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Why can’t the Indian more like Trump

Posted: Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:06


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Blog : Why can’t the Indian more like Trump

April 19: U.S. President Donald Trump is a teetotaller like PM Narendra Modi, yet the POTUS served wine-albeit only American, at a dinner before the start of a summit between him and President Xi JinPing at his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach Florida on Friday April 7. Earlier, he had served Californian wines at his Inauguration in January, making us wonder once again, why we cannot serve Indian wines at events like State Banquets, promoting ‘Make in India’ Concept globally, writes Subhash Arora

Click For Large ViewPresident Trump would have been served a non alcoholic beverage but the guests were served a couple of Californian wines, according to the report in Decanter. The Chardonnay served is available in several US states priced between $13 and $20 while the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is generally priced between $25-$30 at retail stores.   

At his inaugural Lunch also Trump had served the traditional Special Inaugural  Cuvée of  Korbel ‘California Champagne’. Besides, J. Lohr’s Arroyo Vista Chardonnay 2013, produced from the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County and Cabernet Sauvignon Black Stallion Estate Winery’s limited release Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 from Napa Valley were served with the dinner.


Generally, whenever PM Modi or any Head of State goes out of India, the dinner includes wine. Barring UK where wine making is a relatively new phenomenon and the wines are more international in varieties (and much better quality and price too), the focus is on locally produced wines to help promote the industry, directly or indirectly.

Chinese government normally serves Chinese wines at such events. Various governments serve wines from their own country. Not only do they identify them with their country but also promote the wine industry.

Assuming we are proud of India, as most of us are, we are also a hypocrite nation. Of course, a lot of the problem arises due to diverse opinions and mores in different parts of the country. We allow the production of wine but we cannot promote it. A majority of people who oppose wine assume wine is an alcohol (hard liquor like whiskey or vodka) whereas it is in fact a fruit product; alcohol is only another manifestation of the sugar in the grapes during fermentation. The alcohol level is generally under 15% of natural alcohol and enhances the flavours of the food, besides being a healthy product. Remember my phrase- Wine is not alcohol, it has some!

A majority of the bureaucrats and politicians who oppose the concept drink wine or even hard liquor like whisky. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former BJP Prime Minister is a living example. It is an open secret that he has been a habitual scotch drinker in the privacy of his home. Needless to emphasise that the government issues license to produce and sell wine and is even helpful to producers in Maharashtra, and Karnataka where it controls the sale through a Corporation.

Balasaheb Thackeray, the late Shiv Sena Supremo died in November 2012 at the age of 86. He used to openly admit drinking a glass of wine regularly, even though he preferred white and warm (at Mumbai’s room temperature!). Interestingly, his main reason of starting drinking wine was the advice of his doctor who told him to drink red wine which he didn’t like. No one questioned that and it is perhaps an unrealistic fear psychosis in the minds of politicians that there would be a backlash by the public.

According to a recent news report, Karnataka government will soon start producing wine in its own label in a couple of years through Karnataka Wine Board which is considered one of the active arms of the government, promoting wines and wine culture through tourism. Perhaps, Maharashtra and Karnataka should change their State laws to allow serving wine (even if it allows only wine and only the local wines produced within the State) at State functions! Perhaps, then they could lobby with the central government to consider serving wine at the national level.

Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is equivalent to God) is the catchphrase used a lot by the politicians especially the tourism ministry. For most of the western diplomats and even other evolved diplomats from other countries, wine is a part of gastronomy. Let us give them complete meal and in the process help the domestic producers.

They will not benefit from such consumption directly but the indirect benefits and the tangibles are numerous. They will help propel the culture of wine with food and in turn, hopefully wean people away from hard drinks and make sure the younger generation stays away from high alcohol and in the process change the mindset of non Indians who believe that Indians drink to get drunk.

I have been promoting the concept of serving Indian wines at State Banquets since 2010. There is no provision in the Constitution that disallows serving wine at State Banquets. Here is a glimpse of some of our most recent Articles:

Royal Suggestion for Indian State Banquets

Blog: GIFT for Indian Wines at State Banquets

Serve Indian Wines at State Banquets

Jai Ho!!

Subhash Arora

The title of the Article was inspired by the song ‘Why can't the English teach... their children how to speak?’ sung by Prof Henry Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’

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Pradeep Khanna Says:

I totally agree with your suggestions. it may be forwarded to PMO.A lot of foreigners prefer to take local wines when in India and so why not promote our wines.

Posted @ April 27, 2017 14:20


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