There’s no better way to taste and judge medal-winning wine than to sit down in exclusive company over a 4-course gourmet meal paired with the wines. So when 50 wine lovers got the invitation to be present to try out the Nine Hills range of Reserve wines by Pernod-Ricard and have the first official tasting of the SIWC Gold medal winning Nine Hills Reserve Shiraz, few could refuse the offer.
The venue was the Mysore Hall of ITC The Royal Gardenia, the newest luxury hotel in Bangalore. The menu, in keeping with Executive Chef’s Madhu Krishnan’s considerable abilities, combined the traditonal with the unusual.
As an additional bonus, Reims-based Master Winemaker Jean-Manuel Jacquinot was also present, and introduced his ‘babies’ to the select crowd, who started the evening with casual conversation and chilled glasses of the Nine Hills Shiraz Rosé.
At the dinner, the Nine Hills Chenin Blanc 2008, lightly floral and fruity, balanced out the rich but delicious white asparagus and summer Truffle Souffle, while the Indian Ocean halibut cloaked with Lime Gremolata and the gold corn Madeleine studded with peppercorn paired well with the refreshingly crisp Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2008 with its fruity notes of pineapple and citrus.
The third course, artichoke confit and Boletus ravioli and Guinea Fowl and slow-poached Pecan Ravioli was paired with the full-bodied award-winning Nine Hills Reserve Shiraz 2008. This was followed by oven roasted Eggplant with red onion confit and slow braised Jaipur lamb shank with Fregola Sarda and winter turnip Spezzatino served with the Nine Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.
The grand finale, a trio of delicious desserts featuring a Rhubarb and Strawberry Streusel, nutmeg Kahlua Pot de Creme and home churned Lavender and Hibiscus ice cream won accolades from the guests.
Jacquinot, dashing off to the airport to catch his flight back home, was treated to a round of applause from the gathering. Darius Chichgur, Manager – Wine (West) thanked the guests and received prolonged ovation for a wonderfully elegant and special evening.
For a list of all the Sommelier India Wine Competition winners, visit http://www.siwc.in/results.html or the Wines to Buy section.