A few days ago, I was approached by Team Ginger Claps to attend an event. I was interested, so floated the idea around a bit, and soon had a number of people who wanted to join in. I am a Wine enthusiast and in the last few years, I have been finding a number of good Indian wine for very reasonable prices around Kolkata, so when Four Seasons Wine’s Structured Wine Trail Event came up on the 6th of July, I gladly joined in.
|The Scene of Crime – Conclave Club. Shreya says they make a mean Lebanese Platter. I WANT!!|
The post is going to be photo-heavy. Bear with me. Special thanks to +Shreya Goswami for a lovely picture of me.
|Me sans wine.|
I reached slightly late, but there were people who joined us much later, but we did not mind waiting for them. Instead, we decided to take photographs, as a good little blogger should. Soon, our official guide for the event introduced himself, Mr. PPK Mitter, a man with a wide spectrum of knowledge about alcohol in general, the scene of wine in India, and how it can be improved. For a considerable period of time, he talked about the methods of extraction, certain interesting fact, and the case for Indian wine and how it can be popularized as a New World Wine.
|PPK Mitter – He insisted we call him Peter.|
For the tasting session, he had selected 5 different wines from the Four Seasons Wines, each unique, and with its own set of characteristics. He taught the method of understanding wine, its bouquet, flavor, and notes.
The top notes of the Sauvignon Blanc consisted of an obvious gooseberry, with hints of herbs in the background. I noted a tiny hit of something floral, but maybe that was just me. The dry, tart wine, hit the back of my palette and I could exhale a faint residue on my tongue. Possibly the only wine I was not too enamoured of, and I was glad when we downed the glass and moved on to the next. There was food pairing with this, but in truth, we did not eat until much later, so I could not find a pairing. I would love this with some fresh goat cheese Mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
I was in love with the Viognier, however. I am a shameless dry white wine lover, and this one hit all the notes perfectly. A bouquet that was quite fruity-floral with apple, lavender and peach clearly showing through, and served at the right temperature. This is what I would truly savour with some perfectly grilled chicken, or maybe a smear of brie over a single cracker. Apparently, the market for white wine in India is growing, and I can surely see why!
The unexpected surprise was the blush wine, which tickled my palate with its sweet notes of strawberry, while the top notes hinted at roses and possibly something else that I was unable to identify. To tell the truth, I would drink this wine while cooking for my family, nimbly stirring a pot here, or adding a pinch of herbs there, maybe make a lovely bacon risotto with plenty of love and a generous dousing of this and chicken stock in it. To me, this was a great wine for the undecided and who would love to serve something which would be not too light or too heavy. A light resinous aftertaste made this one a great fit for Chinese food too. In fact, if there was no Viognier, I would have declared this a winner. Unfortunately, there was the Viognier, so well!
|Four Seasons Shiraz … with… finally…. the food!|
I have never really been a fan of red wine in India, and although I liked the Shiraz, its spicy notes with broad hits of cinnamon and cardamom did nothing for me. By this time, plates of food were served, and I quickly tucked into a lovely little morsel of well-seasoned spicy paneer, which actually went pretty well with it. I went back for the Mushroom Vol Au Vents, which beckoned me with their tempting fluffy puff pastry and creamy mushroom-bechamel sauce combination within. Although I know red wines are supposed to have meat pairing, I have noted that richer, fattier cheeses, like Feta, spread thin on a date, works wonders with most red wines. I found this wine to be all right, but nothing to write home about. The flavors were perhaps too spicy for me.
|Thank You +Kamalika C of Silence Sings for this brilliant photo of me with the Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.|
The Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was the boldest of the lot. Rich, with a strong aftertaste lingering on my tongue, and with the essence of vanilla and tart cassis, this wine wanted a lover’s touch to warm it before tasting. I swirled the wine and warmed it slightly by cupping the glass, releasing the aroma, spilling the dark essence thoroughly. This was a wine that could convert me to a red wine lover, its rich, strong aftertaste and glorious sweetness that lingered on the tip of my tongue made it so perfect for consumption. It invited deep conversations over glasses of it, a fire slowly built on one side, with a few choice cuts turning over in a spit. I would also love this with a high-cocoa content chocolate, like the Lindt 90% with Cacao Nibs in it. Perfectly dark, with a deep plum hue, this was, once again, a winner by its own rights.
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined as a guest of Four Seasons Wine and Team Gingerclaps. She did not receive any monetary compensation for her review, and her opinion is unbiased.