Wine Buying Tips
We wish buying wine in India was remotely an experience as the above image from a shop we visited in Bordeaux. In stark contrast, buying wines in India is anything but an experience. They maybe called Wine Shops but most of the business comes from beer and spirits which gives most shops no incentive to care about wines. That combined with the fact that most of them do not have proper storage, makes it even worse. Here are a few points to keep in mind for your next purchase!
1. Pick your shop carefully. We hardly have any wine retail experience in the country apart from outlets like Godrej Natures Basket, Living Liquidz, Wine Society of India and an upcoming store from FineWinesnMore. Apart from a few other outlets in the city, rest of them will have no sort of quality control in terms of storage and will not even understand if you want to return a wine in case it was spoilt.
2. Old wines are not always the best option. Specially with Indian wines, make sure the vintage is not more than 2-3 years old. Most Indian wines, including red wines are not meant to age. If a wine has a screw cap, that’s a good indication that it should be consumed now.
3. Do not ask the wine shop for suggestions. Sadly, people at most wine shops have no wine training and will blindly suggest you wines on which they are getting an incentive from the producer. Do some homework, or even better, ask us for suggestions. We are just one tweet or email away!
4. Beware of discounts and offers. Apart from a few genuine offers, most offers in India usually mean that a winery is getting rid of their old stock. For example, right now Reveilo is offering a wine opener on purchase of their wine and Fratelli is offering a high end wine glass on purchase of their wines, both are legit offers which are good. However, something like 1+1 offer on Vin & Vouloir wines in Natures Basket is what you should stay away from.
5. Never select a bottle from the display case, which is the case with a lot of small shops. Insist that the storekeeper to get you a fresh bottle from his stock.
6. Price might not mean quality. With the heavy taxes levied on imported wines, you would be paying 2-3 times the actual worth of the bottle. For example, Rs. 1000 will get a good barrel aged Indian red wine but at the same price point an imported wine which you will get will be the lowest end of the range.
Featured Image: A wine retail store in Bordeaux, France.