When several people from different professions get together, the interest has to be common- and tasting wines could easily be counted amongst the best of these! At a recently concluded event called Bienvenue that I hosted in association with Eau de Monsoon restaurant at Le Meridien New Delhi, the enthusiasm of the guests was palpable by their timely arrival despite the infamous VIP movements on Delhi streets ( It’s a different matter though, that my pesky exhortation in the preceding days was forgiven by the guests rather graciously)! That the occasion was the national day of France (called Jour de Bastille) lent a special festive air to the soirée and I cleverly used it to fulfill my long standing ambition to be a history teacher- albeit an indulgent one.
The evening started with a palate awakening aperitif and a visit to the walk around cellars at the restaurant. Next was the serious yet fun tasting experience that was accompanied by a ‘terroir feeling’ presentation. A brief word about the tasting room at Eau de Monsoon – the space is replete with illuminated tables, cascading water on glass facade and ample room for the pre-requisites of wine tasting. And so it happens to be one of my favourites to conduct an effortless wine tasting!
The menu for the tasting comprising of Antipasti, Tapas, Assorted Cheeses and Dessert, was finalized after several sittings with the staff at Eau de Monsoon – so the conduct was pretty simple and all brass-tacks. This is how it went:
Wine # 1
Jean Claude Boisset AOC Mâcon Villages 2007
A medium gold colour and aromas of ripe stone fruits (peaches, apricots) and a citrusy whiff. A light bodied crisp dry and minerally palate and a medium finish. Went well with most of the finger food on offer and creamy cheeses (Brie, Camembert, Danish Blue)
Wine # 2
J Calvet À Bordeaux AOC Graves 2006
Light Lemon with green reflections. A mix of fruit and vegetal aromas with strong bell pepper and sweet spice on the nose. Dry and medium body palate with just the right acidity. Ideal accompaniment with asparagus & artichoke Tapas as well as the olives in the Antipasti. Also paired well with other food on the platter as also the cheeses, especially the Danish blue.
Wine # 3
La Rochetière AOC Brouilly 2007
Brouilly has a special place in my heart since it is the appellation where I harvested the 2012 crop with some distinguished producers during my stay in the region last autumn. The innately fruity character of Beaujolais wines often manifests in the form of a juicy and rounded mouthfeel and this time too there was no exception. Aromas of red cherries, strawberries and a little spice added to its overall charm. I still would not advice it to be paired with the smoked Salmon( as the youngest guest in the gathering affirmed) but it was a pleasure with all other finger food on offer. And of course, hors d’ouvres could well be easy turf for this wine.
Wine # 4
Baron Philippe de Rothschild AOC Bordeaux Mouton Cadet 2010
The most famous brand of Bordeaux lived up to its expectations when I heard several ‘wows’ at the first sip. Deep ruby with a subtle garnet rim and pