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Interviews

Gerard Basset Sommelier Restaurateur Extraordinaire
Gerard Basset, MS, MW, MBA, OBE, World’s Best Sommelier (2010), a Sommelier, Restaurateur and Human Being Extraordinaire is no more. He lost the battle with cancer yesterday. An introvert who became alive on stage while talking about wine looked very frail when I met him last at the MUST wine conference at Cascais Portugal where he was a Speaker. Cancer had gotten to him but he did not let it show on his face. He also joined us on an exclusive trip to Madeira and was cheerful and we shared many interesting anecdote of his usual visits to Madeira with his family and restructuring his restaurant business. I also learnt that the cheapest way to visit Madeira was by taking special packaged trips from UK and not from Lisbon.
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Hyatt Regency: Ivan Chieregatti Italian Chef with Indian Palate
Chef Ivan Chieregatti, the Executive Chef at Hotel Hyatt Regency Delhi, who has been overseeing food preparation at all the restaurants at Hyatt Regency Delhi for the last couple of years, is so fond of Indian food and spices that he has several forms of chillies in his personal portfolio that includes even ‘Bhoot Jhalokia’, perhaps world’s hottest chilli powder and in oil but otherwise keeps the food at La Piazza, truly authentic Italian, writes Subhash Arora who was privileged to try some of his hot specialties and the dessert
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Loic Pasquet of Liber Pater Bordeaux
Loic Pasquet, owner of vineyards with pre-phylloxera vines and a boutique winery- Liber Pater named after the Roman God of Wine, is a winemaker from Graves, Bordeaux. Producer of small quantities of wines that cost more than Petrus or the First Growths as he is the only one producing these unique wines, was in India a few weeks ago and mesmerized everyone he met with his wines including Subhash Arora who was invited to a private, exclusive tasting dinner at Hotel Pullman Aerocity
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Nick Pringle : Cricketing Coo for Sula
The appointment of Nick Pringle as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) reported last month first in delWine might have been a surprise for many but the process had been fermenting for quite some time, writes Subhash Arora who had an exclusive chat with him over breakfast last Wednesday at Hotel Le Meridian where he shared his vision on how he planned to use his years of experience in the wine and alcobev industry to help move Sula forward
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Donna Priscilla Incisa Della Rocchetta
Donna Priscilla Incisa Della Rocchetta, granddaughter of late Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, creator of the iconic Italian Super Tuscan Sassicaia at his Tenuta San Guido Estate, was in India on a short visit when she met and impressed a group of journalists, sommeliers and hospitality personnel, writes Subhash Arora who was invited to a lunch hosted on Tuesday by Madhulika Bhattacharyya of Le Cave, at Le Cirque for a select group to taste Sassicaia 2011 and Guidalberto 2012 paired with food
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Patrick Materman Winemaker of Brancott Estate
Patrick Materman, Chief Winemaker of Pernod Ricard- owned Brancott Estate in New Zealand was the VIP Guest judge invited for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition held last month in Hong Kong where Subhash Arora spent 4 days judging with him and also talking with him about his years with Bancroft and his contribution to their winemaking and the current status of New Zealand wine industry
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Mullineux Story with Chris and Andrea
Chris Mullineux and his wife Andrea, who have the Chairman of Max group Analjit Singh, as their new partner in the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, are the new wave of younger producers of South Africa, who have leapfrogged and achieved an iconic status in a short amount of time. The Mullineux were in India last week visiting their Indian partner, when Subhash Arora met them at a private dinner and tasted a few of their award winning wines
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Neil McGuigan of Australian Vintage
Neil McGuigan, the well-known and much awarded winemaker and now the CEO of Australian Vintage Ltd. (AVL) was the special invitee VIP Judge for the Cathay pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition (HKIWSC) last month when Subhash Arora took the opportunity to chat with him about his philosophy of winemaking, their interest in India and related topics like the legal case AVL had filed against Indage Vintners in 2009
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Jean-Charles Boisset: The James C Bond ‘69 from Burgundy
Jean- Claude- Boisset has been selling volume wines from Burgundy and South of France for over 50 years quite successfully but has been quietly undergoing a change over and is increasingly known for quality wines unlike in India where the old image of low-end wines perhaps still remains, writes Subhash Arora who met the founder’s son Jean Charles Boisset of JC Boisset in Hong Kong recently where he visited to judge at the annual HKIWSC
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GroverZ Gung-Ho on Great Growth This Year
After suffering a couple of years due to unfortunate quality problems that eroded the brand image and the distribution channel of Grover Zampa followed by a plateau during its attempt to revive its fortunes in the next couple of years, Grover Zampa finally seems to be in the expansion territory, according to Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO of the company, at an exclusive chat with Subhash Arora over lunch during a one-day visit to Delhi
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William Hardy
William Hardy, the 5th generation winemaker of the Hardy family till 2012 and now the Brand Ambassador for the Accolade-owned Hardy Wine Estate in Australia was in India recently, conducting Master Classes at the Oberoi and ITC Maurya Hotels, followed by a dinner with the Delhi Wine Club. Subhash Arora spent exclusive time with him at the dinner table at La Meridien Gurgaon, chatting with him about the history and philosophy of the 160 years old company
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Pablo Alvarez of Vega Sicilia
Riding on the popularity of the high quality wines from Vega Sicilia, Alvarez family already owns five wineries-Vega Sicilia, Alion, Pintia, Macan and Oremus (Tokaj) and is scouting around for the sixth one in a span of 33 years, writes Subhash Arora who had an exclusive chat with the Spanish icon from Vega Sicilia in Ribera del Duero, Pablo Alvarez who was visiting India for the third time and talked candidly about the wines, wineries and their philosophy including the strained relationships with his father and within the family, which would make an excellent script for a Hollywood blockbuster
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Counter Point- ROBERT JOSEPH –Enfant Terrible of Wine Industry
Robert Joseph is a well known English wine journalist, writer, critic, author, producer and a sought out speaker on the international wine circuit, whom Subhash Arora interviewed in Germany and Georgia to get some interesting revelations that may run counter to many current beliefs in the wine industry with a special reference to the Indian and Chinese industry and their growth comparison
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Jeffrey Davies – Anatomy of a Bordeaux Negociant
When you meet Jeffrey Davies, the first thing that impresses you is the smile in his eyes and his straightforwardness. But he also has a sharp wit and steady focus as I discovered during the 2-hour interview with him last week. He is perhaps the first American to have become a Bordeaux Negociant.
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Ravi Viswanathan- Co-owner of Grover and Sula –Part I
The Singaporean investment banker Ravi Viswanathan who invested in Grover-Zampa two years ago and created ripples as he bought equity into Sula this year, making him and Reliance as the common and significant investors in the top two wineries of India, tells Subhash Arora at an exclusive private dinner at OTW Aman that the two are more complementary than competing wineries, as he discusses the state of the Indian wine market
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