Gourmet delicacies by candlelight…paired with 90 pointer plus wines from around the globe… what more can a wine lover really want? asks Ruma Singh. The members of the Bangalore Wine Club had their wish list for quality fulfilled when they gathered at Olive Beach, Bangalore, for the latest BWC event on 4th November, a sit-down dinner titled A Night with the Nineties.
The wines, all A-listers rated over 90 points by the Wine Spectator, from Mumbai-based importer Vishal Kadakia’s Wine Park made star appearances with dishes created for the evening by Olive Beach’s Chef Manu Chandra.
The evening commenced in the cool, blue-and-white environs of the restaurant with Mediterranean music in the background. Canapés circulated as guests walked in, as did chilled glasses of Lis Neris Pinot Grigio Italy, an outstanding wine from Italy’s Fruili region. Little touches of elegance by the restaurant were evident such as each table had place settings holding menus printed with each guest’s name for a personalised touch.
The four-course dinner started with foie gras pizetta with fresh peaches, queso manchego, truffle oil and arugula for the non-vegetarians, baked Wild Mushroom Pate with toasted brioche, arugula salad, porcini foam and a rosemary halo served with the St Clair Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand (91 Points). The warm wild mushroom paté was an instant hit, while the foie gras pizetta was offset well with the classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The second course saw a organic duck confit Wellington with mushrooms and herbs, served atop sautéed asparagus with a caramel sesame drizzle served with the Querciabella Chianti Classico, Chianti, Italy 2006 (91 Points) while the vegetarian option was ravioli of roasted pumpkin and sage with Robiola cheese, sautéed in brown butter and topped with toasted walnuts.
The third course was a biggie – three choices – paired with what turned out to be a star among stars that evening, the Rolf Binder “Halliwell” Shiraz Grenache, Barossa Valley, Australia 2006 (90 points): slow roasted filet of beef with pommes dauphinoisse, Braised Greens, Glazed Baby Carrots and oregano walnut pesto, Twice Cooked Lemon Basil Chicken with roulade of thigh and breast, Mushroom Rice, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms and haricot vert, lemon cornichon sauce, and Moroccan Bisteeya of seasonal vegetables baked in layers of filo, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, cumin, orange zest and zattar, served atop a heart of palm and salt roasted beetroot salad.
Finally, the dessert pairing was appropriately tagged ‘Heaven’ on the menu: toffee poached crab apples with chestnut cream cheese filling, shortbread and cinnamon ice cream and a hot almond financier with the Kesselstatt, Josephshofer, Riseling Spatlese, 2003 (91 Points.)
Vishal Kadakia, who had flown down for the event, went from table to table, chatting with those present about the wines.
Left: Gautham, Vishal, Dominic and Uttam
“Wine for me is passion and business. I refuse to sell any product that I don’t personally believe in and enjoy. This makes my marketing and selling wines a lot easier since I personally believe in it,” he said. “I chose the wines for the BWC dinner with the intention of giving the members a taste of terroir in every wine – a Pinot Grigio from Friuli, a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, a Shiraz from Barossa Valley, a Chianti Classico from Tuscany and a Riesling from Mosel.”
His personal favourite in his portfolio? The Querciabella, he confesses. “The winery just fell into our lap. I truly understood the magnitude of commitment they put into their wines when I visited them in Tuscany. To be biodynamic as they are and make such cutting edge wines is just fantastic.”
Ruma Singh is SI’s Bangalore correspondent