Taj Lands End, Mumbai added yet another jewel in its repertoire of culinary offerings with the re-launch of the Atrium Lounge in a brand new avatar. The launch marked by a grand event that witnessed the magnificent revival of this exceptional offering and evolved into a soiree with Mumbai’s crème de la crème, celebrating. Gracing the event was Mr. Puneet Chhatwal – Managing Director & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), along with other eminent personalities such as Brian Lara, Mukesh Bhatt, Talat and Bina Aziz, Nisha JamVwal and celebrated personalities including Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi, Dino Morea, Isha Koppikar, Suchitra Pillai-Malik, Kim Sharma, Harshvardhan Rane and Neha Sharma.
Located at the heart of the hotel, the effervescent Atrium Bar & Lounge offers a welcoming retreat from the bustling city life. With a wide selection of first flush teas and single origin coffees along with the signature smoothies, the Atrium Bar & Lounge offers every reason to sit back and relax while the sun sets over Bandra’s charming seascape. For aficionados, eager to experience the finest, Atrium offers the largest selection of whiskeys and spirits from across the world accompanied by iconic concoctions distinctive to the Golden Age. Reminiscent of Mumbai’s dynamic culture, the Atrium Bar & Lounge invites guests to experience the city on their plates. From aromatic street-food to the suave palate of world-cuisine, the menu boasts of a distinct mélange of local and international flavours.
The evening came alive to the sound of music and displayed magical performances by renowned artists like Manasi Scott and Keya Pothen coupled with a euphoric camaraderie of the subtle notes of violin and cello. Commenting on the momentous occasion, Mr. Parveen Chander Kumar, Area Director – West and General Manager – Taj Lands End said, “We are delighted to reintroduce our signature bar & lounge, known for its tranquil ambience and delectable culinary experiences. The new avatar encompasses a truly sensational experience in terms of service, décor and flavours. We look forward to our guests partaking in this brand new journey of the Atrium Bar & Lounge .” ( Excerpt from a press release)
Helmed by Gargi Kothari, Rojita Tiwari and Ruchika Agarwal D’souza; Agents of Cheer is India’s only curated Drinks Festival, which provides an opportunity to wine and spirits enthusiasts to taste, explore and savour the world of drinks in a fun and intimate way. The festival has been conceptualized and curated with the objective of offering drink lovers an experience that is unique, exciting and entertaining.
The first in the series, Agents of Cheer Vol 1 was held in January 2018 and was a resounding success. The appreciation sessions on wines and spirits, conducted by their expert team members offered the perfect opportunity to learn many intrinsic aspects of both the drinks. The walk-around tastings (40 premium wines and spirits) offered a perfect set-up for the guests to mingle around and savour a wide variety of handpicked wines and spirits while enjoying a live-band performance. Artisanal cheeses, cigars and, art showcases added an extra oomph to the overall experience.
With the promise and vision to make Agents of Cheer the most unique, informative and fun event for the discerning consumers and trade, Agents of Cheer Vol 2 washeld on 6th October 2018 at the beautiful setting of Mabruk and Oceans in Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. The event entailed two in-depth appreciation sessions followed by a walk-around tasting. The appreciation session - Understanding Specific Origin Wines - will be conducted by Gargi Kothari, a wine geek and the founder of Magic Cellars, a company that curates wine experiences. The Spirits Studio session - Learning To Appreciate Gin - will be conducted by Rojita Tiwari, India’s leading beverage professional, wine & spirits journalist and founder of Drinks and Destinations.
The Spirits Studio saw premium brands from Bacardi India’s portfolio along with a new spirits category, a Chinese spirit - Baijiu brand called Jiangxiaobai which has entered India and was presented to the consumers for the first time. Baijiu means “white alcohol” with a strong flavour, which is distilled from fermented sorghum.
A classy affair had live music performances, stalls showcasing fashion accessories, apparel, works of art, and a delicious line up of appetizers and bar bites as a perfect accompaniment to the wines and spirits.
( Excerpt from a release)
The winners of the 2018 India Wine Awards were revealed in a sparkling black-tie event attended by all the luminaries of the wine and hospitality world at The Leela, Mumbai.
The dazzling award ceremony, presented by whisky wizard and media personality Anish Trivedi, saw 184 medals in Silver, Gold and Diamond awarded to domestic and international wines,including 30 Best in Class Trophies for outstanding wines in the competition results. The popular Best Wine Pairings with Indian Cuisine category had 10 Trophy Winners emerge from 120 wines,paired with nine dishes such as chicken chettinad and mutton rahra.
