Almost six decades ago,Â one of the most admiredÂ food writers of the 20thÂ century gave us good reason to explore the world of wineÂ beyond set or occasion menus andÂ elaborate dishes, when she wrote with
simplicity and directness: â€œâ€¦As a wineÂ drinker not a wine expert, oneâ€™s tastes areÂ constantly changing. But one of the mainÂ points about the enjoyment of food andÂ wine seems to me to lie in having whatÂ you want when you want it and in theÂ particular combination you fancy.
It is possible, even at a white tableclothÂ restaurant, for a meal of a single dishÂ and a perfectly matched glass of wineÂ to become an immensely pleasurableÂ experience. Moreover, if you happen to beÂ relatively new to wine drinking it is one ofÂ the easiest â€“ and possibly least expensiveÂ â€“ ways to understand your own responsesÂ to wines and their varied characters.
Le Jardin restaurant at the OberoiÂ Bengaluru is a grand, old-world styleÂ space which offers on its extensive menu a series of small plates, appetizers, andÂ salads which are ideal if you have justÂ an hour to two for a meal and a glassÂ of wine. New on the menu is a MoltenÂ Artisanal Brie, the cheese sourced fromÂ the Spotted Cow Fromagerie in Mumbai.Â The immensely talented executive chef,Â Ajit Raman, who works hard at sourcingÂ local produce to ensure consistency inÂ the menus he presents, explains thatÂ â€œThe cheeses were introduced to us inÂ different states of cure. There were Brie,Â Camembert, and Robiola, all handmade,Â artisanal cheeses crafted in small batchesÂ and the quality was excellent. So, we putÂ the Brie on the menu.â€
With deep red, macerated grapesÂ buried into the surface of the moltenÂ Brie, a lush, green tea and apricot coulis hiding just the right degree of sharpness,Â and fingers of butter-enriched briocheÂ with which to scoop them together, IÂ drank a glass ofÂ Henri Bourgeois Pouilly Fume En Travertin 2015. The floralÂ aromatics and elegant minerality wereÂ in perfect harmony with the Brie, theÂ fruitiness and light citrus complementingÂ the coulis. The lingering minerality with aÂ touch of smokiness was a subtle reminderÂ of the deep limestone sediments from which this refined Sauvignon BlancÂ draws its name. The tropical gardens ofÂ the Oberoi are filled with Heliconias, cascades of Bougainvillea and palms. InÂ these tranquil surroundings, an hour toÂ think about a dish and a glass of wine is aÂ special kind of luxury.
ThisÂ write-up is extracted from the print version of SommelierIndia â€“ The Wine Magazine