The timing of the Torres wine dinner hosted at Caperberry restaurant at Bangalore, might almost have you believe it was a celebratory one. After all, Torres had scored an amazing 19 medals (gold, silver and bronze, plus commendations across categories) at the recently announced Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2011, at the London International Wine Fair, writes Ruma Singh
Awards notwithstanding, the well-attended wine dinner on 19 May was in fact to introduce Torres ambassador and head sommelier, Anna Manchon. Lively and full of energy despite a long day of visits with prospective clients, Anna showed no signs of fatigue as she introduced several wines from the Torres range currently available in India.
The first course included the festive and pleasantly-balanced Torres Da Casta Rosado 2009, served as an aperitif with a range of tapas, followed by Torres Vina Esmeralda 2008 (Penedes, Spain), and the Miguel Torres San Medin Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (from Chile) paired with Timbale of Avocado and Crabmeat with coriander, chilli and lime or Red pepper and Goat Cheese Souffle with rocket salad and Melba toast. The main course of Prawn à La Plancha and Braised lamb shanks with red wine jus or Galette of Porcini mushrooms, was paired with Torres Gran Sangre de Toro Reserva 2005 (a blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Carinena) from Spain and the Miguel Torres San Medin Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Chile.
This was followed by Spanish Manchego and Mahon cheese with mini mango crème brulée served with the popular Torres Gran Coronas 2006 from Spain, and finally, a Black Forest deconstruction – chocolate and vanilla parfait, cocoa crisps and cherry soup served with a delightful Torres Moscatel Floralis NV. For those who had not run out of steam, butterscotch financiers & mixed fruit paté de fruit with beetroot chips came along with a 10-year-old Torres Imperial Brandy.
Chef Abhijit Saha, a long-time advocate for the varied styles of Torres wines, put in a personal effort to ensure his 60 guests enjoyed the four-course repast. Along with Marc Perello, country head, Torres Wines, Anna moved from table to table to receive comments and feedback from the guests present.
Left: Marc Perello, Chef Sergio and Abhijit Saha
The Da Casta Rosado, improving with each year, was a perfectly balanced summer wine for the Indian palate, said Anna. Indicating the bright colour of the wine, she noted, “Often rosés are lighter, but in Spain we like this strong intense colour, which we get by keeping the wine in longer contact with the skins of the grapes.” The Vina Esmeralda with its perfumed nose and light pleasing taste was a big hit, while the Gran Coronas, a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, with its balanced tannins and flavours of black and red fruits, proved to be a crowd favourite.
Torres owns vineyards in Chile and California, besides its extensive holdings in Spain. As for Anna herself, she loves trying out new wines wherever she goes, she confesses. “I love buying wines, but 50 euro is as much as I will spend on a good wine. For I believe that’s what a good wine is worth. Beyond that, you are paying for the label and everything else that goes with it.”
Torres is very bullish about the fast-growing Chinese market, which is beginning to deliver on quality as well as quantity. At the DWWA 2011, China picked up several significant awards. India, says Anna, has equal potential, and is falling behind only because of its prohibitive tax structure. With Torres’ well-priced range now available in the country, Indian wines lovers can enjoy several international prize-winning offerings at wallet-friendly prices.
Pictured: Marc Perello with a guest