Raising the bar as the country’s most authoritative wine awards, a special category of Excellence in Restaurant Wine Programs at Hotels and Premium Stand-Alone Restaurants located in the three major consumption centers of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bangalore recognised 20 restaurants for a World Class Wine List, 8 restaurants as World Class Wine Destinations and a further 6 restaurants for the best Wine-Trained Service staff.
The India Wine Awards, led by the most qualified and foremost wine professionals in India and abroad, is an initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India's first Master of Wine and Founder-Director of SoHo Wine Club. Wines entered in the competition were judged over two days a panel chaired by Sonal Holland, comprising 18 distinguished wine and food experts including Ajit Balgi from The Happy High.
To build a strong foundation for Excellence in Restaurant Wine Programs at Hotels and Premium Stand-Alone Restaurants, for the first time in any Indian wine competition an independent panel of five international Master of Wines, including Sonal Holland, was formed to bring their global experience and unmatched expertise to the judging process. The panelists included:
• Richard Hemming MW (United Kingdom): London-based wine-writer, educator and Consultant
• Ying Hsien Tan MW (Singapore): Singapore’s first Master of Wine and owner of the Taberna Wine Academy
• Andrea Pritzker MW (Australia): Sydney-based independent wine consultant, WSET educator, writer and a public speaker
• Victoria Burt MW (United Kingdom): Research & Development Manager at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust.
“Receiving a massive 353 nominations, the India Wine Awards has established itself as the country’s apex wine
competition, built on the four pillars of integrity, authenticity, credibility and relevance. It is our commitment to develop India’s wine industry, rewarding excellence. The 2018 India Wine Awards showcases the depth and versatility of Indian wines to the globe, while offering a platform for international labels to reach out to the domestic market. For the urban Indian, wine is a cultural disruptor. Wine has sparked more conversations beyond
what we could have ever imagined. Serving as the ultimate consumer guide, the India Wine Awards helps wine consumers navigate a labyrinth of seemingly impossible choices, to select the perfect wine for the occasion." said Sonal.
The award ceremony end with some lip-smacking class food from the Leela, Mumbai as they brought in they brought the best out from their restaurants namely Jamavar, Great Wall and their uber luxurious fine dine , the Le Cirque which also won an award that evening.
Check the award winners for India Wine Awards 2018 here
( Excerpt from a release)
Chêne Grande Réserve 2015, India Grover Zampa Soirée Brut Rosé 2015, India Sula Dindori Viognier 2018, India Reveilo Nero d'Avola 2017, India SDU RESERVA 2014, India Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2015, Italy Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie NV, France Joseph Drouhin 'Drouhin-Vaudon' Chablis Reserve de Vaudon 2015, France Torres Mas La Plana 2012, Spain Boscoselvo Brunello di Montalcino 2010, Italy Susana Balbo CRIOS Torrentes 2017, Argentin Zonin, Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Italy Framigham Pinot Noir 2015, New Zealand Domaines Barons De Rothschild Réserve Spéciale Pauillac, Franc
Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio 2016, Italy Erasmo Barbera Garnacha, Chile Chateau d'Esclans Côtes de Provence Whispering Angel Rosé, France Masi Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese 2014, Italy Marchesi Antinori Castello della Sala 'Bramito del Cervo' 2016, Italy Cavino Naousa Xinomavro 2015, Greece Cavino Nemea Agiorgitiko 2015, Greece Four Seasons Vintners Reserve Red Wine 2015, India Fratelli SETTE 2015, India Fratelli MS Rosé 2017, India Fratelli MS Red 2017, India Fratelli Sauvignon Blanc 2018, India Fratelli Chenin Blanc 2018, India Fratelli Sangiovese 2017, India Good Earth Bleu NV, India,Good Earth Antaraa NV, India Good Earth Basso NV, India Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection White 2017, India Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection Red 2015, India Grover Zampa Art Collection Viognier 2018, India Grover Zampa Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2018, India Grover Zampa Soirée Brut Magnifique 2016 , India La Réserve Red 2016, India Sensi Campoluce, Chianti DOCG (Organic) 2016 , Italy Sensi Collezione Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC 2016, Italy Sensi Collezione Nero d'Avola IGT Sicily 2015, Italy Sensi Collezione Chianti DOCG 2016, Italy Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja DOCa 2015, Spain Bodegas Faustino VII Rioja