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Indian wines steal the spotlight at the third edition of India Wine Awards

Friday, November 8, 2019, 16:41 Hrs  [IST]

The key Indian wine industry event, India Wine Awards, held earlier this month at The Leela Mumbai marked a significant step up for the industry with a number of Indian wines holding their own against international competition as well as a nuanced and finessed wine and food pairing category. Over 116 wines were awarded included a host of Indian and imported wines across bronze, silver and gold categories. Further, eight trophies were awarded to the best wines paired with a slew of cuisines. 17 restaurants were also awarded for their wine programmes at the third edition of the awards. All the results were arrived at after two days of rigorous blind tastings by a jury comprising experts and professionals chaired by Sonal Holland MW, India's first Master of Wine and Founder Director of SoHo Wine Club.

Highlighting some of the key distinctions of IWA 2019, Holland said, "The IWA has come a long way in a very short time and credibility the awards have and how they are regarded in the industry is a testament to the high standards of judging as well as the need for India specific wine awards. This year, notably, the results prove beyond doubt that at comparable price-points, well-made, premium examples of Indian wines are on par with international ones for their world-class attributes, which augurs well for domestic producers." Holland also highlighted a first for IWA with the introduction of IWA medal stickers. "The medal stickers are an invaluable guide for consumers when they're shopping for wine. It is brand visibility and awareness of the finest ferments available on the Indian market. The medal stickers fulfil a very important objective of IWA."

Qualia's chef-owner Rahul Akerkar who won the Best Upcoming Wine Destinations award for his restaurant hailed IWA as a credible platform to evaluate and rank wines and recognized his experience as a judge for the past two years, having helped him evaluate wines for his restaurant's wine list. On his maiden visit to India for IWA, Ian Harris, Chief Executive, Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) said, "The awards mark a significant step up in the evolution of the Indian wine market and is a valuable boost for the industry and the wine professionals."

The revision of the food and wine pairing category which saw pairings with Indian as well as international cuisine was cited by Holland as another step forward for IWA. Three wine masterclasses had preceded the awards, each with a focus on a specific aspect of wine and ranged from 'The Extraordinary Italian Taste', 'Varietal Tasting - Focus on Chardonnay' and 'A Journey of the Senses - The Glass and the Palate'.

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