India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
DWC: A Decade of Wine Culture Promotion

Posted: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 17:10

DWC: A Decade of Wine Culture Promotion

September 25 : Delhi Wine Club, one of the premier wine clubs of India which completes 10 years this year, celebrated the milestone with a special 200th wine dinner at Hyatt Regency, Delhi last Friday with over 250 people attending a sit-down dinner that saw the Foreign Secretary Mr. Ranjan Mathai, Director General of OIV Mr. Federico Castellucci, Ambassadors, diplomats, producers and invitees who tasted the change of wine culture during a decade of existence

Very few people in India can justifiably claim to have promoted with selfless passion the wine culture in India as Cavaliere Subhash Arora, founder President of the Delhi Wine Club which celebrated its 10th Anniversary and the 200th wine event on September 21 at the Hyatt Regency, which was also the hospitality partner. The event was co-sponsored by Ethos Summit in conjunction with the deluxe luxury watch brand Rolex.

When he founded the club in 2002, this electrical engineer from IIT Delhi, who had spent six years in the USA where he did his MS and MBA at the University of Minnesota and worked in the US industry, designed a website for the club as he was already in the business of making websites at the time. His vision was simple - to let people throughout the world know about wine culture and industry in India, and a vibrant website – the first webzine of India – was the only way to reach across the world.

It was not a surprise that during the 10th anniversary celebrations at the Hyatt Regency last Friday, producers like Rajeev Samant and Cecilia Oldne of Sula, Abhay Kewadkar of Four Seasons, Kapil Sekhri of Fratelli Wines and Rukn Luthra, formerly of Nine Hills, came for the sit-down dinner for 250 people, where a 7-course gourmet meal was served with 9 wines of enviable quality. Drappier Champagne, Croft Pink Port Cocktail, Chablis from Joseph Drouhin, Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay, Saperavi wines from Georgia, Caballo Loco from Valdivieso in Chile, Cesari Amarone and Mas La Plana and a Moscatello dessert wine from Torres, would make any international connoisseur salivate with envy.

Arora had planned the evening seamlessly and with great aplomb, using his decade-old skills of matching food with wine. Perhaps, this was the biggest sit-down dinner with fine wines ever held in India, certainly in Delhi. The service by Hyatt was excellent and may well mark the beginning of a fine dining gourmet culture in a banquet hall in a five-star hotel in Delhi. The special guest of the evening, the honourable Mr Ranjan Mathai admitted that he preferred single malts but he enjoyed the set of wines this evening.

Wine makes people very warm and friendly. One could see the perfect example with a very approachable Mr Mathai mingling with anyone who wished to chat with him before and during the sit-down dinner. One could be sure the country’s foreign policy was not on his mind, though one wondered if he discussed the recent incident in France that created a bit of a scare in Delhi at their embassy – or the case of the two Italian marines – with the French and Italian Ambassadors sitting by his side at the table.

A key dignitary at the event was Mr. Federico Castellucci, the Director General of OIV - International Organisation of Vines and Wines - who had come personally at Arora’s invitation. ‘I am following the great service Subhash has been rendering not only to the Indian wine industry but throughout the world. He is a force of nature,’ he said, adding that it was a pleasure to come here and share his moments of glory. Arora had helped the OIV and the Indian government officials connect through the proper channels. India was inducted as the 45th member state into this UN-styled organization where only sovereign States may be members. Arora is the only Indian to have been awarded a medal of merit by OIV last year for his service to the world wine industry. Of course, Mr Castellucci used the opportunity to later visit the wine industry in Nashik, meet grape growers in Pune and various government agencies including the Indian Grape Processing Board. The Secretary of MOFPI, Mr. Rakesh Kaicker and senior bureaucrats also graced the wine dinner.

Arora proclaims to be the champion of wine - from every wine producing nation. He has extended significant support and service to the Indian industry, including nudging the OIV to grant a full-member status at the first instance and not as an observer, which is generally the case. He writes prolifically, exhorting the government to understand the intricacy of the wine industry and be more rational in their approach. He urges Indian producers to improve their quality by competing with the foreign wines. ‘I have no doubt that we shall be a force to reckon with in the wine world, though due to our geographic location and the weather pattern we may not be able to make the best quality of wines for decades to come,’ he opines.

The reasons are not far to seek. The Indian wine industry is in a nascent stage with only a 10-year track record, though a couple of producers like Indage and Grover were already present in the nineties. From a 150,000-case industry it has already reached a 1.5 million-case industry, experiencing a 25-30% annual growth, barring the couple of years of crippling recession; in comparison with the Old World where wine has been produced for millennia and has been a part of the culture and life-style; it will take time to come up in quality and branding.

In jest, Arora told the audience at the dinner that he would like to see Rajeev Samant take over the job of the current DG, Mr Castellucci in the next 20 years. People sipping on their wines laughed but he was serious, he said. He implied metaphorically that India had to constantly improve quality and work on international networking during the next couple of decades; Director General of OIV is an elected post, after all. Mr. Castellucci, who loves India, said with a smile that he would be glad to extend all the help.

Thus the curtain came down on the historical evening. In a city where restaurants open and shut and barely last a few years, where marriages often don’t last a decade, it is a matter of pride for the wine lovers that the club is buzzing with activity even after 10 years. It is ‘business’ as usual, says Arora, as the members are already waiting for the next wine dinner, #201. The seats get filled up the day the mail goes from the club office about the next event - a compliment to the organizational acumen of Arora who does not charge a rupee to the club and is driven purely by passion for wine, but is getting ready to wean away from the club activities and slowly hand over charge to the younger members who will surely carry on the tradition of spreading wine culture.


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet