiquitous popular labels, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are available in half liter bottles (500 mL- two thirds the normal size of a bottle).

Similarly Australian Vintage (remember the company that won the legal case against Indage Vintners last month for not completing the purchase of their Luxton winery?) is offering two labels- the McGuigan Grey Label Chardonnay as well as Shiraz.

Both the producers believe the 500 mL category is an “expansive and innovative solution to the trade, which has been advocated by the Indian Wine Academy for quite some time, along with the 375 mL bottles for the simple reason that the duties make these wines very expensive and if 1-2 people order a bottle in a restaurant or open in the house, there is a lot of potential wastage-an economic factor that cannot be overlooked in the context of the Indian market where most of the wines are to be drunk young anyway; one is not too concerned with the ageability which is better, as the size gets bigger - a magnum always ages better than a regular bottle.

According to several online reports, these four labels are available in 600 Tesco Express stores across the UK. The two wines from each producer are on a 3-for-£10 promotion, allowing customers to mix and match between wines to gain full benefit from the promotion.

No matter what the sales results are, this is a good size to add to the sale in the Indian market.  When delWine recommended the Austria Laurenz V Grüner Veltliner in edition no. 309 on June 18 this year, one reason was that it was an excellent option for India.

The move may even offer the importers to segregate their markets for off-trade and on-trade. Importers like Global Tax Free, who imports Concha y Toro and their Argentine Trivento labels in India, would do well to follow up with their principals and get the first mover advantage.


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