Current Issue: July 2014

 
 

In this Issue:

 
Feeling unsafe over food safety
Belvedere – vodka beyond just flavours!
Global spirits market consumption slows in 2013
Kicking off with World Cup fever
Brazilian wine sparkles
Indian vodka toasts success at SIP awards
Diageo completes transaction for 54.78% stake in USL
Mumbai’s Fine Wine & Beer Boutique
Glencairn – The official whisky glass in India
Revival of the London Wine Fair
 
 
 

Feeling unsafe over food safety

Despite a time-bound ‘waiver’ from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to compliance issues relating to imported spirits, there still seems to be no clarity on the situation. The FSSAI had, through a circular on June 30th stated, “with reference to notification No. P.15014/1/2011-PFA/FSSAI dated 27.06.2013 published in the Official Gazette of India (Extraordinary) and the clarification dated 01.11.2013 to the advisory dated 23.08.2013, it is hereby informed to all the concerned that the time period granted to Food Business Operators for complying with the provisions of the said notification amending the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations 2011 is hereby extended up to 01.01.2015.”

Industry sources say there is still no clarity on crucial issues and that “the ‘compliance’ relates only to stickers on bottles ascribing importers details, etc.” However the issue of single ingredient as in the case of Scotch and some wines is not addressed yet. In fact one importer said that consignments are still stuck at points of entry and that on the ground the situation is still quite bad.

Sources say that while the FSSAI has been created to safeguard Indian consumers from Health risks and create higher standards, all importers and companies are in favor of health standards. According to them, when it comes to Scotch or wine for example the issue being faced is not that of the product but the objection to labeling. These labels are accepted internationally in countries where standards have been codified for many years.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Belvedere - vodka beyond just flavours!

According to Claire Smith, Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology, Belvedere Vodka, “The only advice to utilising vodka to the best of its ability is to apply a ‘less is more’ approach, that way you will be handsomely rewarded with a drink that is elegant, graceful and refreshing.” In an exclusive interview with Ambrosia, she shares that flavoured vodka adds energy and dynamism to the category; however the category itself is constantly being redefined beyond flavours. Here are the excerpts.

What flavour profile does Belvedere stand for?
Belvedere is defined by three words; rye, water and character. It reflects over 600 years of Polish vodka making traditions and as such the flavour profile of our vodka is a celebration of our raw materials, rye and water. We work with only the finest agricultural partners to ensure we receive the finest raw spirit, and employ a state of the art distillation process which works to retain the positive characteristics of our grain.

What exactly is the role and job profile of a Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology?
My role is varied and diverse! Essentially, my focus is centered upon maintaining the quality of the spirit inside the bottle. I am responsible for all new liquid development, working closely with Polmos Zyrardów, the Belvedere distillery, to ensure all our Vodkas reach the highest standards. Within the vodka category, it is important to constantly innovate and be creative, and I’m incredibly proud of the work we do to develop flavours using only real and fresh fruit, that are differentiated and respect centuries of vodka making tradition. Vodka can be a challenging spirit category to understand and appreciate, so I am also responsible for education on the brand, as well as communication where it relates to product in particular. Happily, I am not the only one spreading the word; we have a network of incredible brand ambassadors throughout the world that do a remarkable job in keeping our trade partners and consumers aware of the fine work Belvedere does.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Global spirits market consumption slows in 2013

Trends in worldwide spirits consumption are showing a slowdown along with interesting drinking patterns that have set in among consumers across the spectrum of countries. Global spirits sales increased by a marginal 0.1% to 3.09bn nine-litre cases in 2013 over 2012, according to the latest IWSR research. This represents a dramatic slowdown from the 6.5% compound annual growth (CAGR) seen between 2007 and 2011. This was chiefly attributable to a big slowdown in the growth of local spirits in China and India.

Whisky was the largest-growing spirits category in 2013, both globally and in each of the major regions. Whisky added just under 8m cases in 2013 to 361m cases. Vodka was close behind, growing by 2.3m cases globally in 2013 to 496.3m. Rum did not fare as well as it had in past years and fell by some 4.5m cases to 145.6m. Asia-Pacific remained the largest region for spirits at 1.93bn cases, following a modest 0.1% rise in 2013. Within that, China, the largest individual market, gained 0.8% to 1.18bn cases, while India gained 1.2% to 310.6m cases. Both markets were affected by slowing economies and spirits’ growth was significantly slower than the double digit growth seen in previous years.

