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Keeping Busy Feb-Mar 2009

The team at Wi-Not has had a pretty action-packed last few weeks: wine events, wine trainings, brainstorming sessions on wine marketing strategies, and travelling for the love and cause of wine.

The first most important event attended by the team was a wine tasting afternoon at the at the French Ambassador’s residence in Delhi, where some prestigious producers from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Rhone Valley) and Provence (South of France) displayed their produce to some of the key players of wine trade in Delhi. Magan kicked things off and the representatives from the houses enlightened the guests about their wines: Domaine de Nalys, Chateau des Chaberts and Chateau de Saint Cosme.
Next Magan and Gurjit left for Jaipur to conduct a wine appreciation session for a private client. Straight after Jaipur, Magan was supposed to leave for Hyderabad but that didn’t happen. Instead, Wi-Not organised a wine appreciation session at Belvedere Park III, Gurgaon for Vinner Enotica conducted by Gurjit.
Wi-Not also collaborated with Italian fine dining restaurant & Fashion Café Little Italy Ristorante, Defence colony. Wi-not will be in charge of their restaurant wine-list, staff training on wines and other issues related to sourcing quality wines and keeping them up-to-date with happenings in the wine-business. Azzuro restaurant’s Saket and DLF staff to have been brushing up on their wine skills through extensive wine training sessions. Their new list, which should debut shortly, will be precise, different and definitely impressive.

The team also visited IFOWS and appreciated some of the wines on tasting and enjoyed some outstanding food items, not to miss avocado oil, marinated antipasto nibbles and Italian Christmas cake. But the turnout was scant and flimsy and the show overall was a far cry from anything that IFE had put up earlier last month. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are no more editions of IFOWS from the next year.
Then, Juliet Cullinan, the world-renowned South African wine critic and writer, was in Delhi. The Wi-Not team welcomed her and gave her a brief ‘taste’ of India.

Magan hosted a wine appreciation fun-session at LongChamp, Taj Man Singh, Delhi, where the Young Indians and CII corporate got together to enjoy an evening and enhance their skills of choosing their wines.

The European Union in assistance with Union of Italian winemakers (vintners) association brought to India a government-funded project to spread the good word on European wines in India. Wi-Not’s team assisted them in their endeavours. A two day wine training session was conducted at IHM Dellhi with students making the best of the opportunity and learning about certain aspects of wines from Europe. Mr. Fabio Piccoli and Ms. Michela Cipriani headed the trainings.  On March 2nd, 2009, a media conference and a trade wine training session was held at ITC Sheraton New Delhi, Saket where thoughts and views were discussed with the media and professionals from the trade, importers, exporters, distributors and high-end consumers got together to sharpen their knowledge about European wines. With a turnout exceeding a 100 enthusiasts, we can safely say it was a great success.
Then, at The Intercontinental Eros, Nehru Place, Gagan and Gurjit attended a Korean wine tasting session where they were introduced to surprisingly well-made and innovative wines from this unknown wine producing country. They got introduced to not only grape wines but also many fruit wines like some made from apple, pomegranate, berries, etc.

As of now, the Wi-Not team has just returned from IIWF at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, where the company had its own stand displaying Pulltex wine accessories and India’s first wine book, ‘Wine Wisdom’ written by Magandeep SINGH. Thoughts were shared about the company’s operations and future projects including the upcoming and extremely exciting Institute of Wine and Beverage Studies. Magan was on the panel of speakers and gave a talk on Indian wine and food while Gurjit manned the Wi-Not stand. Gagan offered his services to an upcoming Chilean wine company Vina El Principal. Magan also hosted a networking wine dinner on the first evening of the fair at the Grand Hyatt attended by the luminous of the trade. The day after was spent winding up the fair on the 18th, but our work was far form over. The Wi-Not team reached The Taj Hotel at the Gateway of India where Magan paired Chilean wines with Chilean food prepared by Chef Giuliano Capelli for the Presidential lunch, hosted in honour of the visiting President of Chile, Her Excellency, Ms. Michel Bachelet. It was a fantastic afternoon of elegant wines, great food and company in equal measures.
The team has also been keeping itself updated with the recent upcoming and advances at the IWBS site. The roof has been laid on the training-cum-tasting room, drainage system and water pipes have been connected to the tasting tables have been installed. Electricity fittings are coming to an end and soon the finishing work will end. Mean while http://iwbs.in is up and running and a logo selection page has been put up on the website where the most voted logo will be finalised as the final visual identity of the institute. Also a group for IWBS enthusiasts and future students has been put up on Facebook where regular updates about the progress of the institute are pinned. See you there…

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About the Author

Gagan is much like a young wine in many senses; you have to spend time with him before he opens up. A certified wine expert and mixologist, Gagan pursued his love for beverages Down under, doing his Masters in Hospitality Management (specialising in wines) from Victoria University, Melbourne. He reserves a soft corner for Australian reds, German Rieslings and Gewürztraminer. As much as he loves to experiment with new cuisines, he also has a taste for adventure – paragliding, bungee jumping, rafting, skydiving and playing squash. His interests include blogging, back to back movie spree, cooking for self and travelling. He is a music-fanatic and loves being left alone with his PSP. Beef steak and wine rate high on his agenda as also does a Bourbon and cola.

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