Vibe with Varun: Godrej Vikhroli Cucina’s recently launched ‘Vibe with Varun’, a first-of-its-kind chat show web series featuring conversations beyond food, witnessed India’s first and still only person to hold the coveted, Master of Wine, Sonal Holland, as an eminent guest who spoke about all things wine.
Hosted by chef Varun Inamdar, the episodes bring forth stories and experiences of people belonging to the food and culinary world. Founder of the Sonal Holland Wine Academy, Sonal, in the second episode spoke on the fragmented wine industry, the evolution of wine consumption, the etiquette of drinking wine, and the basics of wine and food pairing.
Speaking about her journey, Sonal Holland says, “After working in the corporate industry for 7 years, I decided to pivot my career and reinvent it. I spent 10 years studying, and in the process immersed myself in the world of wine. It all started with a fascination for the intricate flavors and aromas in every bottle, and I was determined to understand them better. Over the years, I have worked hard to become a Master of Wine, a title that is widely regarded as the highest achievement in the world of wine.”
Adding further to it she said, “My journey has been challenging, with long hours of study, countless tastings, and a lot of hard work. But with every new glass of wine, I have discovered a world of beauty, complexity, and depth that continues to inspire me. Today, I am proud to be the one and only Master of Wine in India and dedicated to sharing my knowledge and passion with others.”
Emphasizing the fragmented wine industry, Sonal said, “Premium wine is always better than consuming mediocre champagne. There are millions of wine labels being made by very passionate yet unrecognized producers in the world.”
Further, charting out the evolution of wine consumption, Sonal said, “India is at the cusp of becoming the most wine consuming country. There has been an evolution in wine consumption, from it being a rich man’s drink to a mainstream drink today. The wine was initially reserved for only those who were wealthy and knowledgeable. But times have changed now.”
On being asked about her preference for consuming wine, Sonal said that it is of extreme importance to ensure that the temperature of the wine is appropriate while consuming it. She said, “The oldest wine I have ever consumed is from 1867 and it was chateau Lafite. What makes wine fascinating is that some of the best wines outlive us as human beings.”
When asked about the wine on her bucket list she replied, “Drinking wine with Shahrukh Khan is on my bucket list, no matter which wine it will be.”
Sonal further threw light on the etiquette of consuming wine and stated that the whole idea of pouring wine in a clear stemmed glass is to be able to appreciate the color of the wine. She further explained the importance of using a stemmed glass with a steady base to be able to hold the glass.
Concluding the chat, Sonal gave out a message to all aspiring professionals and wine aficionados, encouraging them to invest in knowledge and education.