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Indian wines flying off British shelves

September 20, 2011 - London

The first Indian-wines, made from grapes grown in the Maharashtra, which are being sold by a UK supermarket are are proving to be extremely popular among British consumers.

Earlier this month, Waitrose became the first UK supermarket to stock the little-known Indian brands red Zampa syrah 2008 and white, Ritu viognier 2010, as part of a showcase of unusual wines from across the world.

Both the wines produced by global spirits company United Breweries, owned by the Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya, are being sold at discounted price as part of the supermarket's autumn promotion, with the red costing 8.49 pounds and the white 6.99 pounds.

Critics have, however, questioned their quality and suggested the popularity is down to novelty value, but people trying to buy the wines have found their local stores were already out of stock, the Guardian reports.

To the supermarket's great surprise, both the wines have been selling strongly, but the white was closer to selling out.

"Sales far exceeded expectations so we are looking at adding them permanently to our wine range," the paper quoted a Waitrose wine buyer Matt Smith, as saying.

"I think the Indian wines are good with curry, but we chose to stock them as they stand up on their own, too. The aromatic white goes well with mildly spiced dishes, but both wines are very versatile thanks to their grape varieties," he added.

Smith said he decided to offer Indian wine to British shoppers after finding the quality had improved greatly over the past five years.


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