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Delhi Wine Club
Wine May Become Argentina’s National Drink

Posted: Monday, 25 October 2010 12:49

Wine May Become Argentina’s National Drink

Whereas Indian politicians and bureaucrats have still not been able to delink wine from liquor, Argentina, one of the largest New World wine producing nations currently making a push into India for its value-for-money wines, and celebrating its bicentenary is likely to announce wine  as a national drink this year.

“President Cristina Kirchner will declare this year, year of Argentina’s bicentenary, that wine is a national drink. This because of our long tradition with this production and because several provincial governors have been requesting it on behalf of one of the leading industries in several of those areas”, said Agriculture, Livestock, Food and Fisheries minister Julian Dominguez.

Although there has not been any reaction from the Office of the President, and the Honourable Minister known to have made several impetuous statements according to media reports, the step seems to be imminent to boost the status and image of the Latin American neighbour of Chile and to continue pushing the exports aggressively.

It is interesting to know that the Indian Agriculture Minister Mr Sharad Pawar had pronounced a few years ago that wine was a food product and should be treated as such but the political compulsions made him backtrack, never to take that high road again. Talking of the President, it is mandatory not to serve alcoholic drinks including wine-even Indian wine, at State Banquets although a significant number (possibly a majority) of bureaucrats and the political leaders drink alcohol clandestinely in private. It was not shocking when a present minister spotted with a glass of wine at a party said in a lighter vein that the evening could be his last as a minister after the media reported the incident.

India is the new kid on the block in the wine world but Argentina is a big New World producer of wine, second only to the USA, according to a report by Paris based OIV. US produced 20.6 million hL of wine last year while Argentina produced 13.9 million hL. Australia trailed at 11.7 million hL, South Africa at 9.9 million and Chile at 8.8 million hL according to the report in Mercopress.

The wine industry in Argentina is going through a boom period. Bottled quality wine consumption and exports have soared, Argentina has also been capitalizing on the image of its signature varietal Malbec and has been encouraging wine tourism- basically tours of the areas where the industry has been updating with the spectacular Andes mountains in the background.

After years of apathy towards the Indian market, the Argentine producers have now trained their guns towards India where the importers and consumers have been looking for value-for-money wines and are making foothold gradually with several new labels like Molambo having done very well in the last couple of years.


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