Sonal Holland MW announces the third edition of India Wine Awards 2019


The India Wine Awards, the country’s most authoritative wine competition, will return for its third edition on October 5, 2019 at The Leela, Mumbai. This highly-anticipated annual event that brings together luminaries from India’s wine and food & beverage industries, will showcase and celebrate award-winning wines across multiple categories. Since its inaugural edition in 2017, India Wine Awards has firmly established itself as the ultimate guide to the best Indian and international wines available in the country.

An initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India’s only Master of Wine and Chairperson of India Wine Awards, this first-of-its-kind event stands committed to introducing more consumers to wine and to strengthening India’s reputation on the global wine map.

Integrity, authenticity, credibility and relevance remain the four cornerstones of India Wine Awards. Essential to this process is inviting the industry’s best and most relevant palates as judges. This year once again, the panel includes a formidable team of India’s most eminent wine palates, leaders of hospitality, and key wine and food media professionals for the 2019 India Wine Awards wine-tasting competition. Chairperson of the jury, Sonal Holland MW will be joined by eminent General Managers of luxury hotels including Parveen Chander – Taj Lands’ End, Taljinder Singh – The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, Sanjay Sethi of Chalet Hotels, Dietmar Kielnhofer – JW Marriott Sahar, Abhishek Basu – Leela Mumbai; noteworthy restauranteurs like Ashish Dev Kapur of Wine Rack and celebrity chef Rahul Akerkar of Qualia; talented sommeliers like Harish Achrekar, Abhas Saxena, Lalit Rane and Prateek Angre; senior wine writers such as Ruma Singh, Subhash Arora, Alok Chandra. Senior members of media including Namrata Zakaria from Mumbai Mirror and Smitha Menon from Condé Nast Traveler will be joining the panel as special invitee judges.

 Some of the key features this year include:

Food & Wine Pairing Competition: India Wine Awards is the only competition in the country that features a unique food and wine pairing section, where nominated wines are paired with food to judge their compatibility. This year, the organizers have identified six dishes from across Indian, Asian and European cuisine, that are considered the most popular amongst diners in India. The categories for pairing are as follows:


Best Wine pairing with Sushi (choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian)


Best Wine pairing with Kung Pao Chicken


Best Wine pairing with Pizza


Best Wine pairing with Haleem (lamb mince delicacy)


Best Wine pairing with Thai Green Curry


Best Wine pairing with Chocolate (dark and milk)

India Wine Awards is the most authoritative competition in the country led by India’s most qualified and foremost wine professionals. All wines entered in the competition will be tasted blind and scored by a panel of 18 distinguished wine experts and heads of hospitality, chaired by Sonal Holland MW. Medals and awards will be bestowed based on the following ranking process:

Medals / Awards

 86 — 90: Silver (well-made, straightforward, enjoyable wine)

91 — 95: Gold (an accomplished wine with impressive complexity)

96 — 100: Diamond (an excellent wine with incredible complexity and character)

96 — 100: Trophy Wine – Best in Show. All diamond medal-winning wines will be re-tasted by the core committee, to ascertain its quality and score. ‘Trophy Wine’ for Best in Show medal is awarded to each of the winning wines.

Based on the individual wine scores, the wine will be awarded Silver, Gold or a Diamond.

Excellence in Restaurant Wine Programs : A special category of awards across Hotels and premium Stand-Alone Restaurants located in the three major consumption centres of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru will recognise the Best Restaurants for their World-Class Wine List, and other important wine initiatives including training programs and events in a category of awards including World-class Wine Destination. To build a strong foundation for Excellence in Restaurant Wine Programs at Hotels and Premium Stand-Alone Restaurants, for the first time in any Indian wine competition an independent panel of three international Master of Wines, including Sonal Holland MW, is being formed to bring their global experience and unmatched expertise to the judging process. The other global panelists include:

       – Andrea Pritzker MW (Australia): Sydney-based independent wine consultant, WSET educator, writer and a public speaker

     – Sarah Heller MW (Hong Kong) : A wine communicator, designer and consultant, she produces an art series called Visual Tasting Notes, owns a boutique design agency and is the brand ambassador and design collaborator for Lucaris Crystal.

Speaking on the occasion of the upcoming Indian Wine Awards 2019, Sonal Holland MW, Founder and Chairperson commented, “we are delighted that India Wine Awards is in its third year, and we look forward to working closely with such an eminent panel of judges, to help further enable consumer choices and showcase the best of what is available in the country. We pride ourselves on being an authoritative and ultimate guide to wine in India, one which offers a world-class competition that holds integrity and authenticity, credibility and relevance, as the 4 cornerstones of our actions.”

India Wine Awards 2019 will kick off with the wine tasting and wine & food pairing competition to be held on September 12 and 13, 2019. This is when the jury will meet to judge the entries for this year’s Awards.

The results will be announced at the Winners’ Night Award Ceremony at The Leela Mumbai on October 5, 2019. The Awards will be attended by invite-only wine-loving guests, senior members of the media, leaders of hospitality, indigenous wine producers, importers and distributors of international wines; and luminaries of the hotel and food & beverage industry.

India Wine Awards



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