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Posted: Thursday, 17 August 2017 15:37


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Viewpoint: Let’s Start Celebrating Indian Wines

Aug 17: Now that we have celebrated our Independence Day with great fervour and brought out our sense of patriotism at an annual high, it is time the wine producers, hospitality industry and consumers considered celebrating Indian Wines at a larger scale on any one day of the year, on lines similar to a Day earmarked by different wines like Champagne, Beaujolais Nouveau and varietals like Malbec and Grenache, writes Subhash Arora who feels this will be a big booster for Indian wines and will also promote the ‘Make in India’ project conceived by PM Modi

Click For Large ViewThe first name that comes to mind when one thinks of these special days is Argentina Malbec Day. Malbec is a signature grape varietal in Argentina which it celebrates globally on April 17 every year.

‘Malbec is the heart of our industry and continues to be our ambassador to the rest of the world.

This day celebrates our essence, what our people do best and what best represents our growth and expansion as a country’ says their website.

The country has also considered making wine a national drink in order to help it increase exports globally

There are several international days to help promote a particular varietal; like Grenache Day or to promote a particular region like Global Champagne Day on October 20/21. Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated every year on the third Thursday of November when they release their new wines throughout the world. Australia tops the chart with an Aussie Wine Month for the whole of May!

National Day for Indian Wines

Indian wines have now developed a visible confidence of quality that is infectious. Despite the budget constraints, many of the wineries have embarked upon programmes and events to showcase their wines. It is not unusual to learn about many of these activities in a weekly calendar. Many of these activities are focussed on different ‘Wines of India’-underlining the impetus to the Make in India Abhiyan (campaign) enunciated by PM Narendra Modi.

It would be imperative to walk hand in hand with the government officers and politicians to encourage the campaign. Indian wine producers need to come under a common umbrella and initiate an event like one National Day for Indian Wines. If Independence Day can instil the feeling of patriotism and reinforce the pride we have in our nation, it stands to reason that a Day should be assigned wherein various cities organise programmes involving wine tastings, creating awareness about Indian wines and instilling confidence about them amongst wine drinkers.

Such plans must by definition, include creating awareness about the health benefits of wine in moderation-and ill effects of excessive drinking, something that has not been done actively and significantly so far by the liquor industry or the government , resulting in the problem of excessive drinking and alcoholism. A long drawn out process that would take years but it is doable as a part of the wine culture creation. Similarly, it would be very important to invite as many of the bureaucrats, politicians and decision makers as possible for such events. A person who drinks wine regularly is more likely to make more logical policy decisions and would be more considerate with sufficient wine knowledge.

Click For Large ViewThe events can be custom tailored to each city- involving road shows, wine dinners and festivals, seminars and tastings at various venues including hotels and restaurants at subsidised rates.  Various vehicles like AIWPA, MOFPI, wine clubs, hotels and restaurants and lifestyle organisations, community of food and wine bloggers etc. etc., may be roped in. Various wine quizzes and blind tasting competitions can be organised.

No Constitution will come to our help for setting up one single date. IGPB would have been an ideal nodal platform to undertake this co-ordination and though still in a coma, it might be revived in the future. In the absence of the Board, Ministry of Food Processing Industries can be approached by the producers. Karnataka Wine Board is already active in Bangalore and is already doing many such activities; it just needs to decide on a date in consultation with the wine producers of Maharashtra so that the same one day is chosen across India.

The options and choices are numerous but the agenda should be only one- a Pan India Day when Indian Wines are supreme in the minds of drinkers who are not averse to low-level fruit generated alcohol, like wine  (naturally one would need to respect the sensitivities of teetotallers).

One big advantage of the National Day would be to uplift the respect given to this healthy lifestyle ‘Made in India’ beverage and put it on a different pedestal when every wine drinker can say...

Jai Ho! Cheers!!

Subhash Arora

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