The time of the year when the Armageddon calls all the hotels and restaurants to bring out their best armor to battle it out for the throne of the best wine-quotient in the business. Indian Sommelier Championship continues its legacy for the fourth year and makes it the best of the lot so far. With over a month long preparations, applications enrollments, tasting sessions, pre-competition trainings and examinations, and gearing-up finally came the day of the battle royalé and it was quite a sight.
With applications from over 12 different organizations and over two dozen candidates Indian Sommelier Championship 2011 started off it’s this year’s programme as planned. Sommeliers Magandeep SINGH and Gagan SHARMA trained the candidates for two days over various aspects of wines and sharpened their skills on wine tasting and handling at The TLC Inn, Mahipalpur. After an hour –long examination and an intense blind-tasting test the top five emerged. On day two of India’s most prestigious gastronomy affair, Fine Foods India 2011, the top five were revealed and battled it out for the top spot in front of wine aficionados and media and the esteemed judge’s panel. The panellists this year were:
- Mr. Davide Zubani – Sommelier, Smoke House Grill, New Delhi
- Ms. Aishwarya Nair – Director, Leela Group of Hotels
- Mr. Kapil Sekhri – Owner, Fratelli Vineyards
The judges were not the easiest to impress but it took no sweat for the contestants to flatter them with their skills and knowledge. Finally, we had our winners:
- Mr. Deepak Shettigar – The Leela Hotel, New Delhi
- Mr. Dale D’Cruz – Hyatt Regency, New Delhi
- Ms. Manisha Chhetri – Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi
- Mr. Nikunj Jairath – The Taj Palace, New Delhi
- Mr. Abhijit Hati – J.W. Marriott, Chandigarh
The winners were awarded with all expenses paid trip from Fratelli Vineyards along with gold-lined glasses and wines. Four Season’s Winery also awarded a trip to one of the winners. The Leela Group also very generously awarded a two days paid trip to one of the finalists.
With a roaring success of Indian Sommelier Championship chapters year after year it only sets to prove that the wine scene in the country is on a roll. The competition’s not only growing prestigiously but is also being supported by the industry majors with both hands. Having said that the future of the wine professionals in the country not only seems to be on the horizon but also shining bright. Wi-Not plans to take the competition to other cities and test the strength and passions of many this year. Indian Sommelier Championship will return at Fine Foods India in September this year, catch you there!!