DOCa 2015, Spain Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Les Traverses, Ventoux AOC 2016 , France Bodegas Portia Roble, Ribera del Duero 2016, Spain Château Goumin Blanc 2015, France KRSMA Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, India KRSMA Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2017, India Besserat de Bellefon Grande Tradition Brut , France Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2017, Spain Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017, New Zealand Sileni Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Italy De Bortoli Noble One 2013, Australia Reveilo Sangiovese 2017, India Reveilo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, India SDU DEVA Chenin Blanc NV, India SDU Trilogy 2014 , India SDU Deva Syrah 2014, India Soma Vineyards Rosé Gold 2018, India Sula Rasa Cabernet 2016, India Sula Brut Chardonnay, India Sula Chenin Blanc Late Harvest 2018, India Sula Chenin Blanc Reserve 2017, India Sula Sauvignon Blanc 2018 , India Sula Zinfandel Rosé 2018 , India Sula Rasa Shiraz 2016, India Sula Dindori Reserve Shiraz 2017, India Kadu Sauvignon Blanc 2018, India Kadu Chenin Blanc 2018, India Kadu Cabernet Shiraz 2017 , India Bouchard Aîné & Fils Chablis A.O.C., France Bouchard Aîné & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay A.O.C., France Ferrari Brut NV, Italy Tenuta Sant Antonio Scaia Red 2015, Italy Dog Point Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Thelema Shiraz 2014, South Africa,York All Rounder White 2017, India York Rosé 2018, India
SILVER AWARD WINNERS
Barton & Guestier Reserve Merlot, France Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Chardonnay, Chile Nederburg The Winemaster's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava, Spain Donnafugata, Sedàra IGT Sicilia Nero d'Avola, Italy Carpene Malvolti Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut, Italy Pampas del Sur 'Select' Shiraz Malbec, Argentina Peter Lehmann Portrait Eden Valley Riesling 2016, Australia Doña Paula Malbec 2017, Argentina Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2016, Australia Masi Levaire Soave Classico 2016, Italy Selbach Riesling 2016, Germany Maison du Sud Merlot 2016 , France Maison du Sud Sauvignon Blanc 2016, France Brancott Estate Pinot Noir 2017, New Zealand Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017, Australia Cape Dreams Pinotage 2016, South Africa Four Seasons Chenin Blanc 2018, India Four Seasons Blush 2018, India Four Seasons Shiraz 2017, India Fratelli Cabernet Franc – Shiraz, India Fratelli MS White 2017, India Fratelli NOI, India Fratelli Chardonnay 2018, India Fratelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, India Fratelli Classic Chenin, India Fratelli Classic Shiraz, India Fratelli Classic Merlot, India Casablanca Rosé Spumanté NV, India Casablanca Frizzano Semi Dry NV, India Casablanca Frizzano Extra Dry NV, India Casablanca Vino Spumanté, India Grover Soirée Brut, India Grover Art Collection Shiraz Rosé 2018, India Grover Art Collection Chenin Blanc 2017, India Grover Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz 2017, India Sensi Prosecco Pure 18K Gold Brut 2017, Italy Vintales Bloomin’ Late Muscat 2017, South Africa Vintales Last Call Shiraz 2017, South Africa Sensi Collezione Merlot, Toscana IGT 2016, Italy Sensi Collezione Pinot Grigio, Veneto IGT 2016, Italy Sensi Collezione Vermentino, Toscana IGT 2016, Italy Chateau Bonnet, Entre Deux Mers AOC 2015, France Chateau Goumin, Bordeaux Rouge AOC 2015, France Sensi Pinot Noir Rosé Pure 18K Gold Brut NV, Italy Sensi Collezione Pinot Noir Veneto IGT 2016, Italy, Paul Jaboulet Aîné Syrah 2015, France Campo Viejo Blanco 2017, Spain Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, New Zealand Reveilo Chardonnay Reserve 2016, India Reveilo Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2016, India SDU Deva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, India SDU Winemakers Selection 2014, India Soma Vineyards Zinfandel Red Reserve 2017, India Soma Vineyards Shiraz Reserve 2018, India Soma Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Gold 2018, India Soma Vineyards Rosé Dessert 2018, India Soma Vineyards Shiraz Cabernet Silver 2018, India The Source Grenache Rosé, India Sula Brut NV, India Sula Brut Rosé NV, India Sula Cabernet Shiraz 2017, India Sula Zinfandel 2018, India Sula Chenin Blanc 2018, India Sula Riesling 2017, India Sula Brut Rosé, India Trapiche Old Cask Malbec, Argentina Mud House Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Le Grand Noir GSM, France Conti Serristori Chianti Classico DOCG, Italy, Cap Royal Bordeaux Supérieur, France Nik Weis St Urbans-Hof QbA Riesling 2016, Germany The Daily Dose Sauvignon Blanc 2017, India Saint Clair Pinot Noir, New Zealand York All Rounder Red 2017, India York Shiraz Viognier 2017, India
