A tasting of 3 wines, with 80-100 mL from a producer/region costing Rs. 1000 AI only per person with some cheese thrown in and conducted in the beautiful wine cellar by an Italian lady Sommelier, as indicated by the Restaurant manager when it was launched, was so impressive that delWine carried a story despite the skimpy information provided by the manager on the phone. It sounded so attractive that it could truly be adopted as a model to promote wine to novices and connoisseurs alike and a great opportunity to learn about wines. It was not unsurprising when a few subscribers of delWine attended some of the tastings and thanked us for the timely information.
The programme for this quarter, beginning on 4th April, started with wines from Mouton Rothschild, coinciding with the visit of the Managing Director of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Mr Hugues Lechanoine and had several promising events every Wednesday and Friday, each set costing the same-Rs.1000 AI.
â€˜I called up the hotel immediately for a possible booking for 12-14 members of the Delhi Wine Club on either May 23 or 25 for the Gaja tasting,â€™ says Subhash Arora, founder President of the Delhi Wine Club celebrating its 10th anniversary. â€˜I believed it would be a great opportunity to have a select group of members go through a guided tasting of this iconic wine although we have already had an outstanding Â dinner with Gaja wines including their signature Barbaresco at Oberoi Gurgaon last year.â€™ As an educational activity of the Club, the evening might have also been reported in delWine.Â
The hotel regretted politely, saying that this would be the most coveted event and it would not be possible to accommodate the request- apparently even a word from the importer who supplied the wines perhaps free or at a highly discounted rates, failed to impress and apparently drew regret from the General Manager. The presence of people you could count on the fingers of a hand, reminds one of a common sight in the yesteryears when the train would be â€˜fullâ€™ while making a booking but one would find it almost empty on the actual day of travel.
Perhaps, the programme is meant for the elite customers only and they wait till the last minute to fill up the place. Perhaps, it is designed only to please Chairman Bikki Oberoi who is a hands-on person and likes to keep tabs on the happenings and surely receives the first copy of Envoy. It may also be a part of the Events to impress the hotel guests about their interest in wine promotion (in which case why they waste by sending me multiple copies, is not clear)
In an earlier tasting of Kendal Jackson â€“touted as the best from California wines, there were even less number of people present! One hopes the hotel is not naÃ¯ve enough to make bookings without taking the full advance-Indians are known to develop last minute diarrhea or are always taking someone in the family to the hospital when no advance has been paid, disrupting the whole event. Delhi Wine Club presumed the whole amount would have to be paid upfront while booking.
Whatever may be the explanation, it appears that an ideal tasting opportunity is being frittered away due to reasons that need to be examined by the management after they analyse the takings at their tastings and perhaps share with our readers through their Comments. Something seems to have gone wrong in excellent planning but poor execution. Meanwhile, an affluent set of Delhi denizens is being deprived of an excellent opportunity to taste interesting and more importantly, diversified wines.
And no matter what the long term commercial interests of the hotels may be, such tastings are an excellent way of wine education and the efforts, if they are genuine and do not seek cheap publicity, are laudable and must be made successful by connoisseurs and novices alike- and delWine is available to disseminate such information, without any charges or obligations.
For our earlier article, click:
We Recommend- Wine Tasting at Oberoi