As we head closer to the season of selling wines in India, there are enough activities that have kept me busy in the past few weeks.And there’ll be many new exciting tasks at hand as I glance through my calendar.
While writing about each of those activities might take a few pages, there are some that are worthy of sharing here on the blog.
Champagne, Rhone and Hunter Valley
Got to taste Champagne Demilly de Baere NV, a Chardonnay dominated blend. Had high hopes from this one. On the surface, seemed like the bottle was subjected to bad storage and the cork also had dried out. Bubbling was also minimal. Having said that, the wine inside showed some vibrancy with a green apple and citrusy character. Good that it was consumed but would like to re-taste this one to judge its real character.
Had my second last bottle of Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rouge 2006. This is one wine which never disappoints – still lively and bursting with dark fruits! However, the wine has starting going down the evolution curve and I shall soon exhaust the last remaining bottle in a couple of weeks’ time.
Audrey Wilkinson Winemakers Selection 2010. Coming from one of the oldest wineries in the Hunter Valley, this was a blend of Merlot (from McLaren Vale) and Cabernet grapes . The wine with its silky tannins and a mouthful of ripe plums gushing on the palate, swept me away. However, the wine had a short finish and had me asking for more on the acidity front.
Sexing up the label!
If you ever thought designing the ‘right’ kind of wine label was a breeze, you are probably as disillusioned as I was a few weeks ago. It’s a label that triggers a wine buying decision (at least the first time) when a bottle is lying helpless on the retail shelf amidst the ocean of wines which shall otherwise remain untested in a consumer’s lifetime. So hats off to those designers who’ve helped winemakers sell their wines in the market!
When I sat down with a team of designers to figure out the identity of what could be the next best wine coming out of India, there were long discussions and deliberations on how the final label should be. After enough back and forth with no consensus, we decided that procrastination is the best solution. Designing was deferred but we are confident that we’ll reach resolution in a few days’ time.
Interaction with Chef Ritu Dalmia
Exchanged pleasantries with chef Ritu Dalmia of the Diva restaurant fame and had a chance to hear her entrepreneurial journey in the demanding hospitality industry. I came back home with some of her recipes and really eager to try the ‘Far Scarpetta’ very soon.
Gnocchi with a Chilean Cabernet – adventurous but not ideal
One of the days when I decided not to be too critical with my wine and food, I tried matching the lovely Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon with Gnocchi in tomato basil sauce finished with baked Parmesan on top. The wine dominated the dish and came across way fuller than the delicate dish itself. The acidity just got more pronounced with every sip and the tannins became more apparent too.