Best of Spirits

For the person who loves a quality drink, Mandiri Graha Persada’s Excellent Exhibition Roadshow 2017 should not be missed: a one-day display of over 100 different wines, spirits, and imported beers, supported by 28 principals from France, Italy, Australia, Germany, USA, and many more. The event aims to expand your knowledge in picking the best brands, encouraging your inner mixologist, and, most importantly, to show that liquor is made to savour. The Roadshow—spanning Jakarta, Yogyakarta Surabaya, and Bali—will be the second time held by liquor distributor, Mandiri Graha Persada (MGP), and this year once again it will take place at The Trans Resort Bali on March 15 from 2pm til 10pm. We met with Arif Herwanto, Wine Ambassador from Buana Graha Mandiri (MGP’s holding company), to discuss more.

So tell us what to expect from the event?
It’s going to be a showcase of our spirit, wine, and beer portfolio, and to introduce some new brands as well. We’re also going to talk about trends. The event is going to involve many of the decision makers who contribute to the tourism sector in Bali, and hopefully through them we can help support the tourism industry as well. This year we will feature more than 120 brands, and we’ll have a masterclass featuring mixologists and brand representatives.
As you mentioned the exhibition is also about discussing new trends, can you tell us what we’ll be seeing this year?
Well of course sometimes the trends are what the outlets—like hotels and restaurants—are offering to their guests and then they’ll see whether it catches on. For the moment, we’re noticing a growing popularity of brown spirits like dark rum, single-malt whiskey, and cocktails like Negroni. But in general, white spirits such as vodka and gin are still a mainstay.
Surely the alcohol industry in Bali is bigger than other cities in Indonesia?
Yes, but the pattern of the customers varies. For example, people in Jakarta nowadays are more sophisticated, high-end, more premium (therefore more critical), and they are repeaters, whereas in Bali the demands are more for entry level brands though they are more open to new products because it’s an international market, and drinking is treated more like a social occasion. White wine is also gaining more prominence because of its flexibility, meaning with a drink like Sauvignon Blanc you don’t necessarily have to pair it with food, and you can enjoy it by the pool or the beach. In Bali the interest is 60 percent white wine and 40 percent red, while in Jakarta it’s the opposite.

Do you know the specific interest of each area in Bali?
In Kuta and Legian area naturally they prefer beer and spirits; in Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Ubud the market for wines is quite big; while in Sanur it’s more balanced, 50 – 50 in terms of spirits and beer, and wine.
What sort of “education” do you want to impart to guests from the exhibition?
I guess it’s more about trying to encourage brand loyalty and to simply introduce new products out there. And of course we’re also trying to figure out what the market’s interests are right now and what sort of trend we can help create, for example what can we do with the influx of Chinese tourists who have high spending power, though it’s going to be hard because currently they are more likely to spend the holidays touring, then spending the rest of the day in the hotel. But we’re optimistic because each year in Bali—based on our own sales—there’s an increase of 20 percent in terms of demand, and wine alone had seen a 24 percent increase in 2016 from the year before.
Mandiri Graha Persada’s Excellent Exhibition Roadshow 2017 will be held at The Trans Resort Bali on March 15. It’s free entry.


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