Business Today judges Indian Wines

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 mask.

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 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 upsets.

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.

Subhash Arora
May 02, 2008




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