Crossing cultures to find the perfect wine match
Indian and Nepalese restaurants are hugely popular in Britain, yet the choice of wines available is often limited and not well matched to the food. London-based wine importers Lakhtar Singh and John Nakami (Global Wines Direct) noticed this gap in the market and dreamed of creating their own unique, branded wine that would perfectly accompany Indian and Nepalese cuisine. Their quest took them to vineyards across Italy and France, but they were unable to find their perfect match.
This is where the Enterprise Europe Network office at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) stepped in with an opportunity for Global Wines Direct to participate in a trade mission to the famous wine region of La Rioja in Spain. The event was organised by the local European Enterprise Network member Business Federation of La Rioja (FER). LCCI and FER created a tailor-made agenda for Lakhtar Singh to meet wine producers, taste the wines, and learn about their wine-making traditions in one location on a single day. The next day, Lakhtar was able to visit five wineries for further tastings and discussions. A week later, Global Wines Direct had chosen the winery that met all of their needs.
After an intensive five months applying for a trade mark, experimenting with tastes and aromas and finally selecting the grapes, wine production began in October 2013. Shortly afterwards, Global Wines Direct received its first shipment of 'Himalaya' wine, specially produced to complement Nepalese and Indian food. It now has a distribution agreement for Indian and Nepalese restaurants in the UK and is introducing the wine into the retail sector targeting independent supermarkets. It has finalized a distribution agreement with a company in India and is working on label registration for both India and Nepal.
"I am very grateful for all the help and support from the London Chamber of Commerce and its Enterprise Europe Network office" said Lakhtar Singh, Managing Director of Global Wines Direct. "They have helped and advised me every step of the way... helping me to achieve my dream of producing my very own brand product."