In January 2016, we went to Sofitel, BKC, where a hundred wine enthusiasts had gathered. They were seated around tables laden with bread baskets and armed with notepads and pencils. Over a hundred wine bottles were kept covered in aluminium foil, to hide their labels, on a large table. The waiters served each attendee a small amount; the attendees tasted it and scribbled into their notepad. This went on for four hours. Needless to say, the room was rather buzzed by the end of it all.
There was more to the event than free wine, though. This was a tasting session before the Indian Wine Consumer’s Choice Awards (IWCCA), in association with HT48Hours.
The IWCCA is back again this year, on January 14, with its fifth edition. “The IWCCA acts as a guide for consumers who are interested in discovering Indian wine. It brings recognition to new wineries launched in India,” says Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier and CEO of All Things Nice, a wine and spirits consultancy.
In just half a decade, the IWCCA has had a significant impact on the wine industry in India by reducing the gap between consumers and wineries. For instance, Agarwal says Sula’s popular white wine Chenin Blanc is no longer as sweet a wine as it was a few years ago. “They now have direct access to the consumer feedback, and that has helped make their product more consumer-friendly,” he says.
This year, the awards will feature 122 wines from 20 wineries, and will see participation from noted and new wineries, including Sula, Grover Zampa, Vallonne, York and Chandon. However, the brand names will be kept confidential for the tasting to ensure unbiased reviews.
BE THERE: The tasting session for the Indian Wine Consumer’s Choice Awards 2017 will take place on January 14, 2pm to 6pm
Where: Sofitel Hotel, Bandra Kurla Complex
Call: 98206 98883 to register