“Jai Ho” to Indian Wine Day

The Indian Wine Day est arrivé! This “Fringlish” proclamation made on 16 Nov 2017 evoked exuberance as well as scepticism.  Even as The Lalit hosted simultaneous wine dinners with Indian wines across its properties in India and London, the logical question asked was- had the Indian Wine Day really arrived? Or was it an over-optimistic inspiration drawn from the famed Beaujolais Nouveau Day with which it was purposefully coincided last year?

Guests at Indian Wine Day 2018

It may be too early to deduce,  but with the second Indian Wine Day keeping the same date this year and the next one already announced for 16 Nov 2019, things look well on track for India’s very own day of vinous identity.

A Sound Beginning

Founded by The Lalit Group and the Indian Wine Academy in association with India’s various wine clubs, Indian Wine Day started with an aim to expand the reach of Indian wines like never before. With an emphasis on the Make in India initiative the mission had a strong national purpose too.

That’s me (C) with Charles Donnadieu, (L) and Ravindra Kumar (R) from The Lalit Hotels at Indian Wine Day 2018

The response to the initiative has been encouraging, with both the editions of Indian Wine Day being highly subscribed and brimming with enthusiastic wine lovers. The Delhi engagement alone this year accounted for more than 100 people partaking a five-course paired dinner with choicest Indian wines. Attractive wine deals at the respective venues and wineries over the entire weekend (16-18 Nov 2018) made it an even more inclusive proposition.

Conversations galore at Indian Wine Day 2018
Conversations galore at Indian Wine Day 2018
Happy Guests at Indian Wine Day 2018
Happy Guests at Indian Wine Day 2018

Advantage Indian Wine Day 2018

– 50% discount on Indian wines offered by The Lalit group at all the restaurants featuring Indian Wine Day 
– 30% discount on wines and 15% on food by three Indian wineries-Sula, York and Soma .
– 30% discount on wines by Reveilo winery at wine dinners across Mumbai and Pune.

Indian Wine Day 2018

The second edition of Indian Wine Day was quite similar to the first one, albeit with more cities/venues joining the party. This year the event was celebrated in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Goa, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chandigarh and The Lalit London. Being in attendance at the  Delhi event, I took the opportunity to meet many wine friends at a relaxed evening around freely flowing wines paired with authentic Indian cuisine.

Wines at the sit-down dinner in Delhi
Lamb seekh kabab and Amritsari tawa fish
Assorted Indian platter with kababs, black lentils, biryani and kulcha

Five wines were paired this year with inspiring  cuisine from the hotel’s pan Indian restaurant The Baluchi. Though the sudden chill in weather worked well for wine service, it also posed a challenge to the serving staff who struggled to serve the plated courses hot to the large gathering. But the affairs were managed deftly by the core organizers- Subhash Arora, President Indian Wine Academy, Ravindra Kumar, General Manager and Charles Donnadieu Corporate Sommelier The Lalit.

Still more wines awaited the guests with the dessert spread which included Gulab Jamun, Kulfi and the clay oven prepared sweet bread Bakkar Khani– for which the scene of action shifted to Kitty Su– the hotel’s famed night club. Music and dance concluded the celebration for the year on a high note .


Subhash Arora addressing the gathering on Indian Wine Day 2018


What next?

Well done may be half begun but the Indian Wine Day can be truly said to have arrived when it becomes a more widespread phenomenon.

According to Arora, he would like to see Indian Wine Day taken over by the industry in such a way that every winery, every restaurant and every tasting room starts celebrating it. His immediate focus, therefore, is to get wineries actively involved in celebrating the day, eventually taking it to a week of celebrations.

Charles Donnadieu too, doesn’t want to bask in past glory as he feels that the initiative has to proliferate beyond the Lalit Hotels to find its place on the firmament. He hopes that in the coming years, more and more of the wine ecosystem of India will join the movement.

Even then, there is sufficient reason to say cheers to the Indian Wine Day.

Or as Subhash Arora puts it- Jai Ho!


Col Joe
wirtten by: Col Joe
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