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Posted: Tuesday, November 10 2009. 10:59

Mumbai Wine Fest 2009 Refreshing

 ‘Almost a year after being torn apart by the 26/11 episode, Mumbai is preparing to heal its wounds and move on’ says Prahalad Kakkar, Ad guru, and wine connoisseur who inaugurated the first Mumbai Wine Tasting Festival & Mumbai Bar-B-Q Festival on 7th November 2009. Our Mumbai correspondent Malathi Natarajan reports.

Instead of the usual fancy hotels, the venue selected by the organizer, CCS Hospitality Services in association with DNA at The Pier, Bombay Presidency Radio Club with its splendid view of the ocean, the harbor and the Gateway of India was very apt and a refreshing change.

The event displayed wines from over 14 top wineries including Maizma, Sula Vineyards, Reveilo, Zampa, Vin & Valour, York Winery, Vinsura Vineyards, Good Earth Winery, Chateau d'Ori, Ralph Craven, Pause & Four Seasons with a number of new wines being introduced by both existing and new wineries. For those who do not fancy domestic wines, there were plenty of imports. Love Cabernet or Chardonnay only? There was a roomful. If you couldn’t find a few wines here you think were great, you probably don't love wine.

Karan Jain CEO and CMD Globus Wines, believes that quality rather than quantity should be the focus to make it in the wine industry and survive the recession. He also stated that some of the producers have been resorting to heavy discounting, making it difficult to compete on quality alone. The new Miazma Chenin Blanc was refreshing and certainly one of the wines to look out for. Aiming to establish an exclusive brand, only 3000 bottles have been produced of which only 500 would be available in retails while the rest on ‘request to ship basis’.

Girish Mhatre of Good Earth Winery who recently launched three wines believes that there is a resonance between the creation of music and wine as he explained the Concerto collection and the Raga collections. Interestingly Girish is one of the new age vintners, who believes in running a “virtual” winery!

Transportation and storage conditions have been a great cause of concern in the wine industry in India and this was obvious during the event where some of the wines were warm much to the embarrassment of the wine makers.

This correspondent also managed to catch up with one of the few Indian winemakers in the country. Mr. M.P. Sharma, the winemaker for Vinsura, stated that he would like to see more Indian winemakers as they would be able to better appreciate the local terroir and also expressed his view that Chenin Blanc which is better suited for the Indian climatic conditions than most other varietals has not received the recognition and appreciation that it should, so far.

The only positive point in the food section was the Cambay Tiger – where Prahlad Kakkar displayed his culinary skills with fresh tiger prawns. The cheese section was a mixed bag. On the one hand we had Amul and another local brand providing samples which proved how much further the cheese producers in India have moved. But it was disappointing that those manning the stalls did not have basic information to share with visitors. The lack of creativity in the display of the cheese and used tooth picks lying all over the counter, left one wondering why we don’t pay attention to details.

Given the beautiful ambience and being the first fest of its kind in Mumbai, the response is a bit disappointing, said Pratap Arora of CSS Hospitality service.

‘I am not an expert on wines but I do see a great improvement in the quality of the domestic wine over the past few months’ said one of the visitors. ‘People seem to understand wines better today than a few years ago,’ said another and he also stated that he has seen celebrities adding soda and ice to wine in the past!

It’s a great start to the Mumbai wine scene and the bottom line is, it is still very early days for the wine industry in India and despite lack of awareness, inadequate exposure to wine culture, the high costs and logistic challenges, we certainly need more such events to encourage and appeal to the new generation to explore the world of wines.

Malathi Natarajan

Comments

Subhash Arora Says:

You will know through delWine. Unfortunately, most of the events like this are with Indian wines only. For tasting of imported wines, you need to take part in a wine show, like the one one happening next month Delhi or the one in Mumbai on January 28-30-called the Taste Expo. Subhash Arora

Posted @ November 25, 2009 14:23

 

CTG TRAMBUSTI GIGLIOLA Says:

when will the next event happen ??? Please let me know . Thank you and best regards

Posted @ November 12, 2009 12:15

       

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