|The Bangalore Wine Club had a sit-down wine dinner at the Leela Palace hotel, Bangalore on 2nd August.
The event was organised in partnership with the Howling Wolves Wine Group, whose director Damien Knowles had come down along with the Bombay-based importers just for the event.
The Howling Wolves Wine Group is based in the Margaret River area of Western Australia, near Perth, and has tied-up with Baumgarten & Wallia Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Brihan-Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate Limited for the import and marketing of their wines in India.
We started the evening with the Howling Wolves White Shiraz 2004 – a ‘watermelon pink’ medium-bodied wine that was delightful as an aperitif.
This was followed by a tasting of four wines, led by Damien Knowles. The Howling Wolves Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2004 was crisp but a little too dry and acidic. Next was the HW Cabernet Sauvignon – very tannic and dry (“picking the oak chips from one’s teeth”) The HW Shiraz was the best: a fruity & peppery aroma, with soft tannins and a medium finish. Last tasted was the Small Batch Grenache 2004 – perfumed aromas but firm tannins.
The dinner was a gastronomic tour-de-force with smoked Salmon, stuffed quail and rack of lamb
– along with Small Batch Chardonnay (lovely butterscotch & peach nose and beautiful balanced taste) and Small Batch Cabernet Merlot (fruity and spicy, generous mouthfeel, long silky finish) accompanying.
While Delhi and Mumbai have had a rash of winemaker dinners over the years, this has started only recently in Bangalore, and is bound to positively impact the image as well as the offtake of the concerned wines.
This was a sell-out event with nearly 90 people attending, and one must say that the Leela Palace did a fantastic job: from the decor to the food and the service, everything was absolutely and impeccably top-end – it’s no easy task catering to so many people for a sit-down event.
The Howling Wolves wines retail for around Rs 900, and the Small Batch labels for Rs 1,200, in Bangalore. Damien claimed to have shipped three containers (3,000 cases) to India this past one year, and said they were now planning to invest in vineyards and a winery in Maharashtra.
Way to go.
Contributed by Alok Chandra.
Howling Wolves also organized a wine tasting in Delhi on July 27th at the Le Meredien Hotel.