INDIA WINE AWARDS (IWA) marked its inaugural year 2017 with a world-class competition that recognizes and celebrates the best of the wines, both Indian and international, available in the Indian market. Winners were showcased to the most distinguished set of consumers, media persons, hospitality professionals and the retail trade at a jubilant wine evening organised at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC on the 22nd of April 2017.
I was privileged to attend the glamorous awards function which included tasting the best of wines at Sofitel Mumbai BKC. Idependent experts ranked the best of best wines produced in the country or imported into it,
Present for this ceremonious evening were Rashmi Uday Singh, Rahul Akerkar, Rajeev Samant, Seema Jaidev Mehrotra, Gauri Devidayal, Bhisham Mansukhani among others.
An initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India’s first Master of Wine and Founder-Director of SoHo Wine Club, Subhash Arora, President, Indian Wine Academy and Founder-Editor of delWine, and Sourish Bhattacharyya, noted food writer and blogger, the India Wine Awards aims to be the most authoritative wine competition in the country led by India’s most qualified and foremost wine professionals.
As many as 154 medals of Silver, Gold and Diamond were awarded, For the first time in any Indian competition, medals and trophies were awarded for the best food and wine pairings in the course of celebrations, which also saw leading producers and importers sharing their winning wines with the invitees.
Over 301 wines entered in the competition were judged over two days by a panel of 12 distinguished wine experts and restaurant operators chaired by Holland, a professional trainer of wine professionals and consultant for the hospitality industry, and co-chaired by Arora, who has served on the juries of more than 50 wine competitions across the world. Backing them up with their experience and expertise was the competition’s technical director, Rojita Tiwari, a certified wine professional and Founder of Drinks and Destinations.
The jury also consisted of the celebrity restaurateurs Rahul Akerkar and Gauri Devidayal; wine writers and consultants Alok Chandra and Bhisham Mansukhani; Mumbai’s leading wine retailer, Satyam Savla of Juben Wines; the Director, Food Design Studio, Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and a certified wine professional, Shagun Mehra; the Hotel Manager, Four Seasons Mumbai, Jasjit Singh Assi; Shahrom Oshtori, Director of Food and Beverage, Sofitel Mumbai BKC; and the young sommelier Prateek Angre (Sofitel Mumbai BKC).
Highlighting the significance of the Awards, Sonal Holland said “There is a need to enable consumer choices by showcasing the best of what is available in the country. The competition results will offer the Indian consumer the ultimate guide to purchasing wine, and winning brands an enviable advantage in the marketplace. We believe that India Wine Awards will help further the wine industry’s overall macro objective of bringing more consumers to wine and in strengthening India’s importance on the global wine map”.
Voicing his thoughts on the importance of the Awards, Subhash Arora said, “We are encouraged by how well India Wine Awards has been received by the industry with equal participation from producers of domestic as well as importers of international wines. Our objective is to be a world-class competition that holds integrity and authenticity, credibility and relevance, as the 4 cornerstones of our actions.”
Commenting on the organiser’s decision to honour those wines that proved to be winning matches for the six food dishes chosen by them, Sourish Bhattacharyya said, “The subject of food and wine pairing holds great fascination in the minds of wine consumers; hence has significant relevance to the hoteliers and restaurateurs as they cater to these growing interests among their guests. We chose dishes that are truly representative of Indian cuisine with a national and global appeal.” The six dishes were: Kathal (Jackfruit) Biryani; Baigan Ka Bharta; Kerala’s Vegetable Stew; Pathrani Fishi; Butter Chicken; and Mutton Seekh Kebab.
Here are the list of winners:
Best Indian Budget Wine – Sidus Premium White 2016 (Fratelli Vineyards)
Best Indian Superior Wine – Nine Hills Chenin Blanc 2016 (Pernod Ricard India)
Best Indian Premium Wine – SDU Reserva Syrah 2013 (SDU Winery)
Best Indian Super Premium Wine – Chene 2014 (Grover Zampa Vineyards)
Best International Budget Wine – Sensi Collezione Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2015 (Gusto Imports)
Best International Superior Wine – Torres Gran Coronas 2012 (Prestige Wines & Spirits)
Best International Premium Wine – Robert Mondavi Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon (Berkmann Cellars)
Best International Super Premium Wine – Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 (Hema Connoisseur Collections)
Best International Super Premium Wine – Renieri Brunello Di Montalcino 2011 (Aspri Spirits)
Best Indian Red – Krsma Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Best Indian Sparkling – Brut Tropicale NV (Sula Vineyards)
Best Indian White – Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection 2015 (Grover Zampa Vineyards)
Best Indian Rose – Rose Dessert Zinfandel 2016 (Soma Wines)
Best International Red – Sileni Pinot Noir 2015 (Prestige Wines & Spirits)
Best International White – Maison Albert Bichot, Chablis Blanc, Domaine Long-Depaquit 2015 (Aspri Spirits)
Best International Rose – Woodbridge White Zinfandel (Berkmann Cellars)
Best International Sparkling – Drappier Carte D’or Brut Champagne (Ace Beveragez)
TROPHY WINNERS OF FOOD AND WINE PAIRING COMPETITION:
Baingan Bharta – Chene 2014 (Grover Zampa Vineyards), India
Kathal (Vegetarian) Biryani – Casablanca Vino Spumante NV (Good Drop Wines), India
Kerala Veg Stew – GMH by Geoff Hardy 2015 Pinot Noir (Berkmann Cellars), Australia
Patrani Fish – Sileni Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Prestige Wines & Spirits), New Zealand
Butter Chicken – Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Brut NV (Pernod Ricard India), Australia
Mutton Seekh Kebab – Good Earth Basso NV Cabernet Sauvignon (Good Drop Wines), India
The organizers aim to reach out to the rapidly evolving Indian wine consumer by helping them make informed decisions in their wine choices.
An excellent venture and a brilliant start, we hope the Awards grow from strength to strength with each passing year.