Sep 29: Lalit Group of Hotels and Indian Wine Academy jointly announced on Thursday the celebration of ‘Indian Wine Day’ at the Lalit Hotels in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh and London on Nov. 16 with a sit-down dinner with Baluchi Restaurant’s Indian cuisine matched with Indian wines, at the French wine Masterclass curated by Anil Kaul from London, writes Subhash Arora who invited the group consisting of sommeliers, winemakers and journalists enjoying wines from France
On November 16 this year, the world at large and French expats generally, will congregate again- as they do every third Thursday in November to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau, a rather contrived but fun affair based on tradition to help move the new wines of Beaujolais and promote the region by the buzz created by the event, in a race to see who gets in time for the evening opening of the bottles of the current vintage. Many of us have vivid memories of the event usually organised by Air France or the French embassy/consulates/organisations in India, though the interest has been seemingly waning gradually.
The Lalit hotel and the Indian Wine Academy will jointly host the first-ever ‘Indian Wine Day’ at the Lalit Hotels on this day simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and yes, London. India food from their well-known Baluchi Restaurants at these properties will be served the curated dishes matched with Indian wines from Sula, Grover Zampa, Fratelli, York, Charosa and Chandon etc. Another feature would be that desserts would be served in Kitty Su where guests can have sparkling wine and wines offered for tasting by the producers and dance till they drop.
Mr. Keshav Suri, Executive Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group says, ‘Indian wines are now competing with International brands. We are happy that we will be celebrating Indian Wine Day on November 16, 2017 at five of our hotels. The Lalit London houses our pan Indian destination – Baluchi – and will be celebrating the day to express solidarity and promote Indian wines in London.’
Mr. Suri further adds, “We believe in the essence of ‘Make in India’ and also want to give an opportunity to the Indian wine makers to showcase their talent. It is the first time, but we shall continue this event every year. The Lalit cellars showcase many Indian wines and our pan Indian food destination – Baluchi – was the first Indian food restaurant to have a menu fully paired with wines. Even the Diwali hampers at The Lalit have Indian wines and Indian products only. ”
Subhash Arora, President of the Indian Wine Academy, says, ‘I have been pleading with Indian producers to come to a common platform and choose a day so everyone in India talks of Indian wines. All over the world several special ‘Days’ like Champagne Day, Malbec Day etc are celebrated to promote wines/regions. We must be proud of our Indian wines. It’s not easy but a start has to be made, somewhere, somehow. There had been no response, so we decided to go ahead and make a start howsoever small. While discussing with Charles Donnadieu, the French Corporate Sommelier at the Lalit Group, it appeared there would be synergy if we joined hands and the idea of an ‘Indian Wine Day’ was born!
An interesting feature of the wines selected is that wines at the dinner would be only the Award winners at the first Indian Wine Awards 2017. This gives some sense of quality though it was not the primary intention to serve only the best and most expensive wines but good quality wines that matched well with Indian cuisine.
Arora felt that there could be no better occasion than to announce the event at the French wine tasting and the Masterclass at The Lalit, New Delhi where wine professionals were present and French wines were being served. It showed the universality of wines and that wine sees no boundaries. But as Indian citizens, we need to laud the efforts of Indian winemakers who are working hard to improve the quality and need support from groups like the Indian Wine Academy and hospitality groups like The Lalit.
One hopes that the event next year would be much bigger and wil be supported by the governmental agencies and different managements-be it hotels or the producers. Indian Wine Academy would celebrate it with The Lalit at a date decided by the Indian producers or in consultation with them.
For further details, watch these columns or visit www.indianwineday.com. Details of the reasonably -priced tickets and where to buy them, will be published soon in these columns.
For an earlier Article on the subject, please visit:
Viewpoint: Let’s Start Celebrating Indian Wines
An Article about the French Masterclass and the wines tasted will be published in the next edition, in order to avoid the clutter-editor
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