The Americas were the largest growing region, adding some 4m cases last year, a rise of about 1% to 445m cases. Europe posted the biggest decline, falling -2.2m cases to 291m cases. Economically-challenged Spain, alone, lost over 900,000 cases, while Italy shed some 500,000 cases. The German market also contracted. In Europe, whisky saw its first year of growth since 2007; whisky consumption in Poland grew by more than 500,000 cases, with a similar trend to the CIS of switching from traditional white spirits to more trendy brown spirits. Whisky is the second largest-growing category behind gin, increasing by 225,000 cases.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Kicking off with World Cup fever

The summer may be scorching but the real heat is emanating from the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. With thousands of soccer crazy fans in India, the party is on and whether it’s in living rooms or in pubs in the capital city, its goals galore along with some great gulps. Drawing in the atmosphere and fanfare, the Rick’s bar at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, has come up with a unique fare dedicating the month to soccer madness.

To delight football fans, the expert mixologist at Rick’s has designed 32 exclusive cocktails, dedicated to each of the 32 nations playing the FIFA World Cup, including Caiprinha from Brazil, El Diablo from Mexico, Sangria from Spain, Dutched from Netherlands, Offside from Greece, Penalty Kick from Uruguay, Yellow Card from Costa Rica amongst others. “It was definitely a tribute to every single country who is participating for this year’s world cup. As you have seen every country has put up their best show so far and strive to succeed in each game,” said Pankaj Balachandran, Restaurant Manager, Rick’s.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Brazilian wine sparkles

While Brazil may have bowed out of the world cup, Brazilian wines are here to stay. Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and considered the fifth largest wine producer in the Southern Hemisphere, has been making wine since the beginning of its colonization, but it was the arrival of Italian immigrants, starting in 1875, that brought importance to the activity. There have been some preliminary attempts to plant vines along the 16th century, but Brazil had to wait until the early 20th century before reaching a significant production. And it took until 1970 to see the first really high quality wines. The market opening, in the 90s, served as a stimulus to improve the production of wines with producers investing in vineyards and wineries.

Since its inception until the Decade of 1960, the Brazilian viticulture was restricted to South and Southeast regions, keeping the culture features of temperate climate, with an annual cycle of vegetation and a rest period, defined by the occurrence of low temperatures of the winter months. From then on, grape growing "Italy" was taken, successfully, to the semi-arid region of the Valley of the Middle São Francisco, marking the beginning of tropical viticulture in Brazil. Always based on grape "Italy", tropical viticulture expanded rapidly, with the consolidation of the northern pole of Paraná, in the decade of 1970; and the poles of the Northwest of São Paulo and the North of Minas Gerais in the Southeast region in the next decade. From 1990 emerged several new viticulture poles, some intended for the production of table grapes, others directed the production of grapes for wine and juice.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Indian vodka toasts success at SIP awards

Indian vodka brand Invincible has bagged two medals at the 6th Spirits International Prestige (SIP) awards selected by spirit connoisseurs. SIP awards held at the luxurious St. Regis Monarch Beach, California in May this year, are one of the prestigious awards wherein hundreds of established and up-and coming brands from across the world compete to bag the top honours.

Invincible, a product of Octaga Green Power is the brain child of Basab Paul, a Mechanical Engineer by qualification and entrepreneur by profession who established Octaga Green Power and Sugar Industries in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra in 2002. The project soon became a perfect blend of power, sugar and alcohol sector. This 3-in-1 plant consists of 40,000 liters per day distillery with rectified spirit, extra neutral alcohol and absolute alcohol production from molasses and multi-grains, a 17.5 MW co-generation power plant for renewable energy from agriculture waste and a 3000 TCD sugar unit.

The company has also installed first of its kind zero net pollution plant with a carbon and water positive footprint. In a bid to maintain clean ecological balance, Paul is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact programme to promote environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business practices. Invincible vodka which won two medals (Gold SIP Award for the Invincible Bottle Design and Silver SIP Award for its taste) ismade from finest grapes from the fields of Himalayas. The vodka is micro-oxygenated like fine-wine and produced in an eight column distillation process, through activated carbon and triple Russian filtration of Gold, Silver and Platinum. Invincible Purete Vodka is a polished and matured brand that is non-flavoured and unadulterated, thus, maintaining on the richness of the original flavour.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Diageo completes transaction for 54.78% stake in USL
A category snapshot

Diageo plc bought a fresh 26% stake in United Spirits for Rs11,449 cr for a total interest of 54.78% in United Spirits. With this initiative, Diageo succeeded in its second attempt to gain controlling stake in United Spirits. UK-based Diageo paid Rs3,030 for a share of United Spirits Ltd (USL), more than double of `1,440 it offered in the previous bid last year. Shares of United Spirits, the flagship company of Vijay Mallya-led UB group, are hovering around 2780 at the time of going to press.

Diageo through its wholly-owned subsidiary Relay BV has accepted the tender of 37,785,214 shares in United Spirits at a price of Rs3,030 per share under the tender offer announced on April 15, Diageo Plc said in a statement.

