Wines flow, gourmet food galore at IFE India 2007

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New Delhi, Dec 9: With gold prices going north, a wine with 23-carat gold flakes caught everyone's attention at the International, Food, Drink and Hospitality (IFE, India) Exhibition 2007 here.

Made from special grapes, found only in Austria, Canada and some parts of Germany, the wine is expected to make way into the country this new year. ''The price will be priced at about Rs 15,000.'' Austrian Specialty Merchandising Agency representative Maris said.

India is already witnessing a larger acceptance of the wine culture and global wine manufacturers are now making a bee-line for entry into the country.

The exhibition saw more than 250 exhibitors from 21 countries, including France, the UK, Austria, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Singapore displaying the best wines, cheese, sweets and snacks.

The focus was on collaborations and setting of distribution channels.

The makers were always confused with the wines that would go with Indian foods which was essentially oily and spicy. UK-based Taylor and Shroff Ltd found the answer to this with their specially-developed wine which promises to be a great companion to Indian food and not kill the complexity and essence of wine. The wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillion and Viognier.

Company Vice-President (Marketing) Nainaz B Shroff said, ''our wines are strong products designed for the Indian market specifically. We have gone for Cherry, Ginger and traditional red wines which can be relished with Indian foods and used for cocktails, mocktails and so on. To compete with the spirits segment, the alcohol content of the wines has been raised from average 14 per cent to 17 per cent.'' The only Indian company displaying its wine was ND Wines. With its wineries at Nashik, the company already exports 12,000 bottles cases to Hong Kong and England. Priced at a modest range of Rs 330 to 490, the company expects to export to Singapore and Japan as well.

The Indian wine industry has been witnessing a growth rate of more than 30 per cent, as more and more Indians raise their glasses to the finest of the Indian and foreign vintage.

The wine industry has witnessed a CAGR of over 25 per cent during the last three years in the premium wine segment. According to estimates, Indians consume a total of over 5.26 lakh cases (each case measuring nine litres) annually. The figure is expected to touch nine million cases by 2010.

Apart from wines, few other gourmet food also received acclaim.

Korea had on display 'laver' or sushi-flavoured seaweed, while there were samosas and kachoris made by a UK company as well.

There was a lot available for the health conscious as well. From health spreads without cholestrol to energy drinks made from aloe vera, it was evident that global companies recognise the country as a major consumerist market.


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