|The Wine Society of India kicked off its Delhi Launch with a grand reception at the Imperial Hotel. Avininder Singh was there to record the event.
Date: Friday 10th October 2008. Venue: The Grand Ballroom, Imperial Hotel. Time: 7.33pm. Location of self: Corner seat, 2nd row from back, in a section of the hall seating about 120.
Status of self: Shock & awe!! Nobody but nobody, in Delhi, reaches anywhere in time but what do we have here – three minutes past the designated start and the place is already overflowing.
Just goes to show you that Steven Spurrier and The Wine Society of India are a great draw. And the world of wine in Delhi does not lack for followers.
We kick off with an introduction by David Banford, Director, WSI, who emphasizes the Society’s three key objectives:
• Providing information and education about the wine world.
• Hosting events where wine and the wine experience are the focal points of an enjoyable social activity.
• The Four Seasons Wine Discoveries programme which arranges, for its Members, the supply of quality wine at value-for-money prices.
The next speaker is Steven Spurrier, the quintessential voice of wine appreciation and Chairman, Board of Wine Advisors, WSI, who has so much going for him that he needs no introduction. It’s his first visit to Delhi and he’s clearly happy to be here. A few well chosen words and he’s got the audience hooked.
8 pm and the festivities begin! WSI arranged for nine wines to be sampled. In no time at all we have over 300 people packing the Ballroom. For the most part these are genuine wine lovers, including ambassadors and high commissioners, socialites and wine professionals.
Bearing in mind Henny Youngman’s words, “When wine, women and song become too much for you, it’s time to give up singing”, I get down to tasting the wine.
What I personally liked – and would definitely buy:
• Bouchard Aine & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay 2006 – France: A sunny gold wine, floral but with a hint of green almonds.
• Pink Elephant Rosé 2006 – Portugal: Raspberry red, intensely fruity. Very popular.
• Juan Gil Pedrera Jumilla Monastrell 2005 – Spain: A deep, dark, ruby red, the nose lighter than one would expect, the attack wondrously deep and complex. Very satisfying and my favourite of the evening.
What I liked – and hope you will buy:
Since I love drinking other people’s wines here goes the second category.
• “U” by Usha Lavie, Cremant de Bordeaux, NV – France: A vibrant sparkling. A good start to the evening.
• Anakena Sauv. Blanc 2005 – Chile: A refreshingly smooth and crisp white, which lingers on the palate.
• Bouchard Aine & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006 – France: Orangey red, persimmon and almonds, smooth and satisfying.
What I also liked:
• Chateau Gamage, Bordeaux 2005 – France
• Anakena Carmenère 2005 – Chile
• Waterford Estate Kevin Arnold Shiraz 2003 – South Africa: Bursting with expectation, this red wine and dark chocolate pairing was so popular, they finished their stock! Anyway, I had the chocolate for afters.
The Imperial did a very good job of the organization. The glasses were appropriate and more than adequate, spittoons a-plenty, wines at the right temperatures, graciously served. The canapés – amongst which the mushroom bouches and the mini quiche stood out – were very well received.
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