The small group of guests who were invited to Olive Beach Bangalore for a wine tasting were in for a big surprise for it was an unusual, even irreverent tasting, reports Ruma Singh. New in India, the wines were from Australian producer Casella Wines’ famous [yellow tail]stable.
For one, along with the [yellow tail]Shiraz and the [yellow tail]Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve they received at their table, they also received glasses of Coke and beer! To add to the mystery, guests were also served an undisclosed Old World classic, just to demonstrate how well the young [yellow tail]s could stand up to the Old World onslaught – and they did! (It later turned out to be a Barolo.)
The idea, explained Richard Owen, Asia Pacific Export Manager, who was conducting the tasting, was to break down the ‘myths’ that bound traditional wine tastings and food pairings. “How many people can relate to endless sniffing, swirling, decanting and terms like ‘notes of loganberry’, for instance? How do most people even know what loganberry is? I would be happiest if people sipped my wine and just said, “Wow, that’s just yummy!”
It was also important not to intimidate wine drinkers, to offer them value for money, and to produce wines that could pair easily with anything from chicken tikka to calamari to pizza, he added. And that, in a nutshell, he summed up as the charms of the distinctive [yellow tail]brand – an easy-drinking, non-threatening wine.
“Take a sip of Coke, and then a bite of the prawns. The Coke takes on totally different flavours than if you drink it by itself. It’s the same with the beer,” he said. “Our wine is as adaptable and easy to drink as that. It bends like the willow and adapts to whatever you are eating, while the sturdy oaks of the wine world might just come crashing down in similar circumstances!”
The wine was perfectly complemented by gourmet offerings in tasting portions prepared by Chef Manu Chandra of Olive Beach. And with pairings such as Parma Ham Pizza, Prawns Harissa, Sautéed Baby Calamari, Tuna Nicoise Crostini, Roasted Filet Mignon and Seared Duck Breast, this was an evening that was truly an out-of-the-box tasting experience.