My effort here is to pair Indian food with wine, I combine the precision flavour of a dish to the characteristics of wine.

Indian cuisine is famous for the wide variety, spices, rich flavor, beautiful colors and delicious taste.   Every part of the country has a different way of preparing dishes with different ingredients. There is a lot of variety in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine.

Main characteristics of indian food:

  1. There are more than 25 spices commonly used in making Indian cuisine. They are used in different combinations. Garam masala is a famous blend of spices. Popular spices include turmeric, chilly, ginger, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, cumin seeds, garlic, saffron, mace, fenugreek, caraway seeds, and poppy seeds.
  2. Lime juice, tamarind, tomatoes, kokum and yogurt is used to give sour taste to the dish.
  3. Spices or Masala are freshly prepared by grinding on stone.
  4. The mixture of onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes is used as a base to these spices for cooking.
  5. To make the curry rich coconut milk, cream and dry fruits are added.
  6. Fresh herbs is used for garnish, seasoning and tempering.

Each individual has their own unique preference of food and wine, and when it comes to pairing the right wine with food is to enhance the dining experience.

Indian wine

Until recently, wine drinking was not a part of modern mainstream Indian culture (though wine was produced in India thousands of years back)

Quality Wine making started in India around 30 years ago

With a market size of 2.6 million cases (approx) our per capita consumption of wine in India is only 10 ml per annum

There are a total of 93 wine producing companies in the country till date with wineries mainly located in Maharashtra and Karnataka

1967: Shaw Wallace started its wine business with two wineries. Its wineries were in Hyderabad and in Bangalore having brands like Golconda Ruby Wine and Golconda White Wine.

1972: Indo-Italian joint venture of Bosca and Shaw Wallace (merged later as UB Group), was one of the oldest and only wine brand in the country till 1982.

1984: Grapes crushed and the launch of CHAMPAGNE INDAGE WINES under the leadership of Shyam Rao Chougule. In 1988 CHATEAU INDAGE was formed for Indian market.

1986: OMAR KHAYYAM, the Indian Sparkling wine from Champagne Indage, was launched in international market, infront of 100 journalists who couldn’t believe India was producing wine!

1992: GROVER VINEYARDS launched wines after 8 years of experimentation with 34 varieties in 3 different locations


1999: The Birth of the SULA sun

2001: MAHARASHTRA becomes 1st state to introduce Wine Policy. Objective –rationalize regulation, establish organisations, nurture young industry, provide financial support

2002 – 2006: DELHI WINE CLUB formed by Subhash Arora (2002); Reva Singh –SOMMELIER INDIA, first wine magazine (2005); BANGALORE WINE CLUB (2001); PUNE GOURMET CLUB (2006); CALCUTTA WINE CLUB (2008)

2006 – 2007: Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu introduce Wine Policy;

2006: UNITED SPIRITS LTD entered wine business with Bouvet-Ladubay. Launched INDIAN WINES with Zinzi (2007) and FOUR SEASONS (2008)

2007: KARNATAKA introduces Wine Policy

2008: 2 companies and 1 bank filed winding up request against Chateau Indage, and subsequent liquidation in 2011 after a legal battle. A major impact to the industry.

2009: INDIAN GRAPE PROCESSING BOARD set up to guarantee Quality production, promoting moderate wine consumption, consumer protection.


2008 >: Multiple winery projects launched –Fratelli, Charosa, Alpine, Krsma, SDU, etc.

New breed of wine owners appeared – Industrialists and businessmen who combined great passion for wine with good investments

As on date, Indian vineyards are 1.94% of Bordeaux vineyards (and even more miniscule in comparison to French vineyards), but growing at an exponential rate of 20%-30% each year

Major wine producers


Akluj, Maharashtra since 2006

600,000 litres per annum



Charose, Maharashtra since 2008;

500,000 litres per annum



Cuncolim, Goa 2006;

200,000 litres per annum

Brands: VARIETAL RANGE; Limited Edition

Major wine producers


Hampi Hills, Karnataka since 2010

25,000 litres per annum



Gauribidanur, Karnataka since 2003

150,000 litres per annum


four seasons: 

