Wine industry is growing in India say some; some say it is a long way to go for it to flourish, but I believe in “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and India has taken those steps and covered several miles. We are growing but we have a long way to go and to catalyze this growth is the ‘wine week ‘in its third edition. Organized by All things Nice a company dealing in sinful indulgences and run by Nikhil Agarwal, they have managed to scale up this wine property each passing year.
What is the ‘wine week’?
It is an annual affair which runs for a week involving restaurants across Mumbai who come up with crafty set menus and pair it with wines coupled with wines at a discounted price at the participating restaurants. “The idea is to get consumers closer to wine and make it more approachable, set menus work perfectly for the cause, and yes they come at a great price” Said Nikhil.
When: 17th to 23rd February 2014
Where: 45 restaurants. See the complete list here and my picks at the end
Deal: Set wine and food menus/ 30% off on wines/ Retail discounts at Living Liquidz
The preview to the wine week was held last evening at Nico Bombay a Mediterranean eatery at Fort and was hosted by Nikhil Agarwal and the owners; the affable Nico Goghavala and his charming wife Kamal Sidhu. The place is done up in a minimalistic setting, is dimly light and the candles on every table give it the old world charm. The menu for the evening was long, very long, 7 courses out of which 6 pizzas and wines to pair. The pizzas at Nico are made in a Napolitaine style, thin in the centre thick on the edges, hand rolled and not baked for not more than 2 minutes vis-à-vis 8-10 minutes for the fast food style. The result is a soft and foldable pizza with a sauce that is moist.
Chandon Brut NV Sparkling, India with Marinara
A classic Marinara made with tomatoes olive oil, oregano and garlic was delicious and went very well with the fruity sparkling which had moderate acidity.
Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc, 2013, South Africa with Margarita
A classic pizza again, tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella and Basil went well with the vegetal yet fruity Sauvignon Blanc. The wine had superb acidity to combat the rich cheese.
Fratelli Sangiovese Bianco 2013, India with Gorus
A pizza with Mozzarella, Sundried tomatoes, honey, aragula and goat cheese was the highlight of the evening. Must have and this completely overshadowed the lackluster Sangiovese; a white wine made from red grapes .It had a faint nose with medium body and low acidity.
Bava Rosato 2009, Piedmont, Italy with Bianco
This 2009 vintage worried me a bit as it is a tad too old for a rose, surprisingly the wine held itself well; meaning it was not good but not bad either and it went well with the subtle pizza Bianco with no tomatoes but just cheese , pistachio and rosemary.
Myra Vineyards Shiraz, 2012, India and Anakena Carmenere 2010, Chile with Davide
Davide with Smoked aubergine, ricotta and tomatoes was a very simple one with no riot of flavours and the ricotta giving it certain richness. The wines were good by itself the Shiraz a no-fuss easy drinking fruity wine with moderate tannins and Carmenere a little more complex with oak integrated in the same. The Shiraz was a better bet with the food.
Aruma Malbec, 2011, Argentina and Vallone, Malbec, 2011, Nashik, India with Sublime
Marinated artichokes and Zucchini went very well with the earthiness of the Aruma Malbec and it had good acidity and soft tannins to match the Ricotta. The Vallone was again a good wine, but I was expecting it to be a mouthful and meaty.
Forrest Estate late harvest Riesling, 2007, Marlborough, New Zealand with Savarin with Coconut Crème Fraiche
The wine was sweet, citrusy with stone fruit and had developed some honey and caramel aromas with bracing acidity, it could age a little further too I thought. The Savarin was chilled and refreshing with the velvety coconut crème. Sadly the dessert was too sweet for the wine, they were good individually.
– Great Pizzas, not for those who are not accustomed to the Domino style one
– Great ambience, almost turns to a next door pub kind, later in the night
– The service was extremely sloppy. The waiters did not have a clue about what they were serving and sadly did not know how to serve too. They were hospitable but the delays killed the flow of the evening a bit. Ask for the manager if you seek recommendation on your visit!
My picks for the wine week:
Prego,Westin Hotel Out of the Blue Trendz, Lalit Hotel Olio,Novotel MasalaBay, Taj Lands End Botticino, Trident Hotel Salt Water cafe Tasting Room Vinoteca Neel Busaba Vetro, Oberoi hotel India Jones, Trident Hotel
The wine week is a great way for one to familiarize oneself with wine and food at a great price. Until my next on Italian food again, keep wining.