The Bangalore Wine Club crowned a year full of wine events with a glittering Christmas Gala on the Prince of Wales lawns at the Taj West End, Bangalore, in December, writes Ruma Singh. The lawns looked magical, lit up with fairy lights, Christmas wreaths, white damask and gold. Left: Bangalore Wine Club members enjoying the Christmas Gala
The guests came suitably dressed and there was plenty of red, gold and green in the elegant evening wear seen there that evening. The food, a festive bonanza created by Taj West End’s Executive Chef Chandra Sekharan, included live stations of turkey, ham and an array of salads and other sumptuous Christmas fare with Christmas pudding a hot favourite among the desserts.
The wines for the evening were from Mumbai-based importer FineWinesnMore. A visit by FWM vice-president Craig Wedge and MTB owner Mike Barrow from Argentina gave guests a chance to learn a bit more about their wines. The colourful Mike Barrow in his Argentinian ‘shawl’ (the quaint name Mike Tango Bravo reflects his love for flying) is also a pilot with an organic vineyard in Mendoza. He turned out to be one of the most interesting winemakers the club has invited – not least because of his unusual sartorial style!
The evening started with the popular sparkling wine Zardetto Prosecco, with three exceptional wines to follow, all SIWC award-winners from the New World: the Caliterra Reserva Merlot from Chile (a well structured wine with a long and pleasant finish), the Costaflores MTB Torrontes (a signature grape of Argentina, juicy with fruit-laden notes of orange and peach on the nose) and the MTB Malbec/Petit Verdot (fruit-filled and rich with a good structure and long finish). The unusual New World wines found favour with many guests because of their fruity, pleasant bouquet and relatively uncommon varietals.
To add to the excitement, A ‘blind tasting’ quiz was conducted by former BWC president Rishad Minocher which threw up some interesting results. Needless to say, the winners came away thrilled with their prizes. All guests present went home with a Christmas gift from the Committee: a velvet-pouched bottle of Four Seasons Viognier, a gold medal winner at the recent SIWC.