Bruce Cakebread, President and COO of Cakebread Cellars, one of Napa Valley’s most famous stars in the winemaking firmament, returned to bring a selection of some of his very exclusive wines to Bangalore to share with wine lovers over a five-course Indian meal, writes Ruma Singh. Left: Bruce Cakebread with Vishvapreet Cheema, GM of Ista Hotels
Cakebread Cellars was founded in 1973 in Rutherford, California, and makes world class premium wines. The wine dinner was hosted by Vishvapreet Cheema, general manager of Ista Hotel Bangalore at the new fusion Indian restaurant, The Pink Poppadom. It turned out to be an evening to remember for wine lovers to enjoy the classic varietals from the New World. Bruce Cakebread himself was fascinated by the food he tasted and declared himself ‘lucky’ to see his famous wines paired with such a wide medley of Indian flavours.
Some interesting pairings included Sweet Spiced Quail Parcels with Beetroot Carpaccio with the Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (classic Sauvignon Blanc citrus nose with a dry, smooth focused finish, one of the most elegant of its style); the vegetarian Vilayati Khichdi, or Canadian Wild Rice tempered with Cumin, Potato & Masala Papad with the Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve from Carneros (creamy texture with a fine structure and balance justifying its place as Napa’s best loved Chardonnay) and the Braised Lamb Shank and Tandoori Lamb Boti with carrot and pea mash served with Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (concentrated black fruit with excellent structure and balance).
The dessert pairing was something of an eye-opener. Chocolate cake with South Indian Coffee Mousse and strawberry jelly harmonized surprisingly well with the Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. Guests were able to appreciate the marked difference in the two Cabernet Sauvignon vintages.The affable Bruce introduced guests present to the Cakebread family’s amazing tale of success and its meteoric rise in the world of fine wines, interspersing his stories with humorous anecdotes which kept everyone smiling.
Interestingly, the Cakebread Cellars website doesn’t just tell you about their wines but offers a recipe selection to go with them – that’s just how important they consider food and wine matching. Visitors to the site can get a recipe for Roast Cauliflower with Dungeness Crab, Garlic, Lemon and Toasted Breadcrumbs to match with their bottle of Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, or some Spanish Prawns in Garlic Sauce with their Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc!
Bruce also spoke of the longstanding tradition of the annual Cakebread American Harvest Workshop where top American chefs, food writers and Napa Valley winemakers gather in September to celebrate the best of American food and wine. Will India-inspired food now find a place here? That’s something to look forward to!