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Gambero Rosso, the leading Wine Guide publishers from Rome organised a unique event at the Taj Land’s End Mumbai on Monday where 50 select producers showcased their wines, highlighting the terroir of different regions of Italy, writes Subhash Arora who also assisted Marco Sabellico, the Editor-in

-Chief of the group in conducting two seminars where a bottle each of these producers was presented.


Addressing the audience which consisted of trade professionals and journalists, at the first ever such road show in India, Sabellico talked about the Wine Guide which celebrates its 25the year in 2012. ‘We selected 50 of the top producers of Italy who wanted to travel with us for the series of road shows-in Mumbai, Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong and culminating in Shanghai. The difference between other programmes like this is that here we short-list the quality of the producers first and then give them the option,’ he said. All such producers have won- this year or in the past- at least some ‘Tre Bicchieri’ (three glasses) award.


Explaining the concept which started 24 years ago-they celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2012, he said that about 40,000 wines are tasted blind every year throughout Italy. Wines that are ‘good’ get one-glass and score 70-79 on the 100-point scale. ‘Very Good’ wines merit 2-glasses whereas the very best-excellent wines get 3 glasses. All wines lined up for 3-glasses are re- tasted by a panel out of 1200 wines to ensure there is no discrepancy. The two glasses are in black as well as in red colour which indicates that it was selected for final tasting but not awarded 3-glasses. Final tasting is done by a different panel headed by Marco.


A special feature of the road show was the two seminars conducted by Marco Sabellico in conjunction with Subhash Arora, President of Indian Wine Academy. Each of the 50 producers was allowed to give one label to present; thus giving a good representation of Italy, making it a Master Class of Italian wines. Marco is the Chief Editor of Gambero Rosso and is an authority of Italian wines, tasting thousands of wines each year throughout Italy for the Guide, the latest annual version (2012) of which was released last week.


Although the seminar was a guided tasting, it covered the whole of Italy and several interesting aspects of the regions were covered. Starting from Veneto, the duo took the tasters through Veneto, Lombardia, Trentino, Liguria, Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte, Toscana and , Veneto in the first seminar while Sicily, Marche, Sardinia, Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna, Molise, Campania and Puglia were featured in the second part.


Presented in two seminars of 2 hours each, there were 25 wines from each of the two halves of Italy, North and South-giving a comprehensive knowledge about Italian wines. Though well attended, it lacked the presence of importers, showing apathy to learning about wines or perhaps they travel enough to various regions and already know all there is to know about Italian wines. Mumbai traffic is also a villain in the exhibition, with the South Mumbaikars refraining from such events.


It was a great opportunity to taste some of the best wines from producers like Gaja Barbaresco and Sassicaia which could of course be tasted outside in the tasting hall where each producer had  more than 4-5 different wines to taste.


Sabellico also informed that Gambero Rosso was conducting road shows like this since 2007- but earlier with the US, UK, followed by forays into Europe and Eastern Europe but this was the first time they had visited India and hoped that the maiden visit  would become a regular feature in their annual diary for future years. The exhibitors had been handpicked out of those that were keen to export only  were accompanying the tour.


Subhash Arora

President of Indian Wine Academy



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