New Delhi: The concept of try before you buy applies most to wines.
It’s best to take a few sips before you spend on bottles, and this is possible with the help of wine dispensers – an apparatus which allows people to try up to five varietals of wine, enabling you to buy and pay for as little as 30ml v/s paying for a full glass which is 120 ml.
Wine dispensers also “give people the freedom to try more wines. The idea behind the dispenser was to make wine less intimidating. Get people in a way to interact with the machine and figure out what suits their palate,” says Abhay Kewadkar, who worked with a start-up to bring the concept in India.
Kewadkar is the Managing Director of Tetrad Global Beverages Pvt Ltd, one of India’s first winemaker and owner of a label of Wine Early Dark made in collaboration with 5th generation winemakers from France.
In a conversation with IANSlife, Kewadkar shares details of the benefits of wine dispensers and their availability, along with some wine trends. Excerpts:
What made you introduce the concept of a wine dispenser in India?
Kewadkar: Wine dispensers have been introduced to give people the freedom to try more wines before they decide which ones they like. The dispenser allows one to try as little as 30ml and enjoy the experience of tasting various varietals in small quantities, before deciding which one they they prefer or would like to pair with which course of the meal. This gives one the chance to also learn about different vairents and understand wine in a fun way without feeling intimated by the presence of a third person.
What sort of benefits can these dispensers bring to the market and how well do you think it will be accepted in the industry?
Kewadkar: The dispenser hopefully will get even non wine drinkers to try a few varietal because they want to play with a new gadget. The whole “try before you buy” idea will see more people coming forward. If people feel encouraged to taste and understand wine, in the long run it will help the category grow. At present wine drinkers are the smallest segment in India. With an innovation like the dispenser, there is opportunity that this will change and give the industry a big boost.
How will customers benefit from this?
Kewadkar: The idea behind the dispenser was to make wine less intimidating. Get people in a way to interact with the machine and figure out what suits their palate. The dispenser acts like the consumers personal sommelier encouraging one to try and understand wines. So it is a great tool for educating and and creating awareness about this magnificent drink. Enabling customers to buy and pay for as little as 30ml v/s paying for a full glass which is 120 ml.
How many varietals or bottles of wine can the dispenser store/stock?
Kewadkar: Currently, the ones we have got built stores up to 4 varietals of wines.
Where is it available currently and, which cities do you plan to take it to?
Kewadkar: At present, we have installed these dispensers in some star rated hotels and prestigious Clubs of Bangalore; we will soon be launching in other parts of the country like Kolkata and Mumbai.
As a veteran in the space with over 3 decades of experience, where do you see the Indian wine industry in 5 years?
Kewadkar: Considering its acceptance and people constantly experimenting and introducing something or the other almost every other day, I feel we can expect the wine consumption to double in next five years.
How have you seen people’s taste evolving in India when it comes to wine?
Kewadkar: The major consumption of wine in India is still as an aperitif. From the point of view of the Indian palate, the preference is still towards sweeter, less acidic wines when it comes to White wines and softer well rounded Red wines and Bold/Tannic wines. The off dry Rose is quite popular. The Cabernet Sauvignon is another varietal people have started going for. To pair with some of the Indian Cuisine, red wine is a good choice as it can take some level of spice owing to the structure of wine and make it a very enjoyable experience.
What are the wind trends for 2020?
Kewadkar: I feel the demand for sustainably grown grapes and handcrafted wines in small batches from lesser known wineries will gain popularity. The new wine drinkers also look at labels when they select wines, labels which give information on the variety of grape, its origin, the vintage and terroir.