|It was a perfect ending to a year full of interesting experiences, fine dining and great wine for the members of the Bangalore Wine Club. This Valentine’s Eve dinner had all the right ingredients, it was an evening under the stars at the Taj West End’s expansive Prince of Wales lawns.|
A setting where 75 people – members and their guests – enjoyed a sit-down dinner by candlelight.
It was a perfect ending to a year full of interesting experiences, fine dining and great wine for the members of the Bangalore Wine Club. This Valentine’s Eve dinner had all the right ingredients – an evening under the stars at the Taj West End’s expansive Prince of Wales lawns, where 75 people – members and their guests – enjoyed a sit-down dinner by candlelight. To add a twist, invitees were asked to come dressed in the costumes of the places they came from. So from Parsee gara sarees to Punjabi salwar kameezes, from bandhgalas to bandhinis, it was all there to add colour and character to the evening. The dinner was carefully selected Continental fare, the wines primarily from the newly launched Nine Hills range of Nasik wines by Seagrams.
Abhay Kewadkar, president, Bangalore Wine Club said, “We wanted members to sample and form their own opinions of new wines entering the market, to interact and make their own tasting notes. The concept of a sit-down dinner allows for a better pairing of wine and food, which can’t be done in a buffet scenario. And being Valentine’s Eve, the setting was just right.”
Echoed wine club member and art gallery owner Silloo Daruwalla, “The ambience under the stars was superb. The pairing was perfect, and the dressing up added to the evening. The whole event, right down to the single red rose handed out to each lady member, was well thought through.” Silloo’s favourite: the sauvignon blanc, not as sweet as the chenin blanc, and so perfectly to her taste.
For Taj West End Area Director and general manager, PK Mohankumar, the event was a challenge he and his staff welcomed. “As a hotelier, this is the kind of evening we enjoy. It brings out the best in us. Discerning guests who understand and appreciate wine and food.” The damask-laid tables for eight, with overlays of embroidered silk were decorated with candles, flowers and grapes. The Nine Hills chenin blanc was served as an aperitif, and as dinner commenced, it was followed by a Nine Hills sauvignon blanc, a shiraz and a cabernet sauvignon. These were paired with a starter of smoked salmon pave with basil mayonnaise, followed by oats-crusted fish with lemon cilantro emulsion, and the evening’s signature dish – oven-baked spinach and wild mushrooms encased in filo pastry pouches with balsamic marinated vegetables and New Zealand grilled lamb chops with red wine jus. Also served was ratatouille and ricotta lasagne, and dessert was a delightful walnut caramel cheesecake.
The Nine Hills range of wines was rounded off with a Jacob’s Creek Reserve, the evening’s piece de resistance, and to complement the Valentine’s mood, the dessert was served with crisp, chilled bubbly.
Analyzing the wines, Abhay Kewadkar said, “The chenin blanc was a good aperitif, fruity and a little sweetish to the trained wine palate but ideal for those just getting into wine drinking. The sauvignon blanc had good aromas of the varietal, herbaceous and grassy, but could do with more finesse. The shiraz was an easy-drinking lighter wine, but the structure of the tannins in the cabernet sauvignon wasn’t enough for a typical wine of that varietal. The whites, in general were better received than the reds.”
Most guests seemed more than pleased with the finale of the Jacob’s Creek Reserve, which Kewadkar described as “a wine very complex on the nose with vanillin aromas from the wood complementing the fruit. It had spicy undertones and crushed wild berries. On the palate,wine had long lingering taste of soft tannins. Though ready to drink now, it will do well for another couple of years, too. Truly a good wine.”
To add to the ambience was singer Alan Rego, who wandered from table to table with his guitar, singing a selection of golden oldies, from Country roads to Elton John’s Daniel. Said advertising professional and wine club member Sanjoy Gupta, “There’s nothing to beat al fresco dining…especially in a city like Bangalore’s. The singing added to the romantic mood. The food was good and well-served. The Jacob’s Creek Reserve was fabulous.”
Serenaded by moonlight, with perfectly planned food and wine… What more can one ask for a perfect Valentine’s evening?
From the Bangalore Wine Club