The shares tendered and accepted by Diageo are in the process of being transferred to Relay B V and represent 26% of USL's issued share capital, it added. "Diageo, therefore, will have a total interest of 54.78% in United Spirits acquired for a total consideration of Rs18,023.14 crore," it added.

"Diageo, therefore, will have a total interest of 54.78% in United Spirits acquired for a total consideration of Rs18,023.14 crore," it added.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Mumbai’s Fine Wine & Beer Boutique

Mumbai based importer FineWinesnMore recently launched a new Tasting Room and a retail shop called Fine Wine & Beer Boutique in Andheri West which offers the best of two worlds – fine wines and exotic beers. The store not only sells brands which are in the company’s portfolio but also other international and domestic brands.

Fine Wine & Beer Boutique currently has 145 wine labels and refrigerators full of 28 of the most exotic beer brands. As per the excise rules of Maharashtra, the boutique has both a retail license for the wine and beer boutique and a daily licence for the tasting room.

Craig Wedge, COO, FineWinesnMore and the man behind this project gave us a tour of the retail outlet as well as the Tasting Room wherein he held the first champagne tasting of the wonderful Besserat. With a seating capacity of around 15-18 people, the tasting room is well equipped with some wine accessories and walls with maps of wine regions that easily transport one into the world of wine. Keeping the décor simple and minimalistic, there is a long wooden table in the centre, with room enough to accommodate a projector, some wine accessories and a few magazines and journals on the subject.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Glencairn – The official whisky glass in India

The complex spirit that whisky is, demands to be sipped, nosed and savoured slowly. For a complete experience, time spent enjoying the flavours on the nose are equally important as those on the palate. However, ironically, while most other drinks like brandy, champagne, wine and beer have their own distinct glasses, whisky ended up getting the short shrift and could be found served in anything from tumblers to goblets. This is where The Vault offers a solution to whisky connoisseurs with the Glencairn glass.

The Vault, a platform for luxury fine spirits and bespoke experiences, is the official representative of the Glencairn glass in India. The Vault, which is India’s first concierge for curated fine spirits experiences, has brought this one of a kind lead free whisky glasses to the country. The Glencairn comes in a box of six and is also available in a convenient twin pack. This certainly makes for a perfect gift to any discerning spirits lover. It is accepted as the only glass a true whisky connoisseur will consider pouring their single malt in.

The Glencairn whisky glass is a style of glass developed by Glencairn Crystal Ltd, Scotland for drinking whisky. Raymond Davidson, the founder of Glencairn envisioned a glass that would not only encourage the user to appreciate the nose of the whisky as well as the palate, but also would be robust and functional in a bar environment. So he designed the perfect glass for whisky and then forgot all about it for 20 years till his sons, Paul and Scott, found the design and decided to take it to the master blenders for their suggestions. With their help and support, the Davidson family revived the whisky glass and the rest, as they say, is history. Today the Glencairn glass is unequivocally known as the ‘official glass’ for whisky, developed by the whisky industry for the whisky industry.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 

Revival of the London Wine Fair

Competition is fierce when it comes to wine fairs in the international and domestic markets. Organizers of such fairs need to satisfy the demands from both exhibitors and visitors who expect a good return in investment. The 34th edition of the London Wine Fair (LWF) took place from 2nd to 4th June, moving back to its original venue of Kensington Olympia after having spent several years at Excel exhibition centre in East London. The event Organizers had been under pressure from the UK wine industry, current and past exhibitors who were all requesting changes to be made to the fair to better reflect the UK wine market.

This year’s edition was marked by a revamped and revived London Wine Fair and as a result saw a 50% increase in exhibitors (780 in 2014 up from 540 in 2013), from generic bodies, global brands, agents and distributors and niche wineries. Ross Carter, the event’s Director stated “We had a total number of 11,247 visitors that is 11% increase on last year, but more importantly the key sectors of on-trade and independent retail were increased by 30% and 25% respectively.”

New features included esoterica, for smaller, boutique importers; a dedicated section on Bulk wine; as well as The Brew house tasting of small batch, specialist and craft beers. Over 60 seminars, debates and master classes took place during the 3-day fair which included themes such as: The Future of Bordeaux En Primeur, Vermouth re-discovered, Wake up the Brazilian in you, What’s hot from Spain, Are you ready for Sake…hosted by key speakers of the wine world including Tim Atkin, Steven Spurrier, Anthony Moss.

 

To read the complete article subscribe to Ambrosia print or online version

 

Top
 
 
 
 
© Copyright. SAP Media Worldwide Ltd. All rights reserved.

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Disclaimer  |  Sitemap