No business can sustain in the market for long without creating demand and the best way to create a demand is by educating the masses. Wine is still a drink for a class but gradually the wall is narrowing and more and more restaurants are opening with wine bars. In fact they are hiring young professionals to promote, to help to grow the learning curve of their customers.
Wine sommeliers are getting their presence in Indian bars as well as restaurants. Earlier they were only confined to five star hotels now they are actively seen in other establishments. This new opening has greatly improved the taste buds of Indian wine drinkers.
As soon as India started its own winery in India and Indian culture got adapted to wine culture the role and importance of wine sommelier got a big boost. In fact they are the right person available for the consumers to assist in selecting the right wine and foods.
Sommelier is a French word that means bartender but they are more than that. They are responsible and specialized in all aspects of wine, its serving and food pairing. They help restaurants with wine storage and in its proper care. At senior levels they help restaurants, hotels, resorts and vineyards on their financial front too with things like pricing, purchasing and sales monitoring.
Nowadays new fine dining bars and restaurants have a good number of sommeliers. They are well informed and they are trained to share information with their clients.
Ekagar Sharma, wine sommelier at The Wine Company says: “The more you let your customers know about the wine, grapes, country favors etc. the better quality of consumers you will get in the near future. People have money. They are going abroad and seeing new things and coming back and looking at things here to. This way the demand of wine is growing.”
Nadeem Khan, wine sommelier at Twist says: “It is all about sharing. The better you share information the better reliability your restaurant will get. That will automatically push the sales. Here at cyber hub many foreigners walk in along with some Indian. They love to talk and they have good knowledge about the alcohol and cultures and they show interest in sharing their experience as well as knowing ours. It is really very fascinating that things are changing and bar is gradually becoming a fun place.”
Ravi Punia wine sommelier and beverage manager at The People & CO. Says: “Good thing is that people are now ready to ask questions. They are not embarrassed to ask for help. They are ready to experience a new taste and ready to go for wine and its pairing. We have all Indian as well as foreign brands and customers walk in and they try to open the bottle themselves for opening experience and experiment. Nearly 60% of our customer ask for suggestion and we give them options. And honestly 50% walk back again and again to try the other options too.”
The future of Indian wine and the wine sommeliers is very bright and now also we have several professional institutes for certifications.