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

Posted: Monday, January 25 2010. 11:15

BevIndia 2010 spells Beverage Alcohol & Delhi

BevIndia2010, a two-day exhibition and conference on the spirits and wine industry debuted on Saturday at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. Organised by CIABC with a surprising accent on wine exhibitors, the keynote address by Dr. Vijay Mallya was a highlight, writes Subhash Arora.

The growth in wine and spirits shows continues with BevIndia 2010 debuting at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi and inaugurated by Mr. Rajeshwar Rao, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI). Organised by the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverages Companies (CIABC), an interesting feature at the small exhibition by about 16 or so, was a surprising majority of wine participants; 12 of the tables were manned by wineries from India and overseas.

While UB with its Zinzi and Four Seasons was the most visible and visited stall, Zampa and Sula were also showcasing their Indian wines with Nashik Vintners Association by their side. Grover was present and yet not present. There were no wines or men at their table.

The surprise presence by Sonarys Co-brands, the Mumbai based importer made one wonder if the participants had paid any money for exhibiting or it was made complimentary with some barter benefits like quenching the thirst of visitors with free wine.

Another surprising but pleasant feature was the Indian wines registered and sold in Delhi being tasted at the Shahjahan hall, the exhibition venue. This was in sharp contrast to the recently held IFDE Show at Pragati Maidan where almost empty stands booked by them had left the Indian Grape Processing Board red faced and wary of lending its name to the participation of wineries under its umbrella, like the one it had organised successfully in October at the Hong Kong Show.

Apparently, the excise authorities had considered tasting of registered wines at the Show in Pragati Maidan as an advertisement and sadly disallowed tasting or display as per the statutes, with most of the IGPB stands without wine or wineries. But the same participants at BevIndia while freely pouring their wines claimed the issue had been handled poorly by the show management and could have been resolved with proper approach.

The keynote address by Vijay Mallya at the special dinner was marred by his two-and-a half-hour late arrival. But he made an impassioned speech, head-on without apologizing for the delay-much like a bridegroom’s procession arriving hours late and then the grooms’ friends dancing and prancing around before entering the arena with the guests waiting impatiently, before commencing the ceremony..

But what a ceremony it was! He made a strong plea to make CIABC a strong industry alliance for a product that represents 9-10% of the world consumption in India, giving Rs.25, 000 crores to the exchequer and which had still not earned the respect of the government despite having gone way beyond the hooch making and bootlegging industry perception during the last 60 years.

He also slammed the state governments who used prohibition to meet their political ends, despite knowing that it had not been successful anywhere in India or overseas.

His declaration (surely, not the first time) of this year’s target of 100 million cases of beer and other liquor to his Field Marshal Vijay Rekhi, who incidentally is the Chairman of CIABC, a member of the Grape Board and was awarded the Living Legend recognition by the organisers, brought home the bitter reality that with this year’s optimistic total consumption of 1.4 million cases of wine, makes wine drinkers a negligible minority and the level of consumption pathetically low.

Therefore, it was not surprising that the panel discussion on ‘the Taxation & Excise issues’ did not comprise any visible names from the wine industry-though someone might incorrectly point out the presence of Asif Adil of John Distilleries (Big Bunyan) and Raju Vaziraney of Radico Khaitan Carlo Rossi). Mercifully, there was a session on ‘The Wine Industry in India-Challenges and Opportunities’ where Ms. Vinod Kotwal, CEO of IGPB and the Director of MOFPA was the Speaker and a panel discussion was moderated by Abhay Kewadkar, head honcho for wines at UB.

Among the foreign participants looking to enter the Indian market were Martell (Champagne), Vinakoper (Slovenia) and Vertikal (Bulgaria). Both these countries produce some very good wines and are knocking at our doors to be allowed to slip in. If the wines tasted are an indication, it is a matter of time and persistence that they will achieve the niche status in India, sooner or later.

Infact, the Capris Merlot 2005 from Vinakoper was an outstanding wine and at the decent price quoted, it would be far superior to many wines available at twice the price anywhere in the world.

The big surprise was the recently launched Four Seasons Reserve Cabernet and Shiraz, both of which were head and shoulders above most other Indian red wines. Both of them had a balanced toasty oak presence and can age for 3-5 years and are excellent food wines. I tasted them with Gilawahti kebab in the evening where Cabernet enhanced the flavour profile of food and added the desirable synergy and the Shiraz was a pleasant accompaniment even with the red- sauce pasta and the chicken dish. The excellent corporate box it is packaged in makes it a proud presentation and gift item not only for corporates but also for any wine lover outside India. One hopes it soon finds a prominent display at the duty-free shops.

Conspicuous by their absence at the show were wine spittoons. But not many seemed to be missing them and the tasting went on merrily. Someone might inform the Taj which boasts of an elegant wine service that they are necessary accessory for any wine tasting, proper wine glasses notwithstanding. Nobody was expected to be serious enough about wine tasting to miss the presence of breads (forget about the cheese!).

The Book Launch of ‘Working Together to reduce harmful drinking’ brought out no mention of wine, its positives or possible effects on reduced alcohol consumption when consumed with food. Another Coffee Table Book on the ‘History of Wine and Spirits in India’ that purports to bring in a revolutionary change in the wine and spirits industry with its chronological compilation, was also released with a strong recommendation from Mallya that it should be seen on the coffee tables of the decision makers, rather than the audience from the industry.

Quite a well attended event-to be repeated on January 20-21, 2011.

Subhash Arora


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