The members of Terrior One, Delhi Wine Club – Mumbai chapter, were floored by a visit from the king of wine-making from Spain at the JW Marriot Hotel, Juhu. Suneeta Sodhi Kanga from Sommelier India WINE magazine was a special invitee.
Right: Miguel Torres with Suneeta Kanga
Miguel A. Torres, the stalwart winemaker, who was on his way to Kerala for a short vacation, decided to stop by in Mumbai where he, along with his very charming wife, Waltraud, hosted a elegant winemaker’s dinner for about 30 people at Mezzo Mezzo, the popular Italian restaurant at the Marriot.
Mrs Bindu Malhotra , President of the club along with Sumit Sehgal, Chief General Manager – Prestige Wines and Spirits Pvt Ltd , and Mr. Faiek El Saadani, Director of Food and Beverage, warmly welcomed the members and guided them through this wonderful evening of exemplary wine and food. Also present was Babita Malkani, from the executive committee of Terrior One.
Left: Bindu Malhotra, President – Terrior Wine Club, Babita Malkani, Fashion Designer and Faiek El Saadani, Director F&B, JW Marriott Mumbai
The De Casta Rose 2008, a pretty pink Granacha and Carinena blend from the Torres’ cellar was a perfect start to the evening. A cocktail menu of Porcini, scallops, roast quail and eggplant roulade with goat cheese kept the guests contented while they waited for Mr. Torres to arrive.
Seated around a beautifully decorated banquet table, we were introduced to the three-hundred year-old Torres wine giant through an interesting film. The film took us to their sites in Catalonia, Chile and California and talked about the history, vineyards scattered across the globe, wineries and wine-making techniques, the family’s commitment to wine and environmental and social concerns.
The Tower (Torres in Spanish) of the evening was undoubtedly Mr. Miguel Torres who continued with an oenological guided tour of his wines. The first course of Lobster was accompanied by the single vineyard Fransola 2007 Sauvignon Blanc that came all the way from the high mountains of North Catalonia. This wine had an intense, voluptuous bouquet with aromatic notes of various fruits and plants. The wine was round and full-bodied with excellent structure.
Vina Esmeralda 2007, a delightful Moscatel and Gerwurztraminer blend set the mood for an elegant evening. The vegetarian first course was a perfect match to this exceptionally delicate and strikingly fragrant wine.
The Gran Sangre De Toro 2003, which according to Brand Ambassador, Marc Perello, translates to a very masculine, ‘big blood of the bull’, lived up to its name. This chunky, full-bodied wine, a blend of Granacha Tinta, Carinena and Syrah, matched well with the main course of roast lamb and chicken.
The Celeste 2006 Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) was an opulent wine brimming with fruit, body and colour – as unique as the night sky, from where it gets its name. This wine displayed a toasty, smoky aroma which comes from being aged in French and American oak. Very fruity at first, with ripened tannins on the palate, but also persistent and full bodied.
A selection of cheeses was served and the best wine of the evening was saved for the last – the Mas La Plana 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from 40-year-old vines. These grapes are used to make limited quantities of Torres’ most prestigious red wine, now known to connoisseurs all over the world. The 1970 vintage triumphed over some of the most famous wines in the world, including Chateau Latour, at the Paris Wine Olympiad. It had a wonderfully intense bouquet, hints of cranberries, cherries and truffles with a full, elegant and pronounced aftertaste. A symphony on your palate!
Brandy reaffirms a good meal and lends it a touch of distinction, necessary for bringing it to a close with a persistent and vibrant finish and the Torres 10 Brandy did just that. Dessert of bitter chocolate crème brulee and saffron gelato brought the evening to an end. Faiek El Saadani and Chef Orianna (world acrobatic pizza champion) and her team, were felicitated by Mrs. Torres with a bottle of their fine wine.
The dinner was officially over but it looked like no one wanted to leave. Mumbai is certainly coming of age as a city of evolved tastes and sophisticated dining. All of the 30 odd guests seemed to have enjoyed the evening and went back with happy memories, hoping there would an encore coming up soon.
Torres is today associated with top quality wine in over 140 countries. It has been available in India for a few years and is distributed by Prestige Wines and Spirits Pvt. Ltd.