The event on the 22 August 2009 organised by the Bombay Wine Club at the Four Seasons Hotel, Worli, was not your typical wine tasting night. It was more of a get-together for members and an opportunity to showcase four new wines available in the country coupled with interesting hors d’eouvres, writes Suneeta Kanga.
(In the photo:Vishal Kadakia, Suneeta Kanga, Hemant, Parul, Nirav Desai and Ashu Kadakia)
Flutes of Collavini, IL GRIGIO, Spumante, NV bubbly came by to set the mood of the evening. Chilled at exactly the right temperature, the prosecco from Italy did the rounds refreshing the palate as well as the sensibilities of those present who were battling the heat at the Prato lounge terrace.
The wine, as I discovered, is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio fermented strictly without the skins with very gentle crushing of the fruit and no maceration. With very fine, persistent bubbles and a brilliant straw yellow colour, the round, slightly aromatic palate with a hint of citrus and very long length delighted us.
The first course set the pace for what can only be described as a mélange of fragrance and flavour. The second wine hailed from South Africa and was a dry Chenin. Vishal Kadakia introduced of the Pecan Stream, Chenin Blanc 2007 by correcting the misconception among many Indian wine lovers that a Chenin Blanc is ideally on the sweeter side with this crisp yet subtle wine. It was ripe and nicely focused, with melon, white peach, blanched almond and yellow apple notes that all mingle nicely through the medium-weight and lengthy finish.
Before the red wine was poured into the glasses, the founding members of the club were called up and introduced – Vishal Kadakia, Nirav Desai, Parul, Ashu and Hemant. Each founding member took his time meeting with the guests, discussing the wines being tasted that night, and getting to know the new Indian and expat consumer of 2009 – educated, aware and, of course, picky!
This was brought out all the more with the next wine served, Chateau Saint Thibeaud, an AOC from Sainte Foy, Bordeaux, which received mixed responses from the wine enthusiasts present. The wine is a blend of 10% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 60% Cabernet Sauvignon. While some responded favourably and praised the wine for its fresh, lightness not expected of a red, others found both the serving temperature as well as the weather unsuited to it and found the wine lacking in body. However, it proved to be an ideal match with heavier meats.
The grand finale was a delicious red from Portugal – Conde de Sabugal, Duoro, 2006 (a blend of Tourigal National, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca). A full-bodied wine with strong aromas of lavender, it made a great accompaniment to the lamb and makki being served, and proved to be the clincher of the night.
Unfortunately, many people had to leave early owing to the mounting traffic, as the Ganapati idol was carried into people’s homes amid street celebrations, thus missing out on the other three wines that were yet to come. Escada, Duoro, 2005 (Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional), Albastro, alentejano, 2007 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Aragones, Tricadeira) and Vista, Tinta Roriz, Beiras, 2005 (Tinta Roria, Touriga Nacional
More of a party than a sombre wine tasting evening, the Four Seasons was truly a fantastic choice for the venue. Whilst some of the patrons may have left slightly hungry, none complained about the quality of the wine or the interesting evening they had had and hope to see more of in the future.