Best Moments of 2014
2014 has been an action packed year, not just for the wine and liquor. Indian wines have been making their presence felt in the global arena, industry stalwarts have been recognized for their continuous hard work and at the same time the Indian market was buzzing with plenty of new launches. Here are some of the moments from 2014 you must know!
New kids on the block
The Indian wine growth story continued through 2014. Krsma Wines finally debuted with 4 varietals – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is a project borne of passion for full time entrepreneurs and vinos, Uma and Krishna Prasad Chigurupati, who chose the unlikely terrain of Hampi for their winery. The uniqueness of the terroir according to them offers endless opportunities for their 4 varietals.
Acclaim and Accolades
Grover Zampa made history this year by winning the first International Trophy for their Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc at Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2014. Other Indian winners included Krsma, Myra and Four Seasons.
Krsma Wineries also bagged a gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition 2014. While York Wineries continued with its steady wins at the Hong Kong Wine & Spirit Competition earning bronze medals for their Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.
Sula’s premium category wine, Rasa, won silver medal at Syrah Du Monde 2014 in France.
Craft Beer On Growth Path
If 2013 saw Mumbai’s first craft beer arrive at Barking Deer, 2014 was even more exciting with Gateway Brewing Company (GBC) finally getting their beers on tap at various city restaurants.
Then there is Yeast India Company which started out in 2013 by bringing in imported craft beers like Trooper and Old Tom. In 2014, they have continued their endeavor to bring in interesting brews like St Erhard and Erdinger Dunkel and Weissbier, that too on tap.
Even more interesting was Tapped Craft Beer Festival, which saw Pune and Mumbai’s microbreweries serve their beers for one day under one roof. The festival included Bombalore, a collaborative beer brewed by GBC and Bangalore based Arbor Brewing Company.
Lots of wine and spirits related travel
It was a busy year for us at Hipcask to with two back-to-back trips to Italy and Japan. Our Italian sojourn took us to the region of Piedmont for Nebbiolo Prima 2014 for pre-release tasting and evaluation of Barolo 2010 and Riserva 2008, Barbaresco 2011 and Riserva 2009, Roero 2011 and Riserva 2009. From Piedmont we headed to Veneto region to learn more about the Italian sparkling wine better known as Prosecco.
A very important face for the Indian industry both imported and domestic is Rajiv Singhal. For over 2 decades he has championed the cause of good wines and today he is director of the India Champagne Bureau and ambassador for Champagne in India. For his continuous hard work especially with French wines, Singhal was awarded the Ordre National du Mérite (French National Order of Merit) by the French government.
In December, renowned Indian sommelier Magandeep Singh was intronised into Echansonnerie des Papes in a ceremony held in Avignon, France. He is the first Indian to get inducted into the brotherhood, set up in 1967 by Dr Philippe Dufays, to increase appreciation and understanding of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s unique wines, and enhance the reputation of one of France’s greatest appellations.
In another first of its kind, mixologist Ami Shroff won India’s first women only bartending competition La Maison Cointreau, she will be representing India at the regional finals in Bangkok.
Speaking of competitions, the seventh edition of The Indian Sommelier Championship came to fruitful end with Atul Tiwari from the Leela Palace, New Delhi winning the top spot. We too participated in the 3-day Mumbai leg of the journey to better understand what it takes to be a sommelier and we’re happy to report that we did well!
Hipcask selected in the top 30 tech startups in India
Hipcask was part of the Tech 30 startups at TechSparks, the largest startup event in the country.
Have a look at the rest of the 29 startups here!
It was the year of pop-ups with almost everyone getting on the bandwagon. We saw acclaimed Chef Ritu Dalmia bring to Mumbai her quintessential Italian style and Bangkok-based powerhouse Chef Gagan Anand with his avant garde Indian cuisine. On much smaller and niche scale, Insia Lacewalla of Small Fry Co organized multitudes of food focused bazaars and flea markets.
Life at Hipcask
Indian Wine List finally evolved to become Hipcask with the launch of our iOS app in June 2014 and 4 months later Android version of the app was launched. Accordingly our team too has grown steadily from 2 to 7, and we’re preparing to grow our Hipcask family further.
We revived Bombay Cocktail Club, where we take over a bar in the city for one night mixing specially curated cocktails which then offered as part of a promotion at the restaurant for a month. We’ve concluded 4 successful editions!
You may also have seen us being busy behind the Hipcask bars at various city events – Arty Party, Bombay Local, Celebrate Bandra and Kitsch Mandi to name a few.
As a way to reach out to our user base we now have a beta feature that offers discounts on selected wines and beers stocked by Hipcask certified retailers. Currently, available only in Andheri West and Juhu we will soon be covering all of Mumbai.