AFTER the success of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages like Bacardi Breezer, a similar segment is on its way to stir up the industry. If the buzz is anything to go by, the Indian market will soon witness flavoured wines, called ‘wine coolers’, by as early as March next year.
A wine cooler is an alcoholic beverage made from wine and fruit juice, often in combination with a carbonated beverage and sugar.
Pre-mixed alcohols, also known as RTD beverages, have been around in India for quite sometime now, with Bacardi Martini India taking the lead in the category. RTD beverages have been perceived as relatively healthier options by consumers who prefer something with lower alcohol content.
“The country’s wine industry has been evolving. From reds, whites, stills, carbonated and sparkling, newer categories are emerging. Flavoured wine is one of them and will soon be available in the Indian market,” says Shivajirao Aher, president, All India Wine Producers’ Association (AIWPA), and founder of Renaissance Winery in Nashik, Maharashtra, India’s wine capital.
Rajiv Seth, oenologist and wine educationist, who has also been part of the Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB), says: “Wine coolers will be available in the Indian market by as early as March next year and will be spearheaded by a few companies.”
Seth, who is advising Lakeforest Wines — a Haryana-based distributor — to enter the wine sector, says the company will make flavoured wines through its partner Renaissance Winery in Nashik.
“These will be sold under the brand name Riya. Talks are also in progress with another player for making these wines in the country. Wine coolers are not in the category of RTDs but are somewhat similar, in the sense that they are flavoured. But unlike RTD beverages like Bacardi Breezer, in which the base is either spirit or vodka, wine coolers have wine as their base,” he adds.