– by Nissim Jacob, DH News Service, Bengaluru, published on DEC 26 2019, originally appeared here
An event ‘Toast and Tickle’ was held on Saturday at Howard Johnson by Wyndham Bengaluru in collaboration with winetourindia.com. The event was part of their unique educative events that seek to help participants learn the techniques of wine tasting through stand up comedy.
Avijit Barman, a representative of Winetourindia, says, “Our company always aims to make wine accessible to people. In India, people lean more towards beer and whisky, so we look for ways to create awareness about the beverage. We have given tours of our vineyards in the past and have shown the winemaking process to make it more interesting. This time we have decided to use comedy to make it lively and engaging as wine tasting events are seen as serious affair.”
On asking why they decided to choose Bengaluru for this event, Avijit says “Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city where people are open to trying new things. That’s why we decided to introduce this with comedy format. There is also a good market for wines in the city due to the presence of the IT industry which complements the food and beverage industry. We plan to have more such events in other cities too, using this format.”
Avijit Barman at Toast & Tickle 2019
Simran and Disha Sharma who were participants at the event say that they found the concept of bringing wine tasting and comedy together interesting. “The program was fun. I liked how they used humour to make wine tasting a more engaging process,” says Simran, a blogger.
Swajit Gade and Snehal Dharbade, who work in the IT sector, feel the same way. “I liked that we were also taught how to taste wine. That was very informative. It was interesting to have stand up comedy. I think they should use this format in future. The multiple varieties of cheese served with the wine were also good,” says Swajit.
Saswati Behra, a certified wine taster from the Karnataka Wine Board and a blogger, says, “The event was unique. I have been to several wine tasting events before which were quite formal. This was a welcome change.”
Stand up artistes Aamer Peeran, Joteen Patro and Somnath Padhy say that they were happy to be part of the program. “We have performed at corporate events before, but they were solely stand up actions. This is the first time we have used comedy to promote a brand. It was a great experience,” says Aamer.
Sapnil Kalkar, General Manager of Howard Johnson Hotel says, “We believe in providing a platform for fresh talent such as the cheesemaker Medha Hegde and the stand-up comedians, which is why we partnered with brand.”
The program also had discussions on wine tasting and information about the wines being served, alternating with the stand-up acts.