Nov 13: For the first time in Indian wine history, Indian Wine Day is being celebrated pan India on November 16, 2017 when premium and super premium Indian wines paired with ‘Baluchi’ cuisine at The LaLiT hotels in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur AND London will be served to select invitees, all on the same date and with a Menu with each dish paired with wine from one producer at a sit-down dinner followed by Desserts and unlimited bubblies and other wines to taste, writes Subhash Arora who germinated the idea so that one day it becomes a recognised national event
The concept is a brain-child of Cav. Subhash Arora, President of the Indian Wine Academy, who along with the French Corporate Sommelier Charles Donnadieu is a keen promoter of Indian wines with Indian cuisine for an exclusive Indian gastronomical experience, hoping to accelerate wine drinking culture. The aim is also to remove snobbery around Indian wines and increase acceptance of the distinctly improved quality and availability of Indian wines and encourage Indian producers and hospitality industry to come together on a common platform to make it an annual feature to emphasize to the public and even the government that wine is a food product.
With the active support of the Corporate F & B Manager Mr. Ravindra Kumar and the infectious enthusiasm of Mr. Keshav Suri, Executive Director of the Lalit group, the Indian Wine Day project was launched in July 2017- initially for Delhi but later extended gradually to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur AND London.
Le Indian Wine Day Est Arrivé!
We selected November 16, a rather inconvenient Thursday - to bring home the importance of an Indian wine day which ought to be observed by producers with fervour every year. Beaujolais, a very small AOC Appellation in Rhone but bordering and also closer to Burgundy in wine style, is a cluster of a few villages only producing red wine. It celebrates a ‘Beaujolais Nouveau Day’ globally on every third Thursday of November when the new vintage is released as the clock strikes midnight, at 00.01 Am and uncorked in various parts of the world, including India with the slogan ‘Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Arrivé!’ Why not bring in the concept on a globally popular day! And hence the date for the maiden Indian Wine Day! It will be a more convenient date from next year and will be selected with the help of producers and other feedback.
Baluchi Restaurants at The Lalit are known for excellent Indian cuisine. After several tastings and pairings, we decided to pair the same dishes with select Indian wines from Sula, Grover, Fratelli, York, Charosa, Chandon and KRSMA at all the venues. The wine lists have had to be tweaked a little to match the availability in each city.
Dinner will be a majestic sit-down affair at all venues inside Baluchi and Al Fresco where possible-including Delhi and Bangalore. Desserts and sparkling wines will be served in Kitty Su, Kitty Ko or the equivalent night clubs at The Lalit where other wines will also be served for tasting, sponsored by the producers, including Big Banyan and SDU in Bangalore. Plenty of music and dancing will get you in the celebratory mood. Response from the producers has been spontaneous and excellent with all of them pitching in towards their cause which will catch much more momentum in future. All the producers, their winemakers or representatives will be present at most venues to showcase their wines.
In Bangalore, the Indian Wine Day will start at 11 AM at Hotel Lalit Ashok where wines from 8 producers will be uncorked for sampling to all eligible visitors till 7 pm. Enoteca by Madhuloka and Karnataka Wine Board will power the tasting to create awareness about premium Indian wines and their improved quality. There will also be other activities like grape-stomping. The event will be open to the public with no entry fee and offers a great opportunity of learning about wines.
Indian Wine Day is a joint initiative of The Lalit and Indian Wine Academy. Dinners are being partnered with the Delhi Wine Club in Delhi and Mumbai, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary at this event. Bangalore Wine Club in Bangalore and Chandigarh Wine Club in Chandigarh will drive the evening in those cities. The event is also supportive of ‘Make in India’ concept by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and highlights the importance of Indian wines in the future development of our economy.
To make the Indian Wine Day (IWD) Celebrations more exciting and to further the cause of Indian wines, The Lalit group has announced that Indian wines ordered at a restaurant in any of their properties in India and London will enjoy 50% discount on the Wine List Price on 16-18 November, on the wines available in stock. The joint IWD initiative of The Lalit and Indian Wine Academy is expected to be extended to all properties of The Lalit next year.
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Let us raise our glasses to Indian wines and Indian Wine Day and say Cheers - or better – Jai Ho- an initiative of the Indian Wine Academy to popularise a universally acceptable Indian phrase which is used so commonly otherwise.
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