The past few weeks on Indian wine scenario were dominated by the hustle-bustle of one event- The Fine Wine Affair (TFWA). Organized by La Cave- a well appointed wine and spirits store in Delhi and Hotel Oberoi Gurgaon, the event was first of it’s kind in India with a galactic offering of hundred wines from eight countries. Subscribers could choose any 10 wines of their liking and sample them alongside the gourmet pairings on offer. TFWA promised to be a wine lover’s delight and surely lived up to the expectations, as I discovered during my visit to the fair. Here’s looking at the ten top reasons that made the event a raging hit:
#1. The Range
That the offering was of 100 wines from 8 countries was already exciting, but it was the range of wines that upped the event’s USP. Included were several premium wines which would otherwise cost a bomb in restaurants or even in retail for the lack of option to sample them by the glass. Here you could sample a Barolo from Marchesi di Barolo, a Sharis from Livio Felluga, Champagnes Bollinger, Louis Roederer and many others, all under one roof.
#2. The Price
The rendezvous was available to subscribers in four time slots of two hours each. The timings were 12 to 2 pm,from 2.30 to 4.30 pm, 5 to 7 pm and 7.30 to 9.30 pm. The day/night slots were priced all inclusively at Rs. 1500.00 and Rs. 2000.00 per person respectively. With the same range of wines available in all slots, the deal was a steal, considering that such a bouquet of wines in tasting measure is not available elsewhere in India.
#3. The Market Availability
All the wines on offer at the event are available in major cities in the Indian market, given La Cave’s affiliation with the country’s most prominent wine importer, Brindco. One can easily revisit a wine that he may have liked in the Fair,simply by buying it from retail or visiting a restaurant serving it. This aspect projected the Fair as being meaningful rather than a silo-ed exercise.
#4. The Backing
La Cave’s backward integration with Brindco not only ensured a vast repertoire of wines, it also ensured optimal quality of service due to the entire supply chain being in their control. It translated into the guests savouring the wines at their best.
#5. The Timing
Oct-Dec are the most pleasant months in India not only weather wise but also due to the festive season that starts from Navratris and extends till the New Year. TFWA was conducted on the weekend immediately after the festival of Dussehra when the festive fervor was at a high. Good attendance was a logical payoff of this timing.
#6. The Preliminaries
Aided with an appealing social media outreach, strategically embellished with details of premium wines in their historical perspective, the organizers were successful in attracting the right kind of audience to the Fair. It meant that only the audience who could appreciate the offerings, actually subscribed to the event, resulting in a high customer satisfaction.
#7. The Limited Gathering
With the maximum number of tickets for a particular slot restricted to a hundred, the venue was never overcrowded. Apart from guest comfort, it facilitated calibrating service requirements by the organizers. Honouring timings for the respective slots also ensured that the attendees did not have to wait even for a minute to avail the services ready for them in pristine glory.
#8. The Goodwill
TFWA was not the first consumer outreach by Madhulika Bhattacharya aka Madame LaCave. Ever since she opened the store last year, she has been conducting a string of thematic wine dinners called “Unwined by La Cave” engaging wine lovers in world class wine sessions. The goodwill generated by such proactive consumer engagements ensured that TFWA had a reasonable prospective audience even before its announcement.
#9. The Masterclasses
The value added option of attending masterclasses conducted by respective producer representatives who arrived specially for TFWA, enhanced the charm of the offering. These masterclasses could be subscribed in advance by paying an additional Rs. 500.00 per person and afforded the participants a deeper look into the concerned wineries/regions.Hence the Fair also served as a fast track knowledge acquisition platform.
#10. The Effusive Charm of Madame LaCave
Lastly but most significantly, it was Madame LaCave all the way as TFWA was entirely her brainchild. Madhulika Bhattacharya aka Madame LaCave was totally hands-on with the event, being on toes all three days, morning till evening- devoting personal attention to guests, leading a cohesive team and getting behind the counters every once in a while. It was a herculean effort in the Indian scenario and she pulled it off well.
Wine lovers in India are already thirsting for more!