WINE LIST AWARDS
ONE STAR AWARD
1. Rivers to Oceans, Mumbai
2. The Table, Mumbai
3. The Wine Rack, Mumbai
4. San:Qi, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai
5. Kebabs and Kurries, ITC Grand Central Mumbai
6. Romano’s, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar
7. Fratelli Fresh, Renaissance Mumbai
8. Artisan – French Bistro, Sofitel Mumbai BKC
9. Le Cirque Signature, The Leela Mumbai
10. Luna, The St. Regis Mumbai
11. Caprese, Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru
12. Le Cirque Signature, The Leela Palace Bengaluru
13. Le Jardin, The Oberoi Bengaluru
14. The Wine Company, Gurugram
15. The Hong Kong Club, Andaz Delhi
16. Dum Pukht, ITC Maurya New Delhi
17. Pluck, Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
Two Star Awards
The Chambers, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
2. Wasabi by Morimoto, The Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi
3. Le Cirque, The Leela Palace New Delhi
WINE DESTINATION AWARD
1. The Wine Rack, Mumbai
2. Romano’s, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar
3. Le Cirque Signature, The Leela Mumbai
4. Toscano, Bengaluru
5. Caprese, Shangri-La Hotel Bengaluru
6. Le Jardin, The Oberoi Bengaluru
7. Qla, New Delhi
8. Le Cirque, The Leela Palace New Delhi
WINE-TRAINED STAFF AWARD
1. The Table, Mumbai
2. San:Qi, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai
3. Dum Pukht, ITC Maratha Mumbai
4. Dublin, ITC Windsor Bengaluru
5. The Wine Company, Gurugram
6. Honk, Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
From 11–15 March 2019 all eyes will be on Antwerp, where the prestigious world championship competition of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (A.S.I.) will be held. Sixty-five sommeliers from sixty-two countries will vie for the crown of the worldwide brotherhood/sisterhood of sommeliers/sommelières at the fiftieth anniversary edition of the sommelier Olympics. And who will be there leading the way? Wines from Austria.
International top sommeliers focus on Austrian wine As a longstanding partner of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale – of which the Austrian Sommelier Union has been a member since 1988 – the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) has been granted the unique opportunity to participate – along with Inter Rhône – as a platinum sponsor. This means that a wide range of Austrian wines from all of the winegrowing regions will be presented to the competing top sommeliers and the attending international journalists during the tournament from 11–15 March. At every lunch and every dinner – all the way up to the gala feast after
the grand finale – and at the conclusion of every day in the ‘bar des sommeliers’, as well as in two master classes for the sommeliers and members of the trade.
For five days, Austrian wines will be able to shine on the stage of the world’s finest sommeliers and before the avid eyes of international wine journalists – which is sure to heighten interest in the small wine-land and its great wines.
Return to Belgium after fifty years The A.S.I. was founded in 1969 with the objective of helping sommeliers all over the world to reach new levels of achievement in their profession. That same year, the very first Concours de Meilleur Sommelier du Monde was held in Brussels. Fifty years later, the sommelier world championship – held only once every three years – returns to Belgium, where the highly coveted title ‘A.S.I. Best Sommelier of the World’ will beconferred upon the victor.
Great media interest in the title match There will be sixty-five top-drawer international sommeliers competing, who must already have emerged victorious from elimination rounds in their own countries, in a five-day marathon of tastings. Among the contestants will be Austria’s top sommelier, who will be named on 5 November at the ‘Best Sommelier of Austria 2018’ competition. The world championship programme will feature several written tests of knowledge and blind tastings, as well as examinations in facets of wine service and awareness of the international wine market. At the finale on 15 March in Antwerp’s ‘Konigin Elizabethzaal’, the final three candidates must ultimately prove their capabilities in front of some 2,000 attendees.
( Excerpt from a press release)
Celebrating the global success of the Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection, Grover Zampa Vineyards along with the legend Mr. Vijay Amritraj, hosted an experiential evening over fine wines and conversations at Skydeck, Shangri-La Bangalore on 6th September, 2018. The event, full of fine wines, conversations and delectable meals prepared by the talented chefs at Shangri-La, witnessed socialites, wine aficionados and industry stalwarts who gathered to honor the various achievements earned by the VA collection.
