Category Archives: Wine Dinner

Indian Wines Showcased at Winemakers Dinner at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

Tristan Beau de Lomenie, the handsome and suave General Manager of Pullman New Delhi Aerocity made a telling statement while addressing the guests at “Taste of India”, a Winemakers Dinner at Pluck & Pling, the all-day fine dining restaurant at his hotel. He said, “This is not a competition but a collaboration among India’s top wine producers”.

He was referring to the winemakers from Sula, Grover Zampa, York and Charosa, who had flown down to Delhi, to present their wines at a well curated dinner at Pullman, the purpose of which was to highlight the tremendous progress made by the Indian wine industry, both in terms of quality and styles.

Tristan also made a little confession and admitted that four years ago, when he and his wife Isabel came to India, they were not very fond of Indian wine. However, over the years, he has been amazed by the improvement in the quality of Indian wines and now, not only has he become a fan, but is actively promoting them in his hotel.

This dinner was notable for several reasons. Four of India’s well known winemakers, Ajoy Shaw of Sula Vineyards, Karishma Grover of Grover Zampa, Ravi Gurnani from York and Ashok Patil from Charosa Vineyards had gathered together, taking time out from their busy schedules since it is harvest time at the wineries, to showcase their premium wines at the Pullman dinner.

While most wine lovers in Delhi are already familiar with established names like Sula, Grover Zampa and York, this was the first time that wines from Charosa (a winery located 55kms from Nashik in Maharashtra) were being presented in the capital. There has been a buzz around their Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Tempranillo (India’s first 100% Tempranillo), and guests at the “Taste of India” dinner got a chance to try out both, along with Charosa Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The presence of Ashok Patil, chief winemaker of Charosa, who spoke a little about his winery, made it special.

The four wines from Sula Vineyards, India’s biggest and most well known wine producer commanding the largest market share, were Brut Tropicale (my current favorite among Indian sparkling wines), Sula Riesling 2016, Rasa Shiraz 2014 and a lovely Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2016 which had a good balance between sweetness and acidity and a touch of Muscat. Ajoy Shaw, chief winemaker of Sula Vineyards revealed that Rasa got its name after the initials (Ra Sa) of the founder of Sula, Rajeev Samat. I was not aware of this and it is always good to learn something new.

Karishma Grover, chief winemaker at Grover Vineyards Ltd, presented Zampa Brut Soirée 2014 and Grover Zampa Chêne Grande Reserve 2010 along with two house labels that she has collaborated with Pullman. “Blanc by Pullman” is a Sauvignon Blanc while “Rouge by Pullman” is a blend of oak aged Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, both easy drinking styles.

Ravi Gurnani from York winery was the only person among the four, who is technically not a winemaker but takes care of sales & marketing. It is his brother Kailash, who is incharge of winemaking operations at York Winery, also situated in Nashik very close to Sula. The wines that he showcased at the dinner were York Sparkling Blanc de Blancs (100% Chenin), York Chenin Blanc 2016 and, York Arros, one of the best value for money premium Indian red wines in my opinion.

It goes to the credit of Tristan and his team of sommeliers and chefs, in particular Director Food & Beverage Vishrut Gupta and Assistant Director F&B Deepak Shettigar, that the event was a huge success.

The efforts of the sommelier of Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity, Kriti Malhotra, were recognised and praised by everyone present. Kriti is certified sommelier from Court of Master Sommeliers and it was she who had coordinated with the winemakers and persuaded them to participate. She is a passionate and dedicated sommelier who is making a mark on the wine scene and setting a great example which should encourage more and more Indian women to enter this field.

Taste of India Winemakers Dinner at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
Taste of India Winemakers Dinner at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

Taste of India wine dinner was also a fabulous opportunity for the chefs of Pullman to showcase “Farm-to-Table”, a concept that they so zealously advocate. In fact, quite a few ingredients used in the dishes were plucked from their in-house organic garden. No surprise that the Cafe is called “Pluck”. The miniature Chef’s Garden created for the dinner, complete with root vegetables which guests had to dig out from faux soil and the different types of fruit and vegetable caviar, came in for a lot of appreciation. There were some hits and misses in terms of wine and food pairing, but there is always an inherent risk while attempting something unconventional.

Tristan Beau de Lomenie and his team need to be applauded for promoting both the “Farm-to-Table” concept and Indian Wines at Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity.

