India, in spite of the recession is managing a growth in the F&B industry. New establishments are opening doors everyday making the gastronomic world ever more competitive. While bar competitions and wine competitions abound, Magandeep has often eluded the temptation to organise a formal sommelier competition to ascertain and adjudge the qualities of a true wine professional. This year he was convinced that the wine industry albeit still nascent is showing signs of constant evolution and therefore, finally, Wi-Not has managed to put in place a competition to gauge the best servers in the industry, the finals of which took place on 2nd Dec at IFE 2008, New Delhi. The contestants were judged on their knowledge and practical ease in the subject first in theory and then in practice. The live finals promised to be a quite a show with all that a sommelier is expected to know and do being executed in front of a live audience comprising a hand-picked jury of wine professionals. This year the jury comprised of Andrew Steel, GM, Shangri-La, New Delhi
Stephane Soret, Head sommelier, The Imperial, New Delhi
Angele De Ioia, Maitre D’Hote and Manager, The Oberoi, New Delhi
The participants were put through gruelling rounds of wine and food pairing, spotting errors on wine lists and finally live service demonstration followed by tasting and impromptu commenting exercise. The level of competence required was high and the contestants really impressed the judges and thinternational winemakers gathered to witness the event.
Riedel and Pulltex supported the event thus ensuring a high quality of wares and accessories to be used by the participants.
Judges of the Indian Sommelier championship flanked by participants