Celebrating Wines in Bandra

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Darius chichgur , Pramila Sodhi, Suneeta Kanga and Shankaranarayan.jpgNot even a furious downpour in the early hours of 15 November on the day of the Bandra Wine Tasting experience could dampen Bandra’s spirits for long, writes Suneeta Sodhi Kanga. The sun soon came out and bathed Mumbai in warm rays that soaked up all the unfortunate puddles and had the D’Monte Park Recreation Centre (DPRC) looking festive and welcoming again! And the Pune Gourmet Club (PGC) was set to take Mumbai by storm with the first ever Bandra Wine Tasting Festival under the Celebrate Bandra umbrella! Pictured above: Darius Chichgur, Pramila Sodhi, Suneeta Kanga and Shankaranarayan


‘Celebrate Bandra’ is a joint initiative of the Celebrate Bandra Trust & Fountainhead Promotions & Events Pvt. Ltd and is held once in two years. The Pune Gourmet Club is a group of food and wine enthusiasts headed by B.Shankaranarayan who, in 2006, embarked upon an adventure to discover the wines of India and international cuisine.
Thumbnail image for The Celebrate Bandra wine Tasting event.JPGColourful gazebos provided cover for well appointed stalls, with artfully arranged wine bottles drawing visitors in droves. Participants included The Wine Club and 10 wineries from India – Four Seasons, Good Earth, Indage Vintners, Pernod Ricard, Sula, Valle de Vin, Vallone, Vinsura, Vintage, York and Riona from Sangli who showcased 13 Italian wines. The morning started in a leisurely fashion, with visitors lingering at stalls to interact with representatives of the wineries, as they sampled the different varietals. Right, above:Colourful gazebos and stalls at the Bandra Wine Tasting event
It looked like no one wanted to leave. The festival area was covered with happy visitors, almost 600, in various stages of enjoyment. Smiles ranged from the beatific to the hugely amused, with sparkling eyes telling their own tale!
Meanwhile young Rhys, wielding the sax with élan, and his friends swung into lively jazz music, which provided the perfect backdrop for wine drinkers enjoying the congenial atmosphere. Gourmet food stalls added an interesting touch, with offerings from Flora, Zenzi, Kakori House and Mia Cucina. TV personality, Chef Parag Kanhere conducted a ‘cooking with wine’ session that had onlookers quite enchanted.
By the time Shefali Alvares and her band took to the stage with some rousing blues and funk in the early evening, the scene was already rocking. Mingling with the crowds, and looking like they were having a really good time, were celebrities like Lara Dutta, Mahesh Bhupathi, Ritesh Deshmukh, Genelia D’Souza, Malaika and Amrita Arora, Amrita Rao, Prahlad Kakkar and Louis Banks.
Among the visitors were others who had travelled long distances to be part of the festival, and the highlight for many was the exclusive sit down Cajun Dinner held at the DPRC restaurant. Well known TV chef Nilesh Limaye and his team presented a meal that boasted the likes of Shrimp Remoulade, Okra Salad, Himalayan Trout and Jambalaya, and ended with Avocado Ice Cream and Pecan Pie! But naturally, diners also enjoyed some of their favourite wines with the meal.
It looked like no one wanted to leave. The festival area was covered with happy visitors, almost 600, in various stages of enjoyment. Smiles ranged from the beatific to the hugely amused, with sparkling eyes telling their own tale!
Pune-ites, start preparing for the Poona Wine Festival on 19-20 December! Can’t wait for an encore from Shankar……

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