Members of the Bangalore Wine Club spent an interesting Sunday evening, exploring Kerala cuisine in all its splendour, paired with the wines of the Big Banyan range at The Paul, Château de Banyan’s own star hotel in Bangalore. Ruma Singh describes the evening.
The event, called the Kerala Konnection, was an unusual exercise by all accounts. The wines – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Shiraz – faced the challenge of standing up to the normally highly-spiced and coconut-flavoured food of Kerala – an exercise designed to stretch the members’ usual food-and-wine experiences and stimulate debate on the much-discussed ‘Indian food with wine’ topic.
The five-course dinner saw Curry Leaf Grilled Backwater Scampi in traditional Kerala spices or Boiled Tapioca with an unusual chili chutney paired with the Chenin Blanc, Fish or Vegetable Moilee served with Idiyappam and the Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc, Naadan Kozhi Varutharacha (chicken) curry and Mushroom Ulli Theeyal served with Kerala rice and the Big Banyan Zinfandel, Mutton Pepper Roast and Malabar Vegetable Korma served with Kerala paratha and the Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc. A range of traditional Kerala sweets, including Ada Prathaman and Elaneer Payasam, were served for dessert.
Members were invited to comment on the food (toned down to suit the wines) created by the chef of the group’s well-known Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala, as well as the wine pairings. Except for the spiciness of the delicious scampi, the general verdict was that the food paired quite easily with the wine.
Photo on right:Abhay and Jyotsna Kewadkar
Although the wine and food were clearly the focus of the evening for most, guests were also enthralled by a splendid Mohiniattam dance performance as they sipped their welcome glasses of wine before dinner. And, to make things more interesting, the dress code was ethnic with members’ outfits in a range of hues and styles (from kurtas to lungis and traditional Kerala sarees) adding even greater colour to the evening.
The Italian winemaker of Big Banyan, Lucio Matricardi(photo on left), was present (impeccably turned out in colour-coordinated churidar-kurta and jootis) to talk about the varietals and styles of wines served. Guests were amused by his humour as well as fascinated by his passionate views on making wine.
At the end of a most fullfilling five course dinner, the BWC members went home more than just satisfied – they were also stimulated, engaged and replete!