Wine consumption has gone through a paradigm shift with globally travelled people and wide adoption of western culture. Today, serving and drinking wine has become a part of the culture. Seeing this growth, not only bars and pubs but restaurants have also started serving wine along.
According to a research by Technopak, it is estimated that wine in India has penetrated only 1-2 million individuals resulting in a very low per capita consumption at the national level. The global per capita consumption of wine is estimated at 4 litre per annum while the Indian figure stands at 4.6 millilitres. According to industry estimates, the per capita consumption has gone up and is estimated to be 9-10 millilitres per annum.
People do not prefer a simple non-alcoholic drink when out for a dinner or lunch. Popular choices have gone beyond the simple drink preferences and wine consumption is on high today. Experts say people are trying the alcoholic drink that is not only made in India but has an international tag attached. For example, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) is on high demand by the local people.
As per Raj, Manager, 10 Downing Street, a multi-cuisine bar in Chandigarh, “At our restaurant about 60 percent of the people prefer alcoholic beverages when they come for dining. Wine consumption is though low limiting to the corporate, old and the ladies.”
Commenting on the same, Lalit Sharma, Restaurant Manager, Ramada Gurgaon Central, says, “People with their family and women are the one who prefer wine mostly. The demand goes higher on weekends among the ladies.”
Popular wine themes
The variety of wines offered by restaurants and the type of wine menus depends on the complexity of the restaurant operation with reference to their price point, cuisine and style of service. For example, a fine dining restaurant will have a much more defined wine menu while a casual dining will have a smaller menu. Some other wines that are a hit today are ‘new world wines’ apart from the traditional Indian wines.
Manish Kumar Baheyti, Owner, Haute Services Pvt Ltd says, “The thumb rule is that any restaurant which offers wines should offer white, red, rose and sparkling wine. A casual restaurant or a QSR might only offer red and white wines as it depends on the cuisine they serve.”
Speaking on the same, Huzoor Ahmad, General Manager, The BrewMaster, says, “Imported wine from France is a big hit in India apart from this old wines are commonly used at restaurants and bars.”
Price of a wine depends on its quality and brand. If the wine is imported and has a tag for an international brand it will cost much more than the local wine. Generally the cost of wine is between Rs 1200 to Rs 25,000 depending on the quality and the type of restaurant you are taking wine in.
Know the suppliers
The beverage industry is excelling in the market with people visiting restaurants regularly. About 70 percent of people prefer to have wine or other alcoholic beverages when they are out. With this the increases in the suppliers have also increased in the city. Hotels like Ramada Hotel Gurgaon Central, The BrewMaster and Chi Kitchen and Bar get the wine supplies from the local suppliers.
Speaking on the same, Baheyti, says, “Restaurants source local wines from authorised distributors and get the international brands from importers.”
According to Praful Maru, Director, Flags Restaurant, Milestone, Brinco, “Candy Wines (typical wine supplier) are few of the suppliers who supply international wine in the country apart from Sonary Wines (typical wine supplier) which supplies local taste”.
Starting a restaurant and serving food is much easier than a restaurant serving wine along with the food. A restaurant and a bar go through certain legalities before serving wine at their places. There are two kind of licenses offered in Delhi, one is wine and beer license (due to their low alcohol content and the other is a license for running a full fledged bar.
Speaking on the difficulty faced while getting a license for the bar here in Delhi, Virender Kumar, Restaurant Manager, Chi Kitchen and Bar, says, “We went through many legal aspects. Getting licenses from Delhi Police to Municipal Corporation was very difficult.”
“But today it is very easy to open a bar in India. It depends on each state govt and the Delhi govt is very accommodating towards giving licenses as Delhi is the capital city of the country which has people from all over the world and running a bar here in Delhi is not that difficult, he adds.”
For running a bar and a pub, the license requires spending approximately Rs 15,000 to Rs 20, 000 and is approved within a week to a month depending on the legalities that the bar goes through.
By analysing the alcohol consumption of the Indian consumer, it can be said that traditionally consumers were more inclined towards spirits and beer, while wine has been steadily gaining acceptance now than ever.