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India Wine Awards 2019 judging begins in September

3rd India Wine Awards in October

The India Wine Awards, the country’s most authoritative wine competition, will return for its third edition on October 5, 2019 at The Leela, Mumbai. Since its inaugural edition in 2017, India Wine Awards has firmly established itself as the ultimate guide to the best Indian and international wines available in the country.

An initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India’s only Master of Wine and Chairperson of India Wine Awards, this year once again the panel includes a formidable team of India’s most eminent wine palates, leaders of hospitality, and key wine and food media professionals.

Sonal Holland MW will be joined by eminent General Managers of luxury hotels, including Parveen Chander (Taj Lands’ End), Taljinder Singh (Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai), Sanjay Sethi (Chalet Hotels), Dietmar Kielnhofer (JW Marriott, Sahar), Abhishek Basu (Leela, Mumbai); noteworthy restauranteurs like Ashish Dev Kapur (Wine Rack) and celebrity chef Rahul Akerkar (Qualia); talented sommeliers like Harish Achrekar, Abhas Saxena, Lalit Rane and Prateek Angre; senior wine writers such as Ruma Singh, Subhash Arora, Alok Chandra.

Key features

India Wine Awards is the only competition in the country that features a unique food and wine pairing section, where nominated wines are paired with food to judge their compatibility. This year, the organisers have identified six dishes from across Indian, Asian and European cuisine, that are considered the most popular amongst diners in India.

The categories for pairing are: Best wine pairing with Sushi (veg/ non-veg), best wine pairing with Kung Pao Chicken; best wine pairing with pizza; best wine pairing with Haleem (lamb mince delicacy); best wine pairing with Thai Green Curry; and best wine pairing with chocolate (dark and milk).

All wines entered in the competition will be tasted blind and scored by a panel of 18 distinguished wine experts and heads of hospitality. Medals and awards will be bestowed based on the following ranking process:

86-90: Silver (well-made, straightforward, enjoyable wine)

91-95: Gold (accomplished wine with impressive complexity)

96-100: Diamond (excellent wine with incredible complexity and character)

96-100: Trophy Wine (Best in Show).

Wine programmes

A special category of awards across hotels and premium stand-alone restaurants located in the three major consumption centres of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru will recognise the Best Restaurants for their world-class wine list.

An independent panel of three International Master of Wines – Sonal Holland from India, Andrea Pritzker from Australia and Sarah Heller from Hong Kong – is being formed to bring their global experience and unmatched expertise to the judging process.

Sonal said, “We are delighted that India Wine Awards is in its third year… We pride ourselves on being an authoritative and ultimate guide to wine in India and take pride in being a world-class competition that holds integrity and authenticity, credibility and relevance as the four cornerstones of our actions.”

India Wine Awards 2019 will kick off with the wine tasting and wine and food pairing competition on September 12 and 13. The results will be announced at the Winners’ Night Award Ceremony at The Leela, Mumbai, on October 5, 2019. (