UB Group, the Indian drinks giant owned by Vijay Mallya, is planning to develop a significant presence in the wine market.

According to a report in the Indian newspaper, Economic Times, the company has decided to develop its wine business, and is looking to form a strategic alliance with either an Indian - or even possibly a non-Indian - wine company.

The company currently has a very small presence in India's growing wine market, with just two brands, the fortified wine Golconda and Bosca.

"We have resolved to look at the wine business critically," Vijay Rekhi, president of United Spirits, was quoted as saying. "Wine consumption is on the rise and it is percolating down.

"Wine is an opportunity we have clearly identified, and now we have charted our foray by taking into account the investable resources required to develop the business," said Rekhi. "We are open to alliances with the big Indian players. On the other hand, we have been receiving offers from international wine makers for an alliance. We could look at that route too."