| Pick your poison
Aug. 8: Traditionally, wine has always been considered a woman’s drink but recently, its popularity has soared with many health conscious tipplers switching over to it, owing to its lower alcohol content.
Even the city’s young boys and girls now prefer to party with wine rather than the good old bottle of rum. In fact, most liquor shops here make about Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month by selling different kinds of wine.
Most stores stock different varieties of wine, starting from cheap port wine to costlier brands like Kandara Dry Shiraz, Kandara Dry Chenin Blance, 9 Hills, 4Seasons and Jacob’s Creek.
Drinking expensive wine was considered a costly affair but now, people don’t mind spending a few extra bucks for their health, especially after taking into account the harmful effects of hard drinks.
While a bottle of port costs about Rs 200, Kandara Dry Shiraz and Kandara Dry Chenin Blance will set you back around Rs 300 to Rs 350 a bottle.
A bottle of 4Seasons, 9 Hills and Jacob’s Creek will cost you Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 1,000 respectively at the local market.
“We keep different stocks of wine and now it definitely sells more than in previous years. Wine has always been considered a woman’s drink and most men preferred hard drinks like whiskey, rum and brandy. But people of all age groups have become health conscious and are aware of the harm that hard drinks can cause to their health if consumed in high quantities frequently. Hence, now more people come to us for wine. Doctors also consider wine to be good for health as it has low alcohol content,” said P.K. Bannerjee, owner of B.N. Dey wine shop.
“Kandara Dry Shiraz (red wine) and Kandara Dry Chenin Blance (white wine) manufactured by our company is quite new and has hit the city only a few months ago. Wine is now the preferred drink among women as well as all health conscious individuals. In fact, a good liquor shop usually manages to have business of about Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month. The sale of wine definitely increases during the winter, especially during Christmas and other festive occasions and then a wine shop can hope to earn more than Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakh,” said Rakesh Singh, an employee of Tonya Liquors, an Indian liquor brand.
Of course, wine is not just for drinking. Increasingly, people are using it in cooking.
“People have a mindset that wine is a winter drink and hence, its sale increases during Christmas and New Year. Moreover, wine is also used while preparing various kinds of cakes during that time of year. While sometimes wine may not sell that much, wine shops earn extra bucks during this season,” said Bannerjee.