A panel of
eight judges assembled at Hotel Shangri-la on Wednesday
for a blind tasting and judging of 38 Indian wines
in the first-ever such event organised by Business
Today publications. Subhash Arora reports.
The committee room on the first floor
of the hotel was buzzing with activity on Wednesday
morning with Dhiman Chattopadhyay, editor of BT More,
the special monthly supplement of Business Today,
firing last minute instructions to his staff. Smartly
dressed wine stewards of the Shangri-la were awaiting
instructions from their bosses to…uncork. Mr.
Andrew Steele, General Manager of the hotel was discussing
with Sourish Bhattacharyya, executive editor of Mail
Today, (which is also a part of the India Today empire)
a few points regarding the tasting.
This was the first judging of Indian
wines organised by the magazine. As Dhiman explained
to the judges in his opening remarks, the majority
of who were Indians or quasi Indians, this would become
a regular annual feature of the magazine. What he
needn't have explained was that the organisation of
the event and wine service that would follow would
be very professional and totally blind. No one seemed
to know or care 'who' was in the bottles behind the
Thirty eight labels were there for
tasting, with each judge tasting all the wines, in
2 panels. The competition was open to all wineries
from India. It might not have been possible 'to collect
samples from all the wineries but a start was being
made today for such competitions in the future.'
The results will be announced in
the forthcoming edition of BT More and will be available
along with the details of the judges, comments and
other interesting information on www.indianwineacademy.com
too, on 16th May, when the latest issue of BT More
is released. Declining to comment on the outcome of
the results, Dhiman did hint that there were a few
There are always some surprises in
such competitions. It is heartening to note there
has been no exception to that rule here too.
What was not very surprising also
was the impeccable wine service by the Shangri-la
staff. Not that it was poor before Andrew came in;
wine seems to have been the big winner at this hotel
after his arrival.
May 02, 2008