Bangalore is home to Kingfisher beer, India’s primary beer label, and neighbour to wine country. It’s not surprising then that Bangalore has a reputation for laid-back social drinking. As Bangalore’s pub-hopping people graduate from beer guzzling to wine sipping, the city’s liquor turf, too, registers a sea of change. Welcome to the city’s swanky walk-in wine stores where shopping for wine is not just another weekend chore.

Many supermarkets now have a beer, wine and liquor section and there are also numerous ‘wine shops’ (though not always selling wine, but a mixture of local spirits) dotting the main streets, which are generally open from 10am – 10pm (and some have questionable ‘bars’ on the side of the sales counter).

You can check the shops listed below, which offer a nice selection of wine, beer and spirits, both local and imported (and don’t have questionable side bars).

  • Thom’s Cafe (Frazertown) ((Phone: 080 25361076)
  • Madhiraa (Basavanagudi) [Phone: 26578139 ]
  • Mahaveer Wines (Rajaji Nagar) [Phone: 23386620]
  • SLNS Wines (Banashankari) [Phone: 26719544]
  • Not Just Wine and Cheese (Old Airport Road) [Phone: 41235644]
  • Scotch Yard Wines (Sadashiv Nagar) [Phone: 23612093]
  • Wine Baron (Banashankari, JP Nagar) [Phone: 26694355]
  • The Wine Baron (JP Nagar) [Phone: 26340154]

Popular local wines to look out for include Grover, Sula and Kinzah. Prices range from Rs 400-1000 for local wines, and go up to thousands for fine imported wines. Sadly, even mediocre imported wines start at Rs 800, though the good news is, with wine country just on the Bangalore outskirts in Nandy Hills, there are new local wines popping up regularly too. If you’re a true aficionado, you may also want to join the Bangalore Wine Club: http://www.indianwine.com/bwc/index.htm.

You can visit various vineyards in the Nandy Hills area where you can also pick up wine, or order directly on the web. Check out Nandy Valley Winery for online ordering: http://www.kinvah.com.

Whiskey remains India’s manly man’s drink, while women (long sworn away from alcohol consumption) are picking up wine goblets and fancy cocktail in upper- and middle-class circles. It’s worth noting that imported wine and spirits come at a hefty price, inflated largely due to import taxes, while local spirits remain fairly inexpensive at Rs 70 for a 650ml bottle of beer and Rs 300 for a 750ml bottle of whiskey.

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