Entering its 5th year, the Chilean food and wine festival held at the Crystal Room of The Lalit Hotel in New Delhi (pictured, left) saw a full house. The event was more special this year because it welcomed the new Chilean ambassador, His Excellency Andres Barbe Gonzalez who presented his credentials to President Mukherjee in September.
The evening started with a short introduction by the ambassador who later spoke to Sommelier India. When we quizzed him about holding such an event, Ambassador Barbe said, “This is a fantastic experience. India is a small market but we have over 50 different types of wines to offer. We are waiting to export more and to hopefully cover the Indian wine market with Chilean varietals. We would really like the people of India to try our wines and popularise them.”
Among the show stealers of the evening at the Crystal Room were Chilean wines distributed by Indian importers like Brindco Sales Limited (Montes Reserva), Agnetta International (Valdivieso), Hema Connoisseur Collections (Emiliana), Natures Bounty (Balduzzi), Prestige Wines & Spirits (Miguel Torres), Sula Selections (Cono Sur) and High Spirits (Anakena).
While serious wine connoisseurs, diplomats, members of wine clubs and other prominent people enjoyed the wines, the food was an equal hit. With exotic Chilean products like salmon, trout, pork, walnuts, berries and red globe grapes, Chefs Imtiaz and Goswami of the Lalit prepared a fine spread of food that paired well with the wines on offer. From the jerk marinated grilled chicken, prawn tempura, the popular Champagne pink pan-seared salmon to the nicely done New Zealand lamb chops and the Indian vegetarian section, the food was excellent.
One caught conversations about how expensive it was to import Chilean wines, how good the lamb chops were and how India is fast becoming a great place to try different wines of the world.
Wine connoisseur, Bunny Suraiya summed up the event rather nicely, “The annual Chilean Festival of Food and Wine is a red-letter day on Delhi’s wine-lovers’ calendar — long awaited and much enjoyed!’