Cheese Platter and R’s glass of wine.

The glasses of wine sparkle in front of me, and I smile delicately at General Manager K Mohanchandran, who is sitting with us to celebrate 25 years of Taj Bengal. As part of the celebration, the Wednesday Wine O’Clock is now going to be a part of Taj, where 25 popular wines will be served by the glass.

Chateau St. Michelle

In front of me is a glass of a gorgeous crisp Riesling with a dry and fruity touch to it – sweet, but not overly so, its perfect with the Cheddar Cheese I’m nibbling. The Chateau St. Michelle is a lovely white from California, new, fresh, and gloriously smells of summery peaches and limes. A fresh start to open up my palate for more to come.

Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial

 I look through the extensive wine guide am an pleasantly surprised to see a number of tasting notes which I can explore through. It will take some time for me to actually go through the list, and make some notes and comparisons. From Australia to Spain, France to Chile, the wine list is perfectly suited to those who love experimenting. Although none of the wines are truly what can be called vintage, there is something for everyone, and I love the way the sommelier have selected them from many. I spot a few of my favorite Indian, French, Australian and Chilean wines.

With the wine, there is an assortment of nibbles, including a cheese platter (250/-). Apart from the Cheddar, I also find myself reaching for the olives and the thin cut chips. The cheddar is great with the whites, and I stick to them, preferring them over the darker notes of the reds. Deliberately I steer clear of  them, and my second choice for the night is a glorious glass of Mo√ęt et Chandon Brut Imperial (1000/-), which is pleasantly citrus, and plenty of fruits show through, including apples and lemons. 

Soave Allegrini

I am really not a fan of grassy white wines, especially when they are paired with fruity notes, but the Soave Allegrini DOC “Corte Giara” Pagus from the Northern part of Italy (Garganega) is a strangely addictive thing, with grass and wildflowers hitting the back of my nose, and a dry aftermath that is very strangely not sweet or heavy on my tongue but very smooth and gloriously rounded. I can see myself reaching for this again. Unusual and gentle, this wine is something I have not encountered before, and I thank Executive Assistant Manager, Food and Beverage, Mr. Vinod Pandey, who helped assimilate the list for pointing this one out for me. He added that the idea was to give people a taste of good quality wines, and provide a considerable assortment of them for a reasonable fee. I am quite surprised to see the average glass of wine priced around the 250-550 INR mark, with only a few exceptions, and that is truly a remarkable feat from the hotel. It will hopefully make people more open to drinking wines from different brands, and they would get to know more about good brands.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the Wednesday Wine O’Clock Event by Rediffusion. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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