Suneeta Sodhi Kanga meets the brand ambassador and head sommelier of Torres and samples some of their wines that are on offer in India. A warm May evening at The Olive at Mahalaxmi, Mumbai was the perfect backdrop for a stimulating conversation with Anna Manchon.
The charming brand ambassador and head sommelier of Torres Wines, Anna was passing through Mumbai on a very hectic first-time trip to India. Amid F&B trainings and other promotions and events she, along with Marc Perello, country head of Torres wines, found the time to meet me and a friend over dinner.
Over a glass of perfectly chilled Torres Vina Sol 2009, a rarely encountered wine of 100% Parellada grapes, we learnt that Anna was born in the heart of the Penedes wine region and grew up in a grape-cultivating family steeped in the wine culture of Catalonia. During her student years she helped her family in the vineyards and worked part time in restaurants and wine bars in Catalonia.
Urging us to try the San Medín Sauvignon Blanc 2009 with our salads (it turned out to be an enjoyable fresh, floral wine with fruity body and a silken palate of great finesse), Anna spoke of her career in wine. With Torres, since 2001, she started out in public relations, working to promote their wines. In this capacity she participated in many wine tastings, wine and spirits courses and food festivals in several countries in Europe. In 2003 she received her diploma in international tourism.
As the meal progressed, Anna and Marc introduced us to some fabulous red wines from among the Torres range that is currently available in India. The first was the Coronas 2008, an exquisite blend of 86% Tempranillo and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. This well-rounded wine with its big finish paired very well with our meaty main courses. But the star of the evening was undoubtedly the Gran Coronas 2007, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Tempranillo, which is considered to be one of the family’s best wines.
In 2008, Anna received her Master in Marketing and Business Administration as well as the Sommelier Official diploma and the advance certificate in wines and spirits (WSET). She is currently responsible for the development of wine lists for Torres and for the delivery of wine service and training. She works alongside the winemaker and the culinary team, to pair and suggest wines that will best complement specific foods.
During the course of the conversation we inevitably found ourselves talking about the Indian market and Indian wines. Anna believes that India is a huge potential market for Torres wines but is, understandably, not happy about the protectionist policy of the government towards Indian wines.