It was a champagne and foie gras experience for the Bangalore Wine Club at L’Experience du Vin, their sit-down dinner at the Taj Residency on Saturday, 13 June 2009. The dinner which combined fine dining in a candlelit ambience with a comparison of New World and Old World wines, proved to be enjoyable as well as educational.
Guests were greeted with chilled flutes of Champagne Canard-Duchene Brut as they arrived, dressed formally – silks and suits were widely evident. Soon after, the four course dinner commenced.
The oysters with kaffir lime and chilly essence, served along with the goose liver terrine mille feuille, duck rilette with curried apricot reduction for the non-vegetarians, and tartare of avocado and prunes with wine steeped tomatoes and burgul served with Cointreau for the vegetarians, was paired with a Sileni Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This was followed by barbecued Boston scallops, spotted prawns served with light lemon grass and coconut emulsion/pan fried goat’s cheese and pine nut ravioli with asparagus and truffle oil broth with a Georges Duboeuf Sauvignon Blanc.
At this point, a comparison of the two styles of sauvignon blanc was done by former BWC president, Alok Chandra. Mention was made of the ‘austerity’ of the French wine, compared to the ‘fruit forward’ one from New Zealand. While the first was declared a hit with the oysters, the avocado tartare was a less preferred combination.
The main course, thyme crusted tawny port lamb chops served with Peruvian Garlic mash and Asian provencal, infused with Armagnac reduction combined very well with the two reds served together: the Sileni Estate Selection Pinot Noir and the M Chapoutier Les Meysonniers Crozes Hermitage. The vegetarian option was grilled courgette stuffed with Bocconcinni and polenta concasse served with Gruyere cheese. Rishad Minocher, another former BWC president, compared the more ‘fragile’ pinot noir grape, to the shiraz in the Crozes Hermitage, which was very well-rounded and generous in its flavours. Both wines stood up well to the food served.
The finale saw a delightful dessert which proved very popular: vanilla and mascarpone tart with poached rhubarb accompanied with muskmelon gelato. Many of the guests opted to finish the meal with a fresh round of Champagne.
This was an evening that combined elegant fine dining with some wine education: a great combination for wine lovers!