“It has been my utmost pleasure being associated with Grover Zampa Vineyards, witnessing the rising recognition received by the brand in India and overseas. With the growing appreciation for the collection, we are positive about the winning streak to continue with a lot more accolades flowing in.” said Amritraj, Ranked among India’s finest wines, the Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection, launched in 2014 in London, marks a distinctive association between sports and wine. The wines, a perfect mélange of inimitable diversity and smoothness, have earned worldwide recognition with 22 distinguishable awards. The most recent recognition garnered by the collection was the gold medal bagged by the red variant at the much-acclaimed Asian Wine Review 2018 in Hong Kong. The review also conferred Grover Zampa Vineyards the Best Asian Winery. While the brand is already internationally available in USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Singapore; it was recently launched in Dubai earlier this year.
Vivek Chandramohan, CEO, Grover Zampa Vineyards opined, “It has been a matter of great pride to have associated with Mr. Vijay Amritraj to co-create and produce some of the finest wines that are representative of the Indian terroir. The accolades bestowed upon the collection over the years are a testament of the immense passion and dedication invested in their production. We are committed to providing our patrons with the best experiences always.”
( Excerpt from a press release)
Aspri Spirits, leading importers and distributors of some of the finest brands in the world of Wines and Spirits, recently launched the American Craft Vodka brand, Tito’s Handmade Vodka in India. Today, they celebrated the launch by hosting John McDonnell, Managing Director International, Fifth Generation, Inc., Home of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
This exclusive evening was for Trade and Industry partners, Media, Bloggers and Celebrities. The launch was co-hosted by designer Rocky S at his baroque-style bar Rocky S Cocktail Bar. The guests were seen enjoying the ambience while savoring the signature cocktails that were specially curated for the evening like: Tito’s American Mule, Tito’s All Time Favourite, Tito’s Lemonade and Tea and a few others.
Discussing the plan for Tito’s Handmade Vodka in India John McDonnell said “India is a diverse market and with the Indian audience evolving and discovering global tastes and trends, we are positive that the brand will be loved and accepted by the Indian consumers”.
Jackie Matai and Arun Kumar Co-founders, Aspri Spirits said “We are excited to have partnered with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and are confident that the Indian consumer will patronize Tito’s”.
The guests enjoyed the soft, smooth and crisp finish of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is made using Corn and undergoes distillation six times in Pot Stills. Distilling from Corn makes the Vodka naturally Gluten - Free. The water that Tito’s uses is locally sourced and much of it is naturally filtered through limestone.
Tito’s is priced at Rs 3650 in Mumbai, Rs 3550 in Delhi and Rs 4500 in Bangalore. Titos’s is already available at all major Duty Free shops at airports in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and others.
(Excerpt from a press release)
What to expect of 2018 vintage Austrian wines?
(Excerpt from a press release)
William Grant & Sons, the 130 year-old family run Scottish distiller, today announced a deal with Modi Distilleries Limited to bottle and launch Grant’s Blended Scotch whisky in India.
Under the terms of the deal, Grant’s Scotch Whisky will be shipped in bulk from Scotland to Modi’s distillery at Modinagar in Uttar Pradesh, where it will be bottled and packaged before being sold nationwide. The brand will initially be sold from September in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra, Telengana, Goa, Karnataka and Maharastra.
According to IWSR global forecasts, India is expected to be one of the largest contributors to global whisky growth over the next 5 years. The Blended Scotch market in India is expected to grow to 5 million cases by 2021. Currently the scale of the market for Scotch brands bottled in India is ten times larger than those bottled in Scotland and imported.
James Pennefather, Managing Director William Grant & Sons India Pvt Ltd, said “This marks an important next phase of William Grant & Sons’ India market entry strategy. Having already established a successful portfolio of imported premium spirits such as Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder and Hendricks Gin in India, we decided that this is the right time to enter local production in the market. It is the first time that William Grant & Sons has entered local production in India, so we are delighted to be partnering for this with an established local family business, Modi Distilleries.”
Abhishek Modi, Executive Director Modi Distilleries Limited, said “This association with William Grant & Sons is a natural fit for our Company, since we have already established our quality credentials with brands such as Rockford Reserve and Artic Vodka. We look forward to working with William Grant & Sons to bring its leading international brand Grant’s Blended Scotch whisky to a new audience.”
(excerpt from a press release)