Bringing chardonnay to Chennai
By Paul Kaihla, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- The increasingly refined tastes of India's burgeoning middle class means the wine market there is set to grow tenfold.

Investment level: <$100K

Risk level: Low

India's rapidly expanding middle class isn't just interested in motor scooters, Levi's, and the coolest new cell phones. They'd also like to see a decent chardonnay on the dinner menu.

With wine consumption in India projected to grow 10-fold over the next decade, the nation has emerged as the world's fastest-growing market.

More important, it's become a prime destination to start importing U.S., Australian, and other labels to satisfy Indians' increasingly cosmopolitan tastes.

For one thing, the wine boom will largely bypass domestic brands; the country is too hot for serious viticulture.

And the Indian government has been slashing duties and excise taxes on imported wine during the past two years. An American importer who gets in early and establishes a foothold will reap the benefits of even lower duties down the road.

Setting up shop requires first owning the distribution rights to the right selection of wines. At the top of that list, experts say, should be fruity whites from California and Australia - products that did well in the United States when wine took off in the 1980s.

You don't need an import license; anyone can bring wine from abroad into a warehouse bonded by the nation's customs office. Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.