Nov 29: Despite the stringent excise laws of the Delhi government not allowing registered labels in the Capital for trade shows to display those wines and spirits, Vinexpo India is getting ready to usher in a new era of such shows after a drought of several years, writes Subhash Arora who has curated a set of around a dozen Masterclasses relating to wines and spirits, some with celebrity chefs preparing food for pairing
Already under the pressure of the Covid pandemic which is hopefully at the fag end, the excise law in Delhi do not permit display and tasting of such alcoholic beverages at Shows like Vinexpo India being organised for the first time at Pragati Maidan on 9-11 December 2021. The labels registered in Delhi are barred for display and tasting at such events. One hopes that with international Shows like Vinexpo showing a keen interest in India and its future market, the excise department would take a pragmatic view and change the policy to be in line with cities like Mumbai and Bangalore. It is imperative to taste wines in every vintage to decide their characteristics which change every year.
Show Must Go On
As the saying goes, the ‘Show Must Go On’. At Vinexpo India, there will be wines from over 10 countries including Italy, Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the US. A host of exotic fruit wines will also be present to titillate your palate. Liquors including vodka, whisky and the Japanese elixir, Sake will be available for tasting. Liqueurs from Switzerland will swoon your palate. If beer is your thing, Belgium will showcase some.
Masterclasses the backbone
Masterclasses are a notable attraction at Vinexpo . ‘I remember attending the ‘Renaissance of Riesling’ Masterclass by Ernie Loosen, in Vinexpo 2003. It left a lasting impression on me. Not only did my curiosity about German Rieslings take a big leap resulting in my visiting several Riesling producing regions in Germany including Mosel, as did my respect for this iconic Mosel producer. I even managed to find an importer for him in India. Today Dr. L Riesling adorns the Wine Lists of several 5-star hotels and many restaurants and is also popular in Retail,’ says Subhash Arora, Advisor to the Show and Conference Chairman at Vinexpo India.
Exotic Fruit wines
The Exotic Fruit Wines and Meads is a relatively new entry in the world of wines. The cause has been pushed by Himachal Pradesh Marketing Produce for over 2 decades but they were not promoted much in Delhi. Hill Zill Winery in Bordi, near Mumbai is not only producing fruit wines from Sapota (Chikoo), star-fruit, pineapples, mangoes and strawberries, they have a range of honey wines (Mead) which have had a latent demand for years. They produce Rose and Jamun infused exotic wines that are world class and would win them multiple medals in wine competitions. Founder Priyanka Save and CEO Deepak Bhatnagar (retired senior Vice President of Sales at Sula Vineyards) will take you through her journey so far and the future of the industry at a Masterclass with several varieties to taste.
It is heartening to know that Rod Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, the parent company that owns Vinexpo, will be visiting the Show from France. He is a keen promoter of Indian wines, which should see a jump in their export potential with the advent of this Show.
Premiumisation of Indian wines has been increasing with wineries like KRSMA, Fratelli and Sula vying with each other to produce the top drop. Grover Vineyards has been quietly bringing in technology and upgrading its processes and is ready with what it considers will become the top wine Label of India. At the inaugural session of the Masterclasses, Magandeep Singh, well-known Sommelier will unveil the range of 5 such label to the select few registered guests who will have their first taste of the most expensive and ostensibly the best wine labels from the Indian stable.
Relevance of Wine Clubs
‘When I founded the Delhi Wine Club in 2002, I was asked by a member why we should not merge it with an already existing club in Delhi. My response then was that Delhi needed to have one hundred such clubs if we were to promote wine culture seriously’, says Subhash Arora who is an avid wine club promoter and is glad to see both these clubs still progressing after two decades, each promoting the culture in its own way.
For the first time, Vinexpo India will present the Presidents of 5 different wine clubs pan- India to discuss how relevant they have been to wine promotion and the challenges ahead. Those interested in forming new clubs or just enjoying a glass of wine with their food would find it an extremely interesting Masterclass that might even motivate them to form new Clubs of their own, through which they can further encourage wine culture, assuming that they are beneficial.
Strict Covid Protocols
The Show will strictly follow Covid protocols. Only those with double vaccination will be allowed entry so please keep your certificates ready to show and follow Social Distancing norms. Since the legal age reduction to 21 years has still not been notified, only those above 25 years (except Hotel Management students who will be allowed in these Masterclasses with no tasting privileges) will be allowed in this B2B wine show for wine professionals and enthusiasts.
Pre-registration is strongly recommended as the popular ones are filled up fast. One should also pre-register for complimentary entry to the Show. For the Schedule of Masterclasses, please click here:
To Register for the Masterclass, click here
To Register for the Show click here
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