Baramati, Maharashtra since 2007

150,000 litres per annum


Wine consumption

Per capita in major countries

france:   73 litres

italy:   62 litres

U.K:   20 litres

U.S.A:   8 litres

china:   0.4 litres

italy:   0.01 litres

World (avg):   4 litres

beer (World avg):   24.6 litres

spirits (World avg):   3.04 litres

wine (World avg):   4.23 litres

Wine production

ajor wine producing countries (in million Hectolitre)

italy:   48.8

france:   41.9

spain:   37.8

U.S.A:   22.5

australia:   12.5

china:   11.5

chile:   10.1

south africa:   9.1

In total the world produced 259 million hectolitres in 2016. World consumption is estimated at 240 million hectolitres.

Consumer segment


  • Into Wine, knows his Zins from his Cabs (Chardonnay vs Chablis)
  • Understands the rituals and ceremony around wine-drinking (room temperature)
  • Wine as a symbol of discernment & sophistication


  • Upwardly mobile and youthful.
  • Seeking out symbols of status.
  • Keen to learn & understand the nuances of wine.
  • Over time a few could evolve into connoisseurs.
  • Conscious about choice of drink depending on occasion.
  • Represent the largest cluster


  • Constraint driven -Chooses wine on occasions when he/she perceives spirits to be socially unacceptable.
  • Chooses wine for its non-negatives and not as much for its positives.
  • Not seeking the rituals and complexities.

Indian Market


  • Consumers are more exposed to international trends and have a higher propensity to spend.
  • Consumers are more keen to experiment with new products.
  • Wine is seen as a lifestyle drink with class & sophistication.
  • Wine is seen as being better for health.
  • Changing role of women in society / workplace.
  • Wine provides a ‘shared space’ between couples.
  • Government Support –Maharashtra & Karnataka -Subsidies, Low interest rates, Levies, Licensing procedures, Wine promotions
  • Current consumption is just 10ml per capita


  • Less awareness and knowledge about how to enjoy wine, how to store, what to eat, etc.
  • Wine as a symbol of discernment & sophistication
  • Relatively high consumer price, due to high taxation.
  • Perception of being a RICH man’s drink excludes the MASSES.
  • Perception of being an OLD man’s drink excludes the YOUTH.
  • Perception of being a ‘LOW ALCOHOL’ drink excludes many ‘effect-seekers’
  • Storage conditions are sub-optimal along the supply chain.

Future trends

  • More people will prefer to ‘drink in’ –The trend of drinking out shifting to drinking in, more Gen ‘X’ would prefer a quiet night at their home with wine and entertainment. Also hosting dinners pairing food and wine at home.
  • Demand for organic wines to grow-there will be a demand for natural wines meaning the grapes which are grown without use of chemicals and not harming the ecology of the soil.
  • Trendy Packaging to attract millennials -interesting packaging in the coming months; it will be more hip, trendy with use of more graphic designs to excite the younger crowd.
  • ‘Wine slushies’ to become a thing in the summers-The summer might see Wine Slushies –For the summer, wine slushies are a perfect recipe. Blending wine, fruit, and ice into a refreshing frozen drink. This recently caught the attention of the DIY consumers globally along with wine cocktails.
  • Boomers and Gen-exersgo for the ‘Cool Quotient’

what could’ve been different

  • Cool Climate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewurztraminer did not grow well in India. Some farmers/companies did make small quantities but the quality and economic viability of it were always a suspect.
  • Certain red wine varieties which should have normally done well in India, as they grow well in warm climates, for inexplicable reasons, were not a success –eg Grenache, Merlot.
  • We never got to implement Per Vine Yield and remain to focus largely on Per Acre Yield. This has impact on quality of fruit wine.
  • We seem to have more experts than consumers.
  • People who came into wine business were not ideally the best of the people to be there in term sof technical knowhow and expertise, in most of the cases.
  • Most wineries did not understand the concept that it is possible to make bad wine from good grapes, but virtually impossible to make good wine from bad grapes

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