Friday, April 11, 2014

'Have your own opinion regarding wines'

Post the lovely wine-tasting evening with Caliterra Wines from Chile recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Nicolas Happke, who is the area manager for the Southeast Asian region for Calittera.

He spoke about Indian wine consumers vis-a-vis those from more mature markets, why he enjoys wine and how you can get a hold of some fine ones. An excerpt:

Nicolas Happke
Why is Caliterra Wines looking to import to India? 
India has been on the radar as an upcoming market for wines for several years now. I believe that one of the main reasons is its high population. Currently, beverage consumers are still mainly drinking spirits, specially whisky. But we believe that there is a tendency of the spirit-consuming market to evolve and look for lower alcohol content drinks, and that’s where wine finds its opportunity.
India is one of the largest whiskey consumer in the world and if only a percentage of those consumers start buying wine, it could mean good business.

How is the Indian wine drinker different from those in other countries?
On my last visit to India, I was pleased to see so many young people interested in wine. But I'd say that Indian consumers still like to stay in their comfort zone. They are probably more price-sensitive as far as day-to-day wines are concerned. High taxation has also restricted the offering in terms of variety as well as price.
In more mature markets, people look for better quality wines and are more open to trying new origins and appellations. They like to look beyond the label and find out more about the concept behind the wine.

Why do you enjoy wines? 
I enjoy wines because they are fun. Whenever a bottle is opened, it is usually shared with people who gather around so there's always conversation accompanied with wine. Also, wine is more interesting than other beverages because someone always has a comment regarding the wine. 

A simple rule to go by for wine novices?
Have your own opinion regarding wines. There is no rule for liking or disliking a particular wine. Also, be open-minded at the moment of tasting; you could be amused at what you find. What I look for in a good wine is balance, which should be a perfect harmony of sweetness, acidity and tannins.

Tell us a little about your wines.
Caliterra’s philosophy is to craft environment-friendly wines under the concepts of precision wine-growing and sustainable vineyard management where each variety stands out for their fruity, fresh and distinctive style, expressing the quality and pureness of Chile’s nature, terroir and fruit.

Caliterra produce

Where can we buy it and what is the price range?
Our wines can be found in several restaurants, hotels and retail stores. Consumers also have an option of contacting our importer FinewinesNmore directly at or call 022-40330044 to order and get it delivered.

Caliterra Chardonnay Reserva: Rs 1,809
Caliterra Merlot Reserva: Rs 1,809
Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc Reserva: Rs 1,809
Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva: Rs 1,809

On an aside: Like the FinewinesNmore Facebook page and get introduced to some more international wines. They have some amazing offers too. 

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