The Wines from Sula, Grover Zampa, York and Charosa ; Chef's Garden at Pluck; Caviar and Dessert
The Wines from Sula, Grover Zampa, York and Charosa ; Chef’s Garden at Pluck; Caviar and Dessert

Tristan’s concluding words at the “Taste of India” wine dinner were that Indian wines are becoming a force to reckon with and can now complete with the best in the New World. Coming from a Frenchman whose wife Isabel, owns a vineyard in Barsac Bordauex, this is quite an endorsement.

By : Lavina Kharkwal

 

 

On a Sangiovese Trail with Fratelli Wines

Talk about a Sangiovese Trail and the mind immediately takes you to the beautiful Tuscan countryside and its lush wines, Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Super Tuscans. This is only natural as Sangiovese is a grape, so firmly rooted in the Central Italian landscape, that it is difficult to picture it in any other scenario.

So imagine someone taking this fussy little fella outside its natural environment, planting it far far away in a remote village in rural Maharashtra, India and producing not one, not two, but five different styles featuring this temperamental Italian superstar, Sangiovese, which literally means “Blood of Jove” referring to the Roman god Jupiter.

Had anyone told me this five years ago, I would have probably scoffed in disbelief and asked them what they were smoking. But this was before Fratelli Wines and Piero Masi happened to India.

It took a maverick Italian winemaker, Piero Masi, from Tavarnelle di Pesa, a small town in Chianti Florence, creator of the famous “Chianti Classico Casa Sola”, someone with a deep cultural connect with Tuscany and enough experience with this Italian varietal, to hero the Sangiovese in his wines at Fratelli Vineyards in Akluj Maharastra.

After months of extensive research Fratelli’s Chief Winemaker, Masi, chose a clone of Sangiovese, most suited to the mineral and limestone rich arid Akluj soil, nurturing and tending it, till it took roots and began yielding good quality fruit. He managed to tame the asperity of this highly acidic light coloured grape and produce wines with a distinct character.

A winemaker’s expertise lies in how well he can use one grape to show its many different expressions and this is what Piero Masi has done with the Sangiovese in Akluj.

However it takes a couple of vintages even for the best in the business to make good wine and now Fratelli Vineyards can proudly display what it has achieved with the Sangiovese, by showcasing it in a manner like it did at a recent seven course “Modern Indian Dinner” held at Pluck, Pullman New Delhi Aerocity, where five styles of Sangiovese were paired with some excellent dishes.

Magandeep Singh, India’s most well known sommelier, wine educator and host of countless television shows on wine and spirits along with Craig Wedge, Brand Director Fratelli Wines, explained the story behind each of the labels.

The trail began with Fratelli Vineyards Sangiovese Bianco. This crisp refreshing white wine with a smokey mineral thread running through is made from 100% Sangiovese which is a red grape. A technique which requires great expertise indeed.

Next was Fratelli Vineyards newest label Fratelli Vineyards M/S Red Sangiovese, a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Syrah. M stands for Piero Masi while S is for Steven Spurrier, a man whose exploits relating to Judgement of Paris have been well documented in the film Bottle Shock.

A couple of months back when I had tasted M/S Red, I found it had a few rough edges. But now the oak and the fruits seem better integrated and the tannins felt smoother. Fruit showed well and the wine had a spicy lingering finish.

Third was Fratelli Vineyards Classico Sangiovese, a simple straightforward crowd-pleaser with a nice juicy vibrancy. This wine is a great introduction to Sangiovese for those who are not familiar with this grape. Since there is no oak used, the fruit shines in all its glory.

Fratelli Vineyards Vitae Sangiovese was next. This is a single vineyard wine and comes from Plot C in Garwar. Keeping up with growing trend world-wide towards single vineyard bottlings, Fratelli has come up with another first in India. Their endeavour is to make a Burgundy style Pinot Noir from low yields, low extraction and use of new french oak.

Some of the greatest wines of the world like Burgundy grand crus and premier crus come from single vineyards and the most revered name is Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

The last wine of the evening was Fratelli Vineyard’s flagship Sette, a wine which hardly needs an introduction. A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and tiny bit of Cabernet Franc, fashioned after Super Tuscans, this wine created a benchmark, by showing the world that India was capable of producing age worthy premium quality wines. The 2012 vintage of Sette is their best yet as it the most balanced.

