UB’s formal launch of the Four Seasons Reserve range of wines took place in great style in Bangalore on 11 January 2010, writes Ruma Singh.
Left:Guests raising a toast to SIWC award winner Four Seasons Viognier
The venue was the newly opened luxury hotel, ITC The Royal Gardenia. It was a date that wine lovers around the city just couldn’t miss. Early pre-launch tasting dinners with the Bangalore Wine Club and other exclusive wine forums had got the city’s wine fraternity keenly awaiting the launch.
Right: Abhay Kewadkar, Vijay Rekhi and Anand Rao
Guests were welcomed with chilled glasses of Four Seasons Rosé before moving to the grand Mysore Hall, where a four course feast had been arranged by Executive Chef Madhu Krishnan keeping in mind a high powered guest list, which included 120 of the city’s top wine lovers and society bigwigs.
The asparagus and tellegio cremacotta, charmingly served in miniature jars, was a huge hit paired with the SIWC Gold medal-winning Four Seasons Viognier. Guests relaxed and enjoyed the ambience of the elegantly appointed hall with its ornate crystal chandeliers and giant orchid-laden table centre pieces as the dinner progressed.
Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Shiraz (an SIWC Bronze medal winner) accompanied an unusual pairing of Poached Bassa Tian with Orzo and Fennel served with Leek Beurre Blanc or Butternut Squash for the non-vegetarians and Ricotta Gnocchi with Roma Tomato Confit and Provolone cheese shavings for the vegetarians. The third course was a choice of Charred Bell Pepper and Eggplant Parmigiana, Spring Chicken Ballotine with water chestnut and sage stuffing or New Zealand Lamb Chops pan grilled with hazelnut and tarragon crust – all served with the Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grand finalé was grand indeed, and irresistible for those with discerning tastebuds and a sweet tooth – a duet of lavender perfumed Raspberry Jelly and Citrus Cocoa Pyramids orchestrated with Mascarpone (cream cheese) and Balsamic Berries served with a popular, French wine from the UB stable: the Bouvet-Ladubay Rosé Excellence.
Abhay Kewadkar, the brain and palate behind the exceptional Four Seasons range of wines, was clearly a happy man. Introducing the wines, he spoke of plans to transform wine-based tourism in India by converting their Baramati vineyards into a luxury tourist destination where wine lovers can taste, buy and store their own wines in the long term while enjoying a holiday. Managing director of UB, Vijay Rekhi was clearly proud of the grand showing by his company’s wines as he gave a vote of thanks to Anand Rao, GM and Area Manager, ITC The Royal Gardenia.
With Indian wines touching new heights in terms of achievement and growth, and hotels pulling out all stops to present world-class wine evenings, it’s not hard to see why appreciation for Indian wine is growing at a very healthy pace. And Bangalore is rapidly getting a reputation for leading the way.
Right: Stanley Pinto, Shawn Michelle and Brijette
The Fours Seasons Reserve range includes the FS Barrique Reserve Shiraz, and the FS Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The prices range (according to the state where the wine is being sold) from Rs 800 to 900. While it can easily be drunk now, the winemaker advises storing it for 2-5 years for optimum taste and enjoyment.