As the much-awaited “Stuttgart Meets Mumbai” wine festival 2021 could not be held at a fun-filled physical venue due to the prevailing pandemic, it moved to the virtual with a wonderful tasting of Stuttgart wines, interesting interactions, and a dash of bonhomie, writes Brinda Gill.
In 1968 the cities of Mumbai, known as the financial and entertainment capital of India, and Stuttgart, the capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, were twinned to promote Indo-German exchange and develop long lasting relationships. In the past half-decade the two cities have forged enduring partnerships between the states of Maharashtra and Baden-Württemberg.
Seventeen years back, Mr Andreas Lapp, the Indian Honorary Consul, organised the first wine festival, “Stuttgart Meets Mumbai”, to imbue the partnership with life. It has been a much enjoyed event over the years. This year the Honorary Consulate Stuttgart hosted the “Stuttgart Meets Mumbai” wine festival online, from 21st to 28th February.
For the wine tasting, the Consulate emailed invitees and delivered three wines –A Heinrich, Muskateller 2019, Staatsweingut Weinsberg Rosé 2019 and Weingut Stadt Stuttgart, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) 2019 – for very enjoyable wine tasting sessions on 26th and 27th February 2021. The sessions were introduced by Maria Dobritzsch, managing director of the Indian Honorary Consulate Stuttgart. Rolf Hauser, who retired in 2019 as principal of the Weinsberg State Vineyard after 35 years, presented a snapshot of Germany’s landscape, vineyards and wines telling participants that they needn’t finish all three bottles in the course of the tasting! Hauser is still in touch with the vineyard and the winemakers.
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Rolf Hauser, Alexander Heinrich, owner of the Heinrich winery (who prefers to say he “attends to the wine” rather than say he is the winemaker) and Frank Haller, winemaker and cellar master of the winery of the city of Stuttgart, took participants through the details of the three wines respectively, and answered queries.
The wines were very well appreciated – the muskateller (muscat) was floral, with mild sweetness and a great backbone of acidity, well balanced and adapted to the Indian palate; the Pinot Noir rosé, was refreshing with fruity flavours, mainly of strawberries; and the red wine, the Spätburgunder or Pinot Noir had flavours of black and dark red fruits and marked acidity. The interactions were interesting ending with the hope that one day the wines will find a place on the shelves of Indian wine stores.