The Mumbai edition of the delWine Excellence Awards was recently announced by the trio of wine hospitality stalwarts who have taken it upon themselves to “promote Indian wines in homes and hotels” through these awards.
Delwine and Indian Wine Academy president Subhash Arora, noted food columnist and restaurant critic Sourish Bhattacharya, and Sonal Holland, former head of the national wine programme of ITC Hotels and the first Indian woman to enrol in the Master of Wine programme came together last evening at the Pullman Aerocity to outline the road map for the delWine Excellence awards. While the Delhi edition is slated to be held on September 14 at the Pullman Aerocity, the Mumbai edition is being planned for January 2017.
To begin with, on September 14, the highlight of the evening will be a Wines of the World (WOW) showcase – here invitees will be able to taste a line-up of 120-wine labels, from leading Indian wineries plus a few international brands. This will be followed by a sit-down dinner where eight high-end wines will be served. The sommelier of the evening will be Kriti Malhotra from the hotel.
The awards which are divided into three categories will be judged by a jury comprising 11 members who have already been selected and their names will be announced at the end of August. Subhash Arora and Sonal Holland will be chair and co-chair respectively.
The award categories are hospitality industry awards, best wine lists (both Indian and international), best Indian restaurants service wine, and best beverage managers / sommeliers.
The judging process will require participants to fill out a questionnaire. Their answers will determine whether they make it to the jury round or not. Following that, they will appear for an interview before the jury. Subsequently, the jury will announce the “final shortlists” to be voted on by the Facebook communities of the Indian Wine Academy and Indian Restaurant Spy to select the winners. In addition to the delWine Excellence Awards, there are plans to host the India Wine Awards in February-March next year that will be based on blind barrel tastings.
“With the two awards, we will honour India’s best wine professionals and cover 360 degrees of wine experience – from wine service, imports, retail and tourism to the quality of wines being produced in India, from consumer-driven industry awards to tastings-led expert awards,” said Arora.
— Kanika Dhawan