Sangiovese Trail by Fratelli Vineyards at Pluck & Pling, Pullman New Delhi Aerocity
Sangiovese Trail by Fratelli Vineyards at Pluck & Pling, Pullman New Delhi Aerocity

All the wines at the Sangiovese Trail were paired with dishes made with a lot of creativity, keeping in mind the flavor profile of each wine. Tristan Beau de Lomenie, the suave French General Manager of Pullman New Delhi Aerocity is a wine lover and a proponent of “Farm to Table “concept. A lot of ingredients which went into the meal that evening at Pluck came from his hotel in-house farm.

Meanwhile the House of Fratelli India is ready to come out with more firsts. I will not be surprised if we have a Brunello style 100% Sangiovese from them in the near future.

By: Lavina Kharkwal

Sangiovese Trial by Fratelli Wines. In the photographs Craig Wedge Brand Director Fratelli Wines, Reva Singh Editor Sommelier India, Isabel & Tristan Beau de Lomenie, Chefs of Pullman New Delhi Aerocity.
Sangiovese Trial by Fratelli Wines. In the photographs Craig Wedge Brand Director Fratelli Wines, Reva Singh Editor Sommelier India, Magandeep Singh, Isabel & Tristan Beau de Lomenie, Chefs of Pullman New Delhi Aerocity.

Read more on Fratelli Wines here

https://highonwines.com/2015/06/02/fratelli-wines-making-a-splash-in-india-abroad/

 

 

Un-Wined by La Cave with Chateau Ste Michelle Wines @Gulati Spice Market

Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall or Madame La Cave as she is called could not have chosen a better venue than Sumit & Chiquita Gulati’s Spice Market behind Select City Walk Saket to host her Chateau Ste Michelle “Un-Wined by La Cave” dinner.

Madulika had the whole city buzzing less than a year back, when she launched La Cave, her gorgeous looking Wine & Spirits Store at Select City Walk Saket with eye-catching interiors and an enviable selection of wines from all across the world. Taking her passion for wine a step forward she has now embarked on specially curated wine dinners titled “Un-Wined by La Cave” featuring wines imported by her husband Aman Dhall’s company Brindco, all of which are available at her store La Cave. The express purpose of this exercise is to introduce and popularize a wine culture in the city.

Another person who is endeavouring to do the same is young Sumit Gulati owner of Gulati Spice Market, who along with his talented wife, Chef Chiquita Gulati, runs an excellent Indian restaurant that has a limited but well thought out and most reasonably priced wine list for standalone restaurants in Delhi. Sumit is WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) certified who understands wine and also the requirements of his customers some of whom want to try out only a glass or two and not the whole bottle. For this reason most wines served at his restaurant come in quarter (187ml) and half size (375ml) bottles. Advantage of this is that “wine by the glass” is not from a previously opened bottle but is fresh each time you order it.

Not only does his wine list mention the price, it also gives you the grapes which go into the wine, the flavour profile and also the suggested pairings, making the job of ordering a wine so much easier and less intimidating. Since his restaurant serves North Indian & Regional cuisine he has kept wines which complement spicy & rich Indian cuisine. So you will find mostly Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat among the whites and fruity reds like Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Garnacha and Merlot.

When David Andrews, Divisional Manger Asia Pacific for Ste Michelle Wine Estates, a dominant force in the Pacific Northwest  and one of the largest wine companies in the US, wanted to present a few of his Columbia Valley Chateau Ste Michelle Wines, Madame La Cave had to look no further than Gulati Spice Market.

And since Riesling pairs well with Indian food the choice was most apt as Ste Michelle Wine Estate is the world’s largest Riesling producer. Their Rieslings are crisp and aromatic as the Washington weather is perfect for balancing the acid & sugar levels in the grape and developing its fruity flavours.  In fact all Chateau Ste Michelle wines are known for their consistent good quality. They have not yet become expensive like the California wines and are very affordable. These are wines made in “Old World Style” with “New World Innovations” without too much complexity and have an easy approachable style which even novices can understand & appreciate.

