The Delhi state government has decided to make it easier for restaurants to sell wine an beer. So far, any restaurant in Delhi wishing to sell any kind of alcohol had to apply for a liquor license – which would allow them to serve hard liquor, as well as beer and wine. There was no separate category of license for a restaurant wishing to sell only ‘soft alcoholic beverages’, i.e. only beer and wine. This Times of India story from June 18th, 2010 has the details: Cheers! Govt to allow beer, wine at eateries
The new licenses, which are considerably cheaper than a ‘full’ liquor license, should be granted as early as next week. As a result, we can expect to see more Delhi restaurants and even smaller eateries offering wine and beer. Theoretically, this means more distribution points for wine in Delhi, and therefore the likelihood of higher sales. This is good news for wine importers, as well as for Indian wineries. It is also good news for the Delhi public – if you want to have a drink with your meal, there will now be a lot more choices. The move will lead to more competition between restaurants and, therefore, to a better offering for the public – including more choices on wine lists, better pricing and easier availability. The true impact is yet to be known. As things develop in the market, I will report on this issue again.