Astonishingly at a well-known Delhi five-star, lunching with Stephen Spurrier the other day, the restaurant was out of stock with both the bottles of wine he ordered. The wines were Danzante Pinot Grigio which he remembered drinking at the restaurant during his previous stay and Tarapaca Sauvignon Blanc.
Both times the steward returned red-faced and apologizing profusely. Frustrated, Steven finally gave up and opted out with a Kingfisher beer while I reverted to my old standby, nimbu pani!
From a situation five years ago when there was hardly a qualified Indian wine writer for us to recruit as contributors when we started planning Sommelier India, there are now a rash of journalists and members of the trade and hospitality business, who have serious qualifications they can boast of.
The most recent to come to my notice is our very own, Alok Chandra who has been contributing to Sommelier India from almost the very first issue. Alok passed the WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate (Wines & Spirits) exam with distinction and is now working for his diploma. Sonal Holland, another SI contributor is in London appearing for her WSET diploma exam even as I write. And there are several others… Another reflection of the growth of wine culture in India.