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IWFS Bombay (India)

The Bombay Branch of the International Wine and Food Society was established in June 2006 by ‘the 3 hags’, as they called themselves...Nihal Kaviratne, who whilst selling toothpaste and detergents around the world for Unilever picked up the wine habit; is a member of the St James's branch in London and was instrumental in re-introducing the IWFS to India after a 50 year absence.  He was the founding President of the Bombay Branch.  Rahul Akerkar who is arguably India's most celebrated Chef, studied Chemical Engineering at Columbia University in the US when he discovered his true calling working his way, for pocket money, through the kitchens of many a celebrated New York Chef.  The trio was completed by Sanjay Menon who pioneered the import of fine wine to the country and thinks of himself as the country’s biggest Oenophile; at least one journalist has called him wine's evangelist to the country.  Ajit Singh, the immediate Past President, and a few others were invited to join the Branch as Founding Members.  Jai Hiremath is the current President.

The city of Bombay was officially renamed ‘Mumbai’ in 1995.  However, members were keen to maintain the pre-existing name of Bombay for their Branch.

An average of 6 meetings is held each year.  These are some of the highlights:

Syrah versus Shiraz
This was a face-off between the northern Rhone versus the best from the Barossa, featuring some of the heavyweights of both regions.  Highlights included Hermitages from the 1990 vintage by Chave & Jaboulet and Guigal's La Turque 1997 versus 1990 Henschke Hill of Grace & Penfolds Grange and Torbreck RunRig 1997.

The Second Wine of Bordeaux Cru Classe
Here we tasted 27 different wines from the big boys such as Les Forts de Latour and Pavillon Rouge, through to some of the smaller and lesser known gems like Fugue de Nenin.  As we could not find a list of Second Wines in any publication from our substantial combined libraries we had fun compiling a list of most classified and Grand Vin's second wines.

1989 Conundrum
This event featured 3 first growths amongst a total of 17 left and right bank wines from ’89 and ’90 – our aim was to decide whether some critics’ suggestions that 1989 was the better vintage, across a larger selection, was true or not.

Eyes Wide Shut
This was our first blind tasting of wines.  Members were asked to guess, from the wine list, the order in which some of the greatest wines from around the world had been served, including the 1961 Leoville Las Cases, the 1982 Latour, the 1990 Le Pin and Ponsot’s 1989 Clos de la Roche.

Roses & Tar
Featuring a line-up of some of the greatest Barolo producers, we looked at makers such as Elio Altare, Domenico Clerico, Paolo Scavino, Bruno Giacosa and Sandrone, from some of the best recent vintages including 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.

High Road to DRC
All of the red Grand Crus of Domaine Romanee-Conti were featured, along with several other top 1er and Grand Cru Burgundies from the biggest names of the appellation.

Club Neuf
Our second horizontal featured all of the 9 'first' growths of Bordeaux from the less heralded but now peaked 1997 vintage.  All wines were in immaculate condition with Latour showing its greatness.

Apart from attending local branch functions, members of the Bombay Branch also have the opportunity to attend the various Regional and International Festivals hosted by IWFS around the world.

Membership of the Bombay Branch is by invitation only and currently has a wait list.  However, if you have a serious interest in wine and food, and are interested in being considered for inclusion on our wait list, please click on Contact Us and let us know something about yourself as well as how we might contact you.