On an oppressively-muggy Mumbai night, on 22 April, 11 women congregated in an air-conditioned refuge called The Wine Rack, unwound over a blind tasting session, and played an unwitting role in stirring India’s wine industry from its slumber.
The Wine Rack is Mumbai’s biggest wine bar, with floor-to-ceiling racks of 300-plus wines from 45 countries. Fourteen of its 21-page bar menu is dedicated to vino. The ambience, with distressed walls and mood lighting, is ‘aspirational-chic’, a breed of millennial-frequented establishments that have spread across the city’s former mill lands like a gentrification fungus. Places like these infused new life in beer and gin.