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Bangalore Heading for a Dry X-mas

As if things weren't bad enough with the global meltdown and the Mumbai attacks resulting in a disastrous December for the food and beverage trade across India, those few ex-pats and foreign tourists remaining in Bangalore for Christmas are facing their driest Christmas ever, reports Maureen Kerleau from Bangalore.

Since the KSBCL's recent decision to increase the tax on imported and out of state Indian wines, hardly any wine has been released from the state distribution warehouse (it seems very much like a repeat of this autumn's Maharashtra scenario).

The city's top restaurants and retailers are totally out of any type of wine and for weeks now have literally had to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The ex-pat crowd that represents a large proportion of the city's restaurant-goers is being given the choice of a couple of very expensive, also very old Bordeaux wines at 10,000 Rs (only two left in the cellar the waiter tells me) or two Indian reds (and not the best at that).

That's a difficult choice for a wine lover from Britain or France – and more often than not, results in the guests resorting to a beer.

It is rumoured that supplies are slowly being released again only a few days before Christmas, too late for the traditional farewell parties held before leaving to celebrate back home, but as yet not a bottle of decent Bordeaux has been in sight;  not even the ex-pats'  favourite Sula Sauvignon Blanc for that matter.

One wonders what they have been serving at all those lavish wedding parties – back to Scotch I suppose. One thing is certain though – this will keep even more people from visiting Bangalore's five-stars and restaurants over Christmas. They will probably bring out those precious few bottles from under the stairs and roast a chicken or just leave for Singapore!

Maureen Kerleau

Maureen Kerleau of Britain has been actively involved with the wine scene in India for the past 3 years. She now lives in Bangalore with her French husband. She is a wine trainer, producers' rep  and consultant and writes about the Bangalore happenings for delWine-editor

 

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