SITUATING EKULO WINE WORLD
Companies in Nigeria seldom outlive their founders. In a country where wine consumption is evolving, any company selling and distributing wines should have a short run. But Ekulo International Ltd, owners of Ekulo Wine World, http://www.ekulowineworld.com/, has been putting clarets and champagnes on dinner tables across Nigeria for 30 years. There is no sign it will stop anytime soon. Ingram Osigwe exposes this upscale wine shop located in Victoria Island, Lagos state.
A good wine gets better with age, so connoisseurs say. By that logic, it is true to say, also, that a company in the business of putting the best wines and spirits on the dinner table of consumers should get better with time. This is especially true of one company in Nigeria that has been delighting the palates of drinkers with choice wines and spirits for decades. That company is Ekulo International Ltd and they’ve been passionately devoted to that for 30 long years.
By every reckoning, three decades is enough time to judge whether a company will do well or not, fall by the wayside or blossom like a tree planted by a river bank.
Ever since it dispensed the first cases of wine to wine lovers from a poky shop in one unremarkable part of Lagos in 1983, Ekulo Group has grown to become one of the best distributors and suppliers of the best wines from cellars in Europe and other continents.
Think of any grape type, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato, Montepulciano, Merlot, Pinotnoir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc or Syrah and you can be sure of finding it in stock at Ekulo Wine World. Whether from Okanagan Valley in Canada, Maipo Valley in Chile, Tuscany Italy, Napa Valley USA, Loire Valley France, Douro Valley Portugal, Hunter Valley Australia, Western Cape, South Africa or Andalucía Spain, Ekulo Wine World is sure to be at your service. All the best of wines and champagnes from the best valleys are stocked in Ekulo wine world.
Such is their fame for vintage wines that the name Ekulo Wine World is synonymous with. Today, the company operates from NO. 1393 Tiamiyu savage street, a choice part of Victoria Island Lagos, Set in the cool breezy bar-beach environs, with gentle tropical sea currents providing ambient daily temperatures and a relaxing clime. Ekulo wine world dispenses choice wines and spirits to thousands of connoisseurs across Nigeria and even the West Coast. The verdict, even from rivals, is unsurprisingly positive, particularly in a country glutted with fake products that you sometimes can’t tell an ersatz item from an original.
Ekulo Wine World’s insistence on quality drinks is legendary. Insiders say it is a company policy adhered to rigidly by all involved in the process of providing their numerous customers with the best wines, champagnes and spirits. There is a story about the French community in Lagos, from diplomats to culture workers and technicians, sending their servants to Cotonou in Benin Republic for their Burgundy and Bordeaux wines. The inference is that for those with a special knack for the best wines in the world, wines and spirits available in Nigerian markets are almost certainly plonk. But visit Ekulo’s Wine World on Tiamiyu Savage any day and the number of foreigners and Nigerians snapping up wines tells a different story.
“Our involvement in wines and spirits is informed by a strong passion for quality and a sense of calling,” says Emeka Oramadike, Marketing Manager of Ekulo Group of Companies. “The aim is to create a foundation and a reference point for all things pertaining to high culture liqueur in the region, from ensuring the availability of all note worthy brands and their accessories to fostering a connoisseurship and collectorship culture and creating a safe haven for authentic products and quality brands in an environment that is hopelessly flooded with fakes.”
For a company that has the sole franchise of selling and distributing the very best of wines from European vineyards, showing that much concern for the quality of the products under their care is almost a given, it is almost an article of faith.
Consider the number of drinks they’ve marketed all these years: Campari, Mateus rose, Glenfiddich and stolichnaya. These are just a few of the popular brands Ekulo Wine World dispensed over the years, presently Over 2000 different brands including Thomas Barton, Freixenet, Mouton Cadet, St Remy, Escudo Rojo, Laurent Perrier, White horse, Veuve clicquot, Ace of the spades, Lamothe Parrot, Grey Goose Vodka, Glenfiddich, Remy Martin, Crema de Alba, Cristal, Martini, and so many others including Baron de Valls can be obtained in their most pristine untainted original quality at the shop. A wine shopping is not complete without a trip to Ekulo Wine World.
