Indian youth gets more attracted to wineMay 22nd, 2009 - 11:05 am ICT by IANS
By Amrah Ashraf
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Sameer Singh, 24, says he loves to pamper his girlfriend with a bottle of crisp wine - what he calls the “official beverage for romance”. At other times, after a long day at work, Singh often pops open a bottle over dinner to sit back and unwind.
“Wine is meant to be enjoyed with great food, great friends, family - at the end of a long day it helps you unwind,” Singh, a corporate executive, told IANS.
For many youngsters like Singh, wine is fast turning into their drink of preference over whisky or rum.
“I used to drink whisky earlier - but not any more. Wine is my drink now - I guess that’s also because I go for business luncheons and dinners, where others around me drink wine,” Singh said.
The youthward movement of the Indian wine market is evident, say experts.
Subhash Arora, the president of the Delhi Wine Club, said he had observed that more and more youngsters are joining the club.
“In the last five years, we have seen a paradigm shift in our membership. Earlier our club saw members in the 40s but now more and more youngsters are joining.
“Drinking wine has a lot to do with the culture and upbringing. Youth is attracted to wine because it is fashionable and a smart thing to pursue,” Arora told IANS.
He added that young women are also taking to wine.
“Pursuing wine is all about fine taste and refined choices. These days a lot of women are intrigued by the growing wine culture. Instead of a mere fashion statement, women are learning the intricacies of wine tasting.”
Linda Viviani, a winemaker from Napa Valley in the US, said: “Youngsters have more disposable income - this has led to a drastic change in the lifestyle quotient of the youth.” She wants to invest in the Indian market and was here recently in this regard.
“The luxury market is expanding dramatically in India and the consumption of wine has increased almost three times since 2004,” she said.
Indians drank 1.5 million nine-litre wine cases in 2008-09. These figures are likely to triple by 2015, said Viviani.
Most youngsters prefer red wine over white or rose. Wine makers in India have been taking giant strides in recent years, and it’s now chic to drink wine produced in this country. However, the import market is still huge, led by the French, Australians and Italians.
Nixon Dimello, the national marketing head of Grover Vineyards, a Bangalore-based wine producing company that is one of the largest in India, told IANS : “Our market has grown stupendously in the last few years and the major credit goes to youth who are lapping on to wines quickly.
“Youth today are conscious of their image in society and wine is more acceptable.”
Dimello said more and more women are becoming wine drinkers. “Women go for it because it’s dignified and fashionable.”
Neeraj Sachdeva, a wine retailer with the Lakesforest Wines, one of the largest in Delhi, said as wine is a celebration drink, youngsters go for it.
“Our sales have increased 100 percent since last year. We have reduced our profit margins and increased volumes because the consumption has increased. The increase is also because more youngsters are converting into regular buyers and consumers.
“The youth is interested in wine and enjoys buying wine for special occasions. It’s a celebration drink and classy,” Sachdeva said.
P. Vivek, a 23-year-old graphic artist, says: “Wine is one of the very few drinks that one can savour and experience the richness of. It has no discernible flaw.”
“The aroma of red wine which is popularly known as ‘anarkali’ is intoxicating and goes very well with Indian food. It’s a treat for your palate,” said 25-year-old Amreen, an event manager.
“I enjoy drinking wine with my girlfriends because it’s classy and chic and they all love it. Wine looks more sophisticated, plus it feels feminine and empowering,” she said, raising her fluted glass in a toast.
(Amrah Ashraf can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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