iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

Serena Menon, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 10, 2012
Have you often disagreed with certain wines being labeled the best in the country? Now an award function allows you to change that and contribute to picking the best wines in India. “We want people to drink better wine, so we’ve purposely not asked anyone from the trade or wine companies to be a part of the judging panel. This is not for professionals. It’s for wine lovers to decide what they like,” says Nikhil Agarwal (34), sommelier and director of All Things Nice, a food and drink marketing consulting company that has launched this initiative.

WineWine enthusiasts who would like to participate in the first edition of the Indian Wine Consumer’s Choice Awards 2012 (IWCCA), being held in the city today, have to log on to www.allthingsnice.in to register for the event. “Once they log on, we will confirm their participation after getting a brief idea of the level at which they understand wine. The total number of people on the panel is expected to be between 60 and 70,” says Agarwal.

The blind tasting session, which will feature over 135 domestically-produced wines, will be conducted professionally. Consumers are invited to come in as judges, but the event is not being conducted for people who only want to drink.  “We will make sure they spit the wine as per the tasting process. They will know what variety they are tasting before logging their score, but they will not have an idea of what brand of wine it is,” he says.

Will they be giving the participants a crash course in what to look out for while judging wines? “We will talk to them briefly, but I feel you don’t need to be a professional to decide whether you like one wine over another,” says Agarwal.

The list of the winning wines, in roughly 25 categories, will be announced on the company’s Facebook page as soon as the results are calculated. “It is possible that two wines get the same score, so they will both win. The idea is to spread the word about good wines. There’s no ulterior motive,” says Agarwal, who has invested in this event with no expectations of a return.