DELHI, Nov. 21 -- Standing in the dining room of his classy South Mumbai apartment, Mark Sutch lightens up as he talks about the history of his favourite wine bottles. He cradles a bottle of red in his hands and says, "I am most attached to this one. It's a Chteau Lynch-Bages." You'd think the regional GM - South Asia, Middle East and Africa of Cathay Pacific would have passions starting and ending at the aviation world. But Sutch is a proud wine enthusiast, and he proclaims that this is the drink that's been served at the airline's first class section since 1982. "I am very close to the family that makes this wine in Bordeaux. Every time I open a bottle, it reminds me of them," he says.

The stock that he shows us now is hardly anything of...