|It was the perfect ambience for tasting some of the best from Kiwi country – the candlelit setting and moonlight at Bangalore’s Olive Beach was just perfect to offset the delightfully light, fruity New Zealand sauvignon blancs being launched by New Zealand exporters Index represented by Tina Thomas and Jennifer Woods. The wines are being imported via United Vintners Ltd and will be available in India very soon. Ruma Singh reports|
The exclusive crowd of 25 invitees began with a glass of chilled Bouvet Ladubay Brut as they arrived. This was accompanied by Mediterranean dips, cheese and olives. But chef de cuisine, Manu Chandra of Olive Beach, had many more delicious surprises in store for the diners.
To start with was a salad of green apple, Greek feta and toasted walnuts which went perfectly with winemaker Steve Hotchin’s Ra Nui sauvignon blanc from Marlborough. Then came pit-roasted spicy prawns and a slow-roasted tomato and caramelized onion tart tatin which paired very well with the clear winner of the evening – the delightful Astrolabe sauvignon blanc, full-bodied and fruity with a smooth, lingering finish.
This was followed by pan roasted Malabar reef cod and risotto with shiitake mushrooms with a chardonnay from Warburn, Australia called Gossips. And that was not all – kid lamb in goat milk polenta followed which was paired by another Gossips wine — this one a merlot. The piece de resistance was the dessert — freshly baked almond financier with honey mascapone and port stewed cherries.
No wonder the mood was mellow and the guests very happy at the end of the evening. While the NZ sauvignon blancs are wines which every wine connoisseur will be happy to taste, the entry level Gossips left everyone impressed with their character and value. Tina’s glowing tribute to New Zealand’s perfect terroir and ‘clean green’ image explained why the wines from that distant part of the world are impressing wine aficionados everywhere with their quality and ‘food friendliness.’
— Ruma Singh