But Rieslings were not all that we tasted at the Un-Wined dinner. There was a wonderful Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2013 paired with Chettinad Spiced River Sole & Panko Crusted Asparagus with Achari Dip and an elegant Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay 2012 with a lightly spiced Bhuna Kukad (Chicken). Among the reds was a fruity smoky Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot 2012 cleverly paired with Burrah Kebab & Rajma ke Shammi and a plush & spicy Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah served with Dum ka Murg, Palak Chilgoza Paneer Kofta & Kale Chane ki Biryani. And last but not the least was Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2013 an off dry (slightly sweet) wine with wonderful acidity which drank very easily.

Madame La Cave Madulika Bhattacharya Dhall, David Andrews of Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Sumit Gulati & Chiquita Gulati at the "Un-Wined" Dinner at Gulati Spice Market. Photos courtesy Sumit Gulati
Madame La Cave Madulika Bhattacharya Dhall, David Andrews of Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Sumit Gulati & Chiquita Gulati at the “Un-Wined” Dinner at Gulati Spice Market. Photos courtesy Sumit Gulati

All these wines come from Columbia Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area), the largest wine region in the state of Washington. At the dinner they went down rather effortlessly with a melange of Indian dishes cleverly prepared by Chef Chiquita who had tempered down the spices a notch, without letting the taste get affected. Chiquita, who along with her husband Sumit, is an alumna of Les Roches International Hotel Management School in Switzerland where she trained under Chef Patrick Bezzi & Chef Dominique Grandjean. She was recently named the Top Chef at Delhi Gourmet Club’s Top Chef Awards in the Best North Indian Cuisine – Standalone Category.

It was from her father-in-law Vinod Gulati, owner of the popular Gulati Restaurant at Pandara Road that she mastered the nuances of North Indian cuisine which she has now perfected while adding her own innovative twists. A wine lover herself she does not try to match her food with wine. It is a tough ask where Indian food is concerned.  Since Chiquita understands techniques & flavors, she cooks food which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine especially from the New World like Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley, Chilean & most Indian Wines  along with a few Spanish & French

So here’s more power to people like Madhulika, Sumit & Chiquita and many more “Un-Wined” dinners.

By: Lavina Kharkwal

Un-Wined by La Cave at Gulati Spice Market with David Andrews Divisional Manager Asia Pacific Ste Michelle Wine Estates Madame La Cave Madhulika Bhattacharya, Sumit & Chiquita Gulati
Un-Wined by La Cave at Gulati Spice Market with David Andrews Divisional Manager Asia Pacific Ste Michelle Wine Estates Madame La Cave Madhulika Bhattacharya, Sumit & Chiquita Gulati

Chateau Ste Michelle Wines are available at La Cave Select City Walk Saket

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2013 Columbia Valley (Rs 2190)

Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay 2012 Columbia Valley (Rs 2740)

Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Columbia Valley (Rs 3430)

Chateau Ste Michelle Merlot 2012 Columbia Valley (Rs 2750)

Chateau Ste Michelle Syrah 2012 Columbia Valley (Rs 2320)

 

 

 

York Winery : Raising the bar for the Indian Wine Industry

Last year I was introduced to York wines by the corporate sommelier of The Lalit Hotels, Charles Donnadieu, who had very innovatively paired York Chenin Blanc & York Sparkling Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs with “roti” breads at The Naanery (India’s first Bread Bar) at Baluchi, The Lalit New Delhi. The quality of both the still & sparkling impressed me and also the fact that wines from a relatively new Indian winery were listed in a leading 5 star hotel of the country. This spoke volumes about how far Indian wines had come not just in terms of quality but also in terms of gaining acceptability.

Very recently Kailash Gurnani, Chief Winemaker at York Winery, invited me to dinner where a few of his wines were being paired by sommelier Charles Donnadieu with some signature dishes of Baluchi, the pan-Indian speciality restaurant at The Lalit. Kailash was in the capital for a few days to promote his wines and also take stock of how they were doing across various retail outlets in Delhi. Those of you for whom the name does not ring a bell, Kailash Gurnani is someone who has the distinction of starting out as India’s youngest winemaker. He took over the reins of his family owned York winery in the middle of 2011 when he was just 23 years old. His older brother Ravi Gurnani, a mechanical engineer from Warwick University UK, looks after Sales & Marketing at York.

While I was prepared to meet a youngish wine-maker, I was a bit taken aback when we were formally introduced as he looked much younger than what his pictures suggested. Over a leisurely lunch prior to the York Wine Dinner the same evening, Kailash spoke about his journey and his wine making philosophy.

