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‘Long Journey for India and Champagne’

Educational tools, including e-learning like the 'Champagne Campus' app, have been developed by the Comite Champagne to educate a wide audience, both in France and abroad, about the wine-growing region of Champagne the vines, winemaking process, tasting et al.

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Bar, wine glasses
Glasses serve a bigger purpose than just holding liquids, say the experts at Dean Supply. Image: Dean supply

It’s been a long journey for India and champagne, going back over three centuries and in 2017, over 400,000 bottles of the bubbly were shipped to India in spite of the high taxes, says the head of a key French organisation that ensures that only the original product is served around the world.

“Champagne and India have a long story that dates back to the first shipments in the 18th century. Maharajas were the most important consumers of this new wine at that time. Since then, shipments have continued and Champagne enjoys a great recognition, which was confirmed with the registration of the Champagne appellation by India in 2008,” Vincent Perrin, Directeur General of Comite Champagne, told IANS in an email interview.

How would he describe the journey over the past decade and how have the two sides benefited?

Noting that one of the Comite Champagne’s key missions is to ensure that the name Champagne is reserved only for sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region of France to give “to our winegrowers and houses the best environment to sell their wines”, Perrin added: “To achieve this objective, education programmes and protection of the Champagne name are two levers that we continuously use.”

To this end, the registration of the Champagne appellation, which was renewed recently, “is a recognition of the reputation of Champagne wines on Indian territory. It’s also a guarantee for Indian consumers of the origins of the wines,” added Perrin, who joined the Comite Champagne in September 2014 after an extensive career in diplomacy and international business development.

Hangovers might last longer than you think
Speaking about the impact of the association on India-France relations, Perrin said Champagne has had a strong connect with India. Pixabay

Speaking about the impact of the association on India-France relations, Perrin said Champagne has had a strong connect with India “and it perhaps showcases best the French art de vivre. We hope that this relation will only grow and strengthen in the future”.

How does he foresee the roadmap for the future?

“As India emerges as a global economic power, Indians who are likely to consume luxury products should increase in the coming years and wines play a growing part in the drink sector. There is a strong potential, despite high taxes, for Champagne wines which have grown steadily over the years.

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Educational tools, including e-learning like the ‘Champagne Campus’ app, have been developed by the Comite Champagne t o educate a wide audience, both in France and abroad, about the wine-growing region of Champagne the vines, winemaking process, tasting et al. These will help more Indians approach champagne with more confidence. (IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)