Ekulo wine world takes into cognizance locally produced brands that meet international standards, its premium fruit juice, Don Simon in four variants are readily available at the wine shop “Ekulo has been in the business of wine importation, supplies and distribution for over 30 years and has been responsible for the first crop of vintage drinks imported into the country,” Pawan Moudgil insists.
Moudgil is head of Sales and Marketing at Ekulo International Ltd. Though an Indian, he is not unfamiliar with marketing strategies in Nigeria. He is absolutely spot-on with his brief for Ekulo Wine World products. “This highly specialized marketing enterprise has been responsible for exposing the first taste buds in Nigeria to modern European quality liqueur. Ekulo Wine world is borne out of a strong desire to make available to discerning Nigerians the most sought after brands all over the world, not only in liqueur, but in all other consumable commodities as well. There is a strong drive in the company to bring home to the Nigerian clime the best wine culture as it obtains elsewhere, especially in the West.”
Dispensing wines to countless customers isn’t just enough now for the company. Sources in the organization say the company intends to also teach devotees how to savour the best wines. They are right on the beam if you consider the way Nigerians sometime quaff wines as if they are guzzling lagers. Indeed, Dr. Samuel Johnson, he of literary fame in eighteenth century England, sagely opined that “a good wine should not be taken in tumblers, you sip it.”
A widely travelled literary phenomenon and eminently knowledgeable about a thousand and one things, Johnson was more than familiar with the medicinal values of wine. Taken in large quantities at once cancels out whatever medicinal values in wines.
Like Johnson, Oramadike therefore advises that drinking wine is different from the way people drink beer. While lagers can be taken in gulps, wines cannot. According to him, wines contain resveratrol, a chemical component found in most wines. It is also beneficial to the body. But those who gulp their wines are at the risk of losing the potential benefit if they don’t sip it.
“To benefit fully from the resveratrol in wine,” he says, “it is recommended to sip slowly when drinking. Due to inactivation in the gut and liver, most of the resveratrol consumed while drinking red wine does not reach blood circulation. However when sipping slowly, absorption via the mucus membranes in the mouth can result in up to 100 percent increment in blood levels of resveratrol.”
A rising middle class in Nigeria has, no doubt, led to a corresponding rise in wine drinkers. But more important is Ekulo Wine World’s dedication to availing this rising number of drinkers with the very best of wines from all over the world. More important, too, is they have, by their dedication, added to the number of collectors in Nigeria and in the West Coast.
Unless you are a connoisseur, you probably won’t know that people collect wines as they obsessively collect art works or vintage cars. At the moment, there is no exact number of Nigerian collectors of wines. Even so, Ekulo International Ltd has made a tremendous impact in that regard, not only changing the drinking pattern of thousands of imbibers – whether of lagers and wines – but giving the very best on offer from Europe and the rest of the world.
“It is better to be alone than in bad company,” George Washington, one of the founding fathers of America once declared. Though wine was far from Washington’s mind when he made that declaration, it is a maxim that Ekulo International Ltd has taken to heart wholeheartedly concerning their marketing and distributorship of champagnes, wines and spirits in Nigeria and the rest of the world.
In the words of Moudgil, “we are proud to be a cut above the rest in what we do. We will not stop being so for our customers as long as the company exists.”
Beyond selling good wines and champagnes, Ekulo wine world stocks Wine Accessories, a good wine culture goes with a lot of its own basic accessories from wine glasses and cork screws; there is need for some sense of class in the equipment that goes with one’s collection. Wine glasses are made of stem ware which includes champagne flutes, chalices and goblets as well as cocktail glasses.
Red Wine is best consumed cool, but not necessarily cold. White wines and champagnes are better served chilled. To facilitate the maintenance of your wine at the ambient temperature wine coolers are recommended. They are called cellars. They replicate the appropriate temperature and humidity. They allow users to select ideal temperatures for their wine. These cellars in various shapes and sizes are sold at Ekulo wine world. At Ekulo Wine World a vast catalogue of wine accessories from the world’s best makers is available for discerning connoisseurs. Brands of accessories stocked include Riedel, Eisch and other quality glass brands from Europe.
For all connoisseurs, take a trip to Ekulo Wine World.( http://www.ekulowineworld.com/)
Ingram Osigwe is the media consultant to Ekulo Group.