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Wine Society of India Launched in Delhi

Mumbai based Wine Society of India was officially launched yesterday in Delhi with Steven Spurrier mesmerising an audience of over 300 invitees at Hotel Imperial, followed by a  tasting of  wines from France, South Africa, Chile and Portugal. Subhash Arora reports.

David Banford
It was the first visit to Delhi for Steven Spurrier, the well-known columnist from London, universally famous for the Paris and Berlin Tastings, 'and certainly not my last visit to the beautiful city-especially the hotel', as he said.

The Society has enrolled about 1050 members with 700 from Mumbai and the rest from Bangalore', said Steven. To maintain the membership one has to commit to buy 2 shipments of 6 bottles of wine each, costing between Rs. 5000-10,000 each, from a fixed portfolio mailed every quarter. The membership offers many complimentary benefits.

In a chat with delWine, Steven said, 'the objective of the launch is to feel the Delhi wine market. From the presence here and meeting several people, I feel there will be a good response from Delhi.' 'Starting with a membership of a little over a hundred in January this year, the membership increased to 500 in June, with the current figures at over 1000. We hope to reach the figure of 5000 by April next year,' he added.

India born globe-trotter David Banford, the CEO and the working brain behind the Society (which has nothing to do with the Wine Society in UK) said 'we are here to gauge the market and find out what the people really want. We plan to learn and then decide what is good for the market.We believe there is thirst for wine knowledge and there is space for us here.'

Steven Spurrier
The Society is owned through an equal financial participation by Steven and David who hold a simple majority with the help of a few friends- the UB group owning the balance. 'UB has no interference or interest in running the company,' clarified Steven. 'In fact, I am also really an emotional partner-David is the one who really looks after running of the company,' he admitted.

The presentation was followed by wine tastings from a few importers who are either supplying or hope to supply wines to the company. Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, was reserved for the members while all the other wines including the Kevin Arnold Shiraz 2001 from Waterford Estate, both from Stellenbosch and being imported by The Wine Rack, Mumbai and Pink Elephant Rose were for all the invitees. Both the South African wines were really enjoyable with many loving the pink panther from Portugal too .

Another interesting presence was from the Burgundy based Bouchard Ainé & Fils owned by J C Boisset, which is now being imported and distributed by UB and currently being launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. The General Manager and Brand Ambassador of the company, Jacques Dioque who has come to India for the launch was also present at the tasting.

For a previous related article, visit http://www.indianwineacademy.com/item_7_252.aspx

Subhash Arora
October 11, 2008

 

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