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Delhi Wine Club
Drink Olive Oil before Wine to keep Fine

Posted: Wednesday, 09 March 2011 10:40

Drink Olive Oil before Wine to keep Fine

A two-day event designed to promote business relations between Italian wine and olive oil producers and Indian buyers that took place at the new Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel in Delhi recently, was more of a fact finding mission and training programme for  olive oil and wine and did not appear to be a direct wine promotion, writes Subhash Arora

Organised by Veronafiere-Lems Pvt. Ltd. the event was attended by Indian journalists, chefs, restaurateurs and buyers. It appeared skewed towards Italian olive oil which was represented by UNAPROL, an Italian Oil Consortium which claims to be the largest organization of olive oil producers in Italy.

The conference was inaugurated by Mr Gianluca Brusco, the Commercial Counsellor of the Italian Embassy, who talked about the health benefits of both the products and a growing demand for both in India.. A highlight of the conference was the well-known nutritionist Ishi Khosla who talked about the health benefits of olive oil and why it should be a part of every health conscious person’s diet, and a talk by Michele Bungaro of Unaprol about olive oil, especially the high quality of oil from Italy.

This presentation comes as part of the planned activities financed under the first contract for the supply of extra virgin olive oil that was signed between UNAPROL and the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies in December, 2010. It was further helped by Veronafiere, the Italian organization founded to develop overseas markets for Italian brands.

The agreement marks a reported €400,000 investment by the Italian government over a two year period. Since the start of this year, UNAPROL has moved operations into full swing, promoting Italian olive oil at events around the globe in cities like San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Moscow, Stockholm, Tokyo and now India, world’s largest importer of vegetable oils and currently perceived to be developing demand for high quality products.

To a query from a journalist at the  Press Conference regarding the perceived higher costs of Italian olive oil, Michele Bungaro was quick to point out that even in Italy good quality extra virgin oil was expensive, commenting that ‘you may buy any car but you don’t buy a car like Ferrari for a 1000 Euros.’

He further gave a tip to the audience in a lighter vein, ‘since many of you are wine connoisseurs who need to drink a lot of wine, I recommend that you drink a small amount of extra virgin olive oil before drinking wine.’

Over the two days there were a number of tasting seminars, B2B conferences, and presentations focusing on the use of Italian olive oil in Indian cooking and further stressing its health benefits and quality.

A the conference organised with wine importers and moderated by Fabio Piccoli, a well-known Italian journalist and the project manager of The Next Wine Experience, the educational arm of Unione Italiana Vini (UIV)- the Italian Wine Association, and attended by a few importers like Opera Wines, Nature’s Bounty and Continentals Sales, the discussion focused on how to improve the imports of Italian wines into India. 

Although the post conference lunch provided a treat with an opportunity to taste-oops drink, Prosecco Brut from Santa Margherita, the event did not provide much opportunity to taste wines from the UIV producers. Constant attempts to get a list of wines participating had to be aborted.

As a fellow journalist quipped, ‘I went to the conference but it seemed more like a private party with some students hanging about in the background. I did not bother staying.’ In fact, it was a sensorial analysis demonstration that was going on for the participants from public through sensorial tests and a wine game was in action. 

I did make more efforts than that, but since I have to taste wines regularly-often more than 80 wines in a day, I was glad to get the important piece of advice ‘to drink olive oil before wine to keep fine.’… and of course I may not be able to buy a Ferrari or a Lamborghini I still love my Extra Virgin olive oil to be Italian.

Subhash Arora



Carol Firenze Says:

I definitely agree. I my book, The Passionate Olive, 101 Things to do with Olive Oil, I suggest a teaspoon or two of olive oil before going out for a "night on the town."

Posted @ March 30, 2011 12:36


Sidd Banerji Says:

Again got bowled.What a flow in reporting,specially on such a delicate and exciting subject as wine.Hats off!! Subhash. Not that I agreed on all points of your observations,I happened to be there too and we did exchange few moments, but the over all expertise and the deep rooted knowledge on the subject educate us,your readers.Regards..

Posted @ March 11, 2011 15:15


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