Continuing the tradition of hosting a wine festival in winter each year, the Pune Gourmet Club held the 5th Annual Pune Wine Tasting Festival at the Rohi Villa lawns on December 24th and 25th, 2011, reports SI correspondent, Brinda Gill from Pune. The festival featured 17 wineries offering a combined tasting of over a hundred wines.
The wines included wines from India, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Portugal, California and South Africa, giving wine enthusiasts ample choice to satisfy individual preferences as well as appreciate differences varietals and wine styles. Rhythm, Zampa, Indus, Good Earth Winery, Reveilo, Fratelli, Silk Route, Four Seasons, Seagram’s Nine Hills, York, Deccan Plateau, Kingfisher Bohemia, Kiara Wines, Pause, Vallonné, Jacob’s Creek and Elkay Spirits participated in the festival.
Adding to the wine experience was the food court with a choice of cuisines such as Thai, Japanese, Indian, Cajun and Lebanese. PGC members also displayed their culinary skills by presenting fruitcakes, brownies, California bread soup, different pastas, sushi, sangrias and mulled wine. Artisanal cheese and fondue, grape stomping courtesy Nine Hills, wine cocktails, an art gallery, wine walks, information on wine accessories and wine tours added flavour to the festival.
Wine walks between different wine stalls were conducted by wine consultant Rajesh Rasal to show consumers how the same varietal, a Cabernet Sauvignon (red varietal) or a Chenin Blanc (white varietal) could taste differently produced by different wineries.
Chocolates were specially crafted by a chocolatier for the festival and boxes of 12 chocolates were given to different wineries to pair with wines for the enjoyment of visitors.
B.Shankaranarayan, Moderator, Pune Gourmet Club, was pleased with the response to the festival as were the participants. Ravi Gurnani, Director, York Wines, said, “I think the festival was a success. These festivals play a part in introducing wine to new drinkers as it is not only the same people coming in every year. So it is a good time to interact directly with the consumer by not only giving them a chance to taste our wines but also buy what they like.”
Shailendra Pai, Founder and CEO, Vallonné Vineyards, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of visitors and their interaction, yet felt new facets need to be introduced into the festival. “Visitors in Pune are enthusiastic and keen to learn about wines. The PGC is a good platform to showcase new launches to wine lovers but the format of the festival needs to change now as I could see a certain degree of monotony setting in.”
Reva K. Singh, Publisher and Editor of Sommelier India WINE magazine, said, that Wine Festivals were a great way of fostering a wine drinking culture in India and making wine more accessible to consumers. “Wine is a convivial alcoholic beverage meant to be enjoyed with friends and family and ideally consumed with food,” she said, congratulating the Pune Gourmet Club on the success of the Pune Festival.