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Delhi Wine Club
Feature: Wine Club goes Formal with Tulleeho

Posted: Wednesday, 15 December 2010 10:27

Feature: Wine Club goes Formal with Tulleeho

Delhi Wine Club became perhaps the first wine club in India to introduce a formal certified programme for its members as Indian Wine Academy collaborated with Tulleeho for the certified Level 1 programme of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London at Hotel Shangri-la last Saturday.

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Tulleeho has been in the business of education for bartenders and spirits drinkers; Six months ago it also started imparting wine knowledge in structured format as a WSET Provider of Level 1 and Level 2 programmes throughout India with trained faculty based in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. He has covered more than 150 persons during the last 6 months when Vikram Achanta, the founder owner of Tulleeho started this programme.

‘Level 1 is a 6-hour module with 12 wines from different countries to be tasted,’ said Rohan as Subhash Arora welcomed the participants to the programme in the meeting Room No. 1, professionally set up for the class of the daring dozen. ‘Typically, we like to have between 10-15 persons in each class,’ informed Vikram.

At the end of the one-day programme, the members of the Club came out happy and hopefully better informed about wines and the tasting regimen. Said Bhavna Bahl, a young financial consultant who also manages the family resort in Goa, ‘I love to drink wine and enjoy tasting different wines but I was never clear of what I should expect from my wine in the glass. But, now I can appreciate the whole process a lot more. By the way, the food was delicious too!’ she said.

V. P. Rajesh is relatively a new member who shifted from California and has enjoyed Californian wines for years. Partner of an investment fund, he writes to the Club, ‘Thanks for organizing the WSET Class. I had a wonderful time learning the wine basics in a structured manner. Rohan was an excellent trainer and I had lots of fun.  I look forward to such wonderfully unique events in the future.’ The sentiments were echoed by other participants.

The target audience of Tulleeho is a mix of consumer enthusiasts, hospitality and wine industry professionals. ‘Sula, Aspri, Good Earth, UB Wine, Mittal Vineyards and Nirvana Biosys have been our clients from the wine industry while we have trained personnel in the Taj, Renaissance, Park, Shangri La, Oberoi and Set’Z in the hospitality sector,’ Vikram says, counting the names of Aspri, Modi Illva, Sopexa, Globus Spirits in the Beverage industry as his clients.

Tulleeho also teaches the course in the Wine Retailing sector. Spencer's, Veekay Enterprises have already sent their staff for the basic course which includes guided tasting of 12 wines by an authorized trainer. In WSET programmes, a Level 2 graduate can teach level 1 while the Level 4 (Diploma) can teach all levels 3 (Advanced Certificate), 2 and 1. Two Indians living in India have recently finished Level 4 (no one has challenged our information so far- we may not be aware of some dark horses.). Although not compulsory, the Diploma helps in getting admission to the MW course conducted by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Vikram is quite pleased to have conducted the course for the Delhi wine Club members through the efforts of the Indian Wine Academy. ‘So far as I know, Delhi Wine Club is the first wine club in India to embrace the programme, and I am thankful to the Indian Wine Academy for taking the initiative and the lead. The wine clubs have true wine lovers as members and would benefit a lot from some structured and certifiable programme,’ believes Vikram Achanta. ‘The exams for both Level 1 and 2 are conducted under the aegis of WSET, including the exam papers and certification,’ he adds.

Like most other wine clubs, the Delhi Wine Club promotes wine culture through informal education at the wine events which are mostly wine dinners- 170 of which have been organised so far, according to the president, Subhash Arora. ‘As one may expect, a few members had been keen to have some formal wine knowledge and we were fortunate to have the desired number to sign up for the programme, as a starter. Many of the participants have already indicated desire to go ahead with Level 2 also,’ he says. 

A programme like this cannot be successful unless supported by the industry. ‘I am very happy that Remy Cointreau, Sula Vineyards and Aspri are supporters of our program,’ admits Vikram.

In the coming years, a variety of educational programmes will be available as the desire to learn about wine grows with the increase of wine culture and the number of wine drinkers swelling. Indian Wine Academy has so far chosen the path of education masses through online programmes, conducting wine appreciating evenings and organising Masterclasses in various segments of wine and for different category of wine stake holders.

But the need for structured programmes will increase beyond the perfunctory look at wines by the hotel management institutes currently and structured, established programmes like WSET will continue to flourish as the costs come down and more people are able to afford them. Tulleeho plans to keep up and try to stay a step ahead, says Vikram Achanta.




Rishi Vohra Says:

It is great that WSET courses are becoming widespread in India and increasingly accessible. I am based in San Francisco, and was looking to certify myself in the field of wine while educating myself. While WSET is highly valued, another course- CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) is also highly regarded with only a handful of wine specialists holding the title all over the world.

Unlike some other certified wine courses, this is highly recognized the world over, even though it is not advertised or widely known. Unlike the WSET course, this is a self-study and very intensive course, taking about a year after putting at least a few hours daily. The exam is very challenging and tests one's thorough and in-depth understanding of wine. Exam centers are very selective- I had to travel to Los Angeles to give the exam, otherwise had to wait for three months.

Only 50% of people pass although almost all of them have immense prior experience in the wine industry. But on completing and passing the course, one truly feels empowered with wine knowledge and a thorough understanding of all aspects of wine. Of course, it's still a leg in the journey as one is always learning about wine. Rishi Vohra CSW.

Posted @ December 15, 2010 13:18


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