York Winery was founded in Nashik Maharashtra by his father Lilo Gurnani, a Nashik based entrepreneur who could not remain unaffected by the boom taking place in India’s wine valley and decided to plunge into the business of making wine in the year 2005. The winery became operational in 2008, at a time when Kailash was studying Oenology at University of Adelaide Wine School, Waite Campus Australia. Before taking charge Kailash Gurnani spent some time learning the ropes by working in wineries in Australia, Bulgaria & Cyprus.

York tasted success with their very first vintage when 2008 York Estate Reserve Shiraz won a Gold Medal at the Sommelier India Wine Competition. In 2012, which was Kailash’s first harvest, both the Chenin Blanc & the Sauvignon Blanc won Bronze Medals at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition. Since then there has been a steady stream of awards & accolades, the latest, a Silver Medal at 2015 Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards & a Commendation at 2015 Decanter Asia Wine Awards for York Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs NV.

At the York Wine Dinner at Baluchi on 29th April 2016, the guests got a chance to try out the Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs (100% Chenin Blanc) along with the flagship wine of York Winery, Arros, a reserve blend of Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon. What stood out was the paring of this delicious & well structured red wine with Dal Baluchi & Paan Biryani. It had everyone singing paeans both to the wine and to Dal Baluchi which most people agreed was as good, if not better than the famed “Dal Bukhara” of ITC Maurya. As for Arros, the general verdict was that it is probably the best Indian premium red at that price (Rs 850). Lightly oaked with a lot of fruit shining through, and a touch of spice, it had shades of a  Barossa Valley Shiraz.

York Wine Dinner at Baluchi , The Lalit New Delhi
York Wine Dinner at Baluchi , The Lalit New Delhi

York, a fairly new entrant in the vibrant Indian wine industry, has kept the pricing of its wines very competitive and marginally lower than the others in the same segment. However this does not in any way convey lower quality, contrary to the mind-set which most people have about wine. Offering quality Indian wines at affordable prices is the best way to motivate more & more people into making that switch from other alcoholic drinks to healthier options like wine. A young wine nation like India needs just this incentive.

So here’s wishing success to young Indian wine makers like Kailash Gurnani who are raising the bar on quality where Indian wines are concerned and showing to the world that passion, perseverance and innovation will take you places, even in a short time.

By: Lavina Kharkwal

Kailash Gurnani Chief Winemaker at York Winery Nashik Maharashtra
Kailash Gurnani Chief Winemaker at York Winery Nashik Maharashtra

Retail price of York Wines in Delhi (They are not listed in Gurgaon)

York Chenin Blanc Rs 570

York Sauvignon Blanc Rs 570

York Cabernet Sauvignon Rs 570

York Rosé Rs 650

York Shiraz Rs 650

York Cabernet Merlot Rs 650

Arros Rs 850

York Sparkling Cuvée Brut Blanc de Blancs Rs 900

 

 

Raising a toast to women with Frescobaldi Wines

Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Wine dinner at The Trident Gurgaon was special for two reasons. First, the presence of vivacious and feisty Erika Ribaldi, Area Manager Asia Pacific of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, one of Italy’s oldest wine companies going back an astounding 700 years. Second, the wines that we tasted were from two estates, Castello di Pomino & Castello di Nipozzano, both headed by women winemakers. For me the dinner was a celebration of woman power.

The world of wine is probably one of the few workplaces where gender divide is less prominent, with more and more women winemakers, sommeliers, and wine writers steadily rising to the top. Frecobaldi is one such company where women reign supreme on the vineyard and hold important positions in the winery.

Erika Ribaldi considers herself fortunate to be a part of this establishment and speaks with a lot of pride about the Frescobaldis, one of the oldest and most revered wine dynasties of Italy, who began producing wines in Tuscany in 1308, traded them for works of art with Michelangelo, and supplied them to the court of King Henry VIII of England and to several Popes and Renaissance artists like Donatello.

Not many wine families can boast of such connections. Listening to Erika narrate their history, I couldn’t help but admire her passion for wine and her commitment to her job. A trained winemaker herself, she is well versed with the technical aspect of wine-making even though she now handles sales and marketing.

The first wine that she chose for us was 2014 Pomino Bianco DOC from the estate Castello di Pomino. Pomino which mean “little apple” is a premium wine producing region which falls within the Chianti Rufina sub-zone in the province of Florence.

