At the end of last month, I spent a day tasting some 75-odd international and Indian wines — that arrived in a seemingly interminable series of flights — at the Sommelier India Wine Challenge in Mumbai. It may sound like an easy day’s work, but by 9 p.m., when we were finally done, I was so exhausted and so done with fermented grape that I would have accepted a can of Coke in lieu of a glass of 1947 Cheval Blanc. Mukund Padmanabhan discusses the Sommelier India Wine Competition in a piece for The Hindu newspaper and excerpted here.
Over 400 wines were entered into the competition and 18 judges, divided into groups of three, were served the wines, under the watchful eye of the famous wine expert Steven Spurrier who, as head of the panel, was called on to intervene when there were differences among the judges or clarify a matter of procedure. At my table were the feisty wine educator Sonal Holland and the CEO of the Wine Society of India, who played chair and was extremely patient with differing points of view.
Organised by Reva Singh, the Editor of Sommelier India magazine and the Wine Society of India, the Wine Challenge was held under semi-blind tasting conditions. Varietal, country of origin, and price band were revealed and like wines were tasted with like — so the flights were made up of say international bubblies, Indian Cabernet Sauvignons, Napa Valley Chardonnays and so on.
Continue reading his opinion on The Hindu website. View results of the Sommelier India Wine Competition.