'Indian wines grab UK market share'

Indian wines, made from grapes grown in Maharashtra, are reportedly proving to be extremely popular among British consumers.

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

Both the beverages are being sold at discounted price with the red costing 8.49 pounds and white 6.99 pounds the two brands are now a smash hit among British wine lovers, 'The Guardian' reported.

They are produced by global spirits company United Breweries, owned by the Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Though wine experts have questioned quality of Indian wine and suggested the popularity is down to novelty value, some of those trying to buy the wines have found their local stores were already out of stock, the newspaper said.

Waitrose wine buyer Matt Smith said he decided to offer Indian wine to British shoppers after finding the quality had improved greatly over the past five years. And, both have been selling strongly, but the white was closer to selling out.

He said: "Sales far exceeded expectations so we are looking at adding them permanently to our wine range. 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."

Last year, Indian wines were showcased for the first time in 30 years at London's International Wine Festival.

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