At the high table with Grover Zampa

IMG-20150611-WA0007Restaurateur Gauri Devidayal held a special Grover Zampa wine dinner at The Table restaurant in Colaba, with the wines introduced by the winemaker herself, Karishma Grover. Over sips of the floral and elegant sparkling, Zampa Soirée Brut 2011, Karishma narrated the story of her grandfather and pioneering founder, Kanwar Grover who established Grover Vineyards in 1988, the oldest surviving winery in India.

Guests enjoyed tasting different reds and whites with a range of dishes from The Table’s menu, prepared by Chef Alex Sanchez, to decide for them what paired best with each dish. Roasted Beets (marinated in raspberry, quinoa and goat cheese), Warm Chevre Salad (garden lettuces, apple, walnut vinaigrette) and everyone’s favourite – Yellowfin Tuna Tataki (tomato gelée, avocado, sesame vinaigrette) were served with the white wines.

The easy to drink, 2013 Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection White is a barrel aged Viognier, with the fruity notes of ripe stone fruits such as peaches and plums. The Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection was named after the tennis star because of his long-standing fondness for Grover wines, revealed Karishma.

Karishma introduced Grover’s popular Art Collection Series next with the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc bottled in Nashik which was the first Indian wine to win a gold medal at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA). With its long, refreshing finish, the Sauvignon Blanc was a wonderful accompaniment to the creamy Chevre salad. Bottled in Nashik, Karishma smiled and candidly said, “Try the Sauvignon Blanc from our Nandi Hills winery and let me know what you think. You’ll see a difference.”

Grover’s iconic La Reserve 2012 and the Zampa Chêne Grand Reserve 2012 from The Table’s wine list came next. The deep ruby wines exuded a luscious bouquet of aromas, and were served alongside Spinach and Cheese Rotolo in Pomodoro Sauce, Swiss Chard Ravioli with chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms and Pappardelle with Provencal Lamb Ragout.

Karishma held everyone’s attention with stories about an in-house vertical tasting of La Reserve wines in Kolkata, going as far back as 1997 that still tasted fresh. The wines carried us through to a delicious close with Vanilla and Berry Panna Cotta and Pain Perdu with poached pears and vanilla ice cream. “I had the opportunity to taste the latest vintages from the Grover Zampa portfolio during a restaurant staff training,” observed Gauri, “and was very impressed, particularly with the reds.”

Gauri plans to introduce more Indian wines on The Table’s wine list, as she feels they are priced more competitively than their imported counterparts and are comparable in quality.


— Naina Hiranandani