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
Goa Grape Escape Must Go On

Posted: Friday, 07 January 2011 16:48

Goa Grape Escape Must Go On

The annual Goan wine festival known as the Food and Lifestyle Festival Goa, must go on despite protests by misinformed, well-meaning women during the 4-day private visit on Monday by the Honourable President of India, Shrimati Pratibha Patil, urging her to put a stop to the wine festival to be held for the seventh year in State’s Capital Panjim, writes Subhash Arora .

Bailancho Saad, a women’s rights group protested a couple of days ago and requested President Pratibha Patil who came to the State on Monday on a personal 4-day visit, to ‘stop the sale of wine and liquor at government premises.’

'As the constitutional head, you are required to uphold the directive principles of the constitution prohibiting state governments from promoting alcohol,' Bailancho Saad Convener,  Sabina Martins reportedly said in her memorandum submitted to India’s First Lady on Tuesday evening.

They drew strength from Mrs. Patil’s aversion to alcohol. She is reported to have often referred to the evils of alcohol in her speeches after she took over as the President. She had expressed concern about growing alcoholism at a speech in Kochi over a year ago.

This is where the well-meaning ladies are misinformed, thus resulting in misdirected anger and frustration. They do not comprehend that wine and alcohol (liquor) are not the same thing. Wine is a lifestyle product the promotion of which (lifestyle, i.e.) is the main objective of the festival and generally speaking,it has nothing to do with the alcoholism that Madame Patil rightly talked about. Interestingly, due to the archaic policies of the State, Kerala is practically a dry State so far as wine is concerned- so Madame was surely not complaining about wine in Kerala

The ladies also brought out their prejudice in the open by twisting the words and spirit of the Constitution by telling Shrimati Patil, ‘you are required to uphold the directive principles of the constitution prohibiting state governments from promoting alcohol.’ Article 47 of the Constitution of India says that ‘the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.’

Not only are there no States except Gujarat and Mizoram (local made wine was allowed to be sold there recently) where there is prohibition, these well-meaning women are perhaps not aware of the fact that illegal, spurious and bootlegged liquor is available more freely than perhaps the neighbouring states, at least in Gujarat.

The Article 47 of the Constitutional explicitly excluded the drinks for ‘medicinal purposes.’ Throughout history, various doctors and philosophers have enunciated upon the health benefits of wine but during the last thirty years hundreds of scientific medical studies have been carried out- most evidencing health benefits of wine when taken in moderation. Several ayurvedic preparations already use fermented grapes in concntrated form in several formulations.

Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd has been organising the festival annually for the last 6 years, in association with Department of Tourism. The seventh edition is being held at the multiplex Inox Courtyard in Panaji (Panjim) every evening on 27-31 January.

It is usually held at the end of the peak season which starts fizzling out by January- end. One of the objectives behind organizing this festival is to promote 'Brand Goa' to the rest of the world by providing an opportunity to the visitors to sample Goa as a lifestyle destination. Several wineries, hoteliers and restaurateurs present a range of wines and international gastronomical delights, including fusion cuisine and exotic desserts.

‘What the festival offers is an opportunity to taste and sample wines from several producers-mostly Indian although foreign wines were also present last year,’ says Kawaljeet Singh, National Sales Manager of Big Banyan, one of the very few wineries in the State. Although wine is the real protagonist, there are several other attractions for the young and old alike- there are cultural shows, live music and fashion shows. The selection of The Grape Escapade Queen 2011 is another highlight on the last day

Not only are the visitors in a position to taste uncountable number of wines available for sampling, they can buy what they like at good discounts. The wineries are happy to participate despite the presence required for four days because they are able to educate the novices and impress the connoisseurs with their wines- organising and participating in such wine tastings is an accepted international practice in every wine producing country.

The threat posed by the women’s group notwithstanding, another danger is lurking on the horizon. The organisers reportedly are demanding Rs.46,000 as the participating fee from the wineries who find it too steep, especially as it was around Rs.30,000 last year. They feel that since they are doing a lot of free sampling for four days, (the sales at the fest are not remunerative enough for them as they offer heavy discounts) the government organisers should be more reasonable and should even subsidise as the event promotes Brand Goa and tourism. Barely getting out of recession, most of them already have their backs to the wall despite positive movements during the last few months.

There is enough time for both sides to negotiate for a solution. The event has already been announced and details are already on the website of Goa Tourism. One can hope that the hiccups are part of the bumps the wine industry has been facing in every corner of India and that the event which around 20,000 people are expected to attend and enjoy will go on to be bigger and better than before. For the sake of a growing future of the wine industry,

The Goa Grape Escape 2011 Must Go On.

Subhash Arora



John carmo rodrigues Says:

A well written article. The stand taken by these misinformed ladies appears to be a cheap publicity stunt. It is likely that they are well aware of the medicinal value of wine taken in moderation. I have made over 100 different w types of wines from fruits, herbs and spices and they are welcome to refute the medicinal properties of these products. john carmo

Posted @ January 12, 2011 10:15




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