Hyderabad uncorks a record — for the biggest liquor store

HIGH SPIRITS: ‘Tonique’ holds many drinks.

HIGH SPIRITS: ‘Tonique’ holds many drinks.  

In the tony neighbourhood of Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, the newest talking point is Tonique. And it is being touted as the largest liquor outlet in the country, with about 500 brands of wines and spirits spread over 15,000 sq. ft.

“I wanted to give people an experience,” says Anith Reddy, its managing director.

A prospective buyer walks in and examines a bottle of King George V, only to replace it with a smile after looking at the price tag of ₹86,000. “Telangana is a ₹12,500 crore liquor market, of which the share of imported labels is ₹200 crore. I want to capture that,” says Mr. Reddy.

With a two-storeyed sheer glass frontage, it looks like anything but a liquor outlet. But buyers are not just checking out the labels, they are also fishing out their cards.

Shravan Reddy, an automobile spare parts dealer, spent about ₹27,000 in a matter of minutes. “It is amazing ... like you have stepped into a mall where whatever you want is available. I picked up a South African wine, a Jagermeister liqueur and a few other bottles,” he says.

“We currently stock about 500 brands and by the end of month, we will be fully stocked with about 1,100 varieties. I want all top 50 brands of each variety to be available here,” says Mr. Reddy.

It is on the first floor of the outlet that the ‘global’ choice is on view. New world wines from South Africa, New Zealand, Chile and Australia compete with the local Sula as well as French and European wines. The shelves are stocked according to the countries of origin, with rows and rows of bottles of sparkling wines as well as Champagnes.

If a wine bottle from New Zealand is the most expensive at the moment with a price tag of about ₹7,000, a 2004 vintage Dom Perignon champagne retails for ₹31,500.

“We are going to have a separate wine tasting room with sommeliers from across the world sharing their knowledge. We will help people make a choice about what to buy and about wine and food pairing,” says the promoter. “Most women head to the first floor, the selfie spot,” he says, pointing to a huge faux bottle of Moet & Chandon inside an ice tub.

Though the shop is said to be the largest of its kind in the country, it pales in comparison to the world record holder. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Daveco Liquors in Thornton, Colorado, U.S., spread across 1,00,073 sq. ft. as the world’s largest store.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2020 4:47:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Hyderabad-uncorks-a-record-%E2%80%94-for-the-biggest-liquor-store/article17029937.ece

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