It is here that a talented woman wine maker, Francesca Pratesi, who has been responsible for operations since July 2007 and supervises all matters relating to the cellar. Her wines, which are a blend of international varietals, have extraordinary elegance and finesse and her effort is to make them as naturally as possible, without too much interference. The one we tasted was primarily Chardonnay with just 5% Pinot Blanc. Soft and mellow with medium acidity it made a perfect pairing with an amuse bouche of slow roast beetroot, herbed cheese and orange.

Frescobaldis incidentally were the first to plant Chardonnay in Italy in 1855 and were also the first Italian producers of barrique (small oak barrel) aged white wines.

The other wines chosen for the evening were Marchesi de’ Frescobladi Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG 2007 & 2012 and a luxurious “Super Tuscan” Mormoreto IGT 2007 & 2012, both from Castello di Nipozzano, in the heart of Chianti Rufina region, to the east Florence.

29 year old wine maker Eleonora Marconi joined Castello di Nipozzano as the chief wine maker in 2012, having worked there earlier as an intern while studying at the University of Marche, from where she has a degree in Viticulture & Oenology. It is amazing how she has mastered the intricate and complex craft of winemaking at such a young age. Her wines are elegant and ageable.

Erika Ribaldi, Eleonora Marconi of Castello di Nipozzano and Francesca Pratesi of Castello di Pomino
Erika Ribaldi, Eleonora Marconi of Castello di Nipozzano and Francesca Pratesi of Castello di Pomino

So the story of Frescobaldis is not just about their superb wines but also about these women winemakers who have so much love and passion for their craft and an aptitude for making quality wine.

It was not surprising therefore that Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi wines were chosen for another wine dinner “A Toast to Women” celebrating the achievements of Women Entrepreneurs. Hosted by Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall of La Cave, Simran Dhingra of Kindly Cook, and Kavita Sawhney Dhingra of Peela Pages, the proceeds were given to a charity “Khushi” to fuel the spirit of entrepreneurship in young girls.

Talking of La Cave ( French for wine cellar), a well-appointed wine & liquor store at Select City Walk Saket, New Delhi and an answer to the prayers of all wine lovers in the city as it has made shopping for wine not only an easy task but also a pleasurable one. Run by Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall (a former PR professional, part time Radio Jockey and wife of India’s most successful wine importer Aman Dhall ) it houses wines in all categories, from everyday drinking to super premium ones, from all around the world. Many premium labels which feature only on the wine list of 5 star hotels are now available here.

Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall at her store La Cave at Select City Walk Mall, Saket, New Delhi
Madhulika Bhattacharya Dhall at her store La Cave at Select City Saket

Coming back to the dinner, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the contribution of Rakesh Awaghade, who joined The Oberoi & Trident Gurgaon as Resident Sommelier after having worked at Cinnamon Club and Gordon Ramsay’s Classic Savoy Grill in London. He has initiated some innovative wine programmes like “Tasting at the Cellar” and introduced a Sunday Brunch offering 10 Champagnes and several sparkling wines at value for money rates,  a laudable step in making premium wines accessible at fairly reasonable prices. For the Frescobaldi Wine Dinner his pairing of Italian Burrata with Chianti Rufina Reserva and Mesquite grilled Australian Lamb Chops with Mormoreto was spot on.

All in all, the Frescobaldi Wine Dinner was a thoroughly enjoyable one made special by the presence of Erika Ribaldi, not to mention the exquisite wines paired with sumptuous food. Even though wine makers Eleonara Marconi & Francesca Pratesi were not physically present, they were with us in spirit. So here is to more such dinners celebrating the power of women. Salute !

By : Lavina Kharkwal

Erika Ribaldi, Area Manager Asia Pacific Marchesi Frescobaldi with Rakesh Awaghade, Resident Sommelier The Oberoi & Trident Gurgaon
Erika Ribaldi, Area Manager Asia Pacific Marchesi Frescobaldi with Rakesh Awaghade, Resident Sommelier The Oberoi & Trident Gurgaon

To read more on Italian wines you may click on the following links

https://highonwines.com/2015/10/03/bottega-gold-prosecco-la-bella-figura-2/

https://highonwines.com/2015/02/20/castello-banfi-a-tuscan-treasure/