I walked into Godrej Nature’s Basket in Andheri West, a suburb of Mumbai yesterday along with my wife.
While she went shopping, I walked around the small super market and was surprised to find a full-fledged wine store. It was located in a temperature controlled area, and had plenty of wines.
So I looked around, but was immediately drawn to a notice board announcing special offers.
With wine prices in India at where they are, it is not at all surprising if shoppers look for special offers.
I started talking to the storekeeper, who I expected would have some knowledge of what he is selling.
Surprisingly, he was – normally the guys in wine stores do not understand what they are selling, as has been my experience in India.
But this guy was pretty decent – he suggested the Vin & Vouloir range of wines which were going at 50% discount (one for one actually). So, I asked him what he would recommend – the red or the white. He said the white would be good, but the red has seen the maximum offtake – shoppers are coming back for the red. So, I asked him further about the white wine – he said that the Chenin Blanc would be fruity and sweet, and I might like it. Yes, I do 🙂 and my wife does :).
However, I bought two bottles of Vin & Vouloir Shiraz 2012, at INR 660 (USD 12) for two – translating to INR 330 or USD 6 per bottle. At that kind of price, I thought it could not be bad. It was not.
I was a bit worried, but the Shiraz turned out to be a good buy. It was a bit spicy with berry fruit flavours. My wife also liked the wine with her more discerning taste.
This vineyard is a new discovery. I liked the Shiraz – it is difficult to like Indian Shiraz as I had written earlier in one of my blog posts. On the red wine side, I usually start with a Shiraz before moving on to heavier grapes like Cabernet. And so far, I haven’t found a great Indian Shiraz.
While Vin & Vouloir is not a “great” Shiraz it is not bad either. It is a good one, and I only hope that the prices would stay around what I purchased them for. V & V do not have brand power, and that is the reason why they were probably giving away at 50% off. But if they raise their prices, they would fail, as has happened frequently in the Indian wine space. My expectation is that a good Indian wine (I would rather say “decent” Indian wine) should not cost more than USD 8, at best USD 10. The Indian wine industry is making serious errors of judgement by pricing some of their wines at double this range or even more, just because they think they have been around long enough to justify the individual premiums.
That is a big mistake in a non-wine-drinking country.
Well, branding and marketing is for the individual vineyards to figure out. But I have come to the conclusion that V & V is a good vineyard, so I was not surprised when my wife asked me to repeat the purchase today (less than 24 hours), which I promptly did !
9th September 2012