|“Drink healthy, eat wise,” says the line outside the Ivy Wine Café, Pune, one of the six such cafés opened in Mumbai and Pune, inviting diners to step in and enjoy a food and wine pairing. The café serves reasonably priced light meals and beverages along with a selection of about 40 wines that are either produced by Champagne Indage Ltd or imported by them, writes Brinda Gill|
“We invite guests to come here and enjoy a glass of wine anytime, and recommend wine according to the food they order, their preferences and the time of the day,” says Uday Singh, the manager, adding that the café is particularly popular during the weekends when people drop in for a relaxed meal with wine, and they invariably take a bottle or two home.
Divided into closed and semi-open areas, the cafe invites diners to enjoy a glass of wine and learn about wines. The air-conditioned closed area is designed to engage the guest in wine: there is printed information on different wine grape varieties with an image of the grapes, set in individual frames, on the walls; maps on the ceiling depicting famous wine producing regions in the world, proverbs related to wines by well-known people, books on wines that guests can browse, other wine-related trivia and a large colourful wheel painted on the wall with details of different wine aromas.
One wall is neatly sectioned to store a stock of wine bottles produced by CIL that can be purchased. These wines cover five brands – Tiger Hill, Ivy, Chantilli, Riviera, Vin Ballet/Vino; with four wine varietals within each brand. A range of wine accessories including glasses for red, white and sparkling wines; wine stoppers, wine holders, wine openers and cocktail shakers with recipes are also available.
Indage Restaurants & Leisure Limited is looking at creating similar wine cafés in different cities in India. Vickrant Chougule, Managing Director, says, “Ivy Wine Cafes represent the future of wine drinking in India. They are new, interesting and different in India’s market place for on- premise wine consumption where a laidback atmosphere that is congenial to discovering new wines and their likes and dislikes meets a vibrant food culture that pairs well to a delicate wine palate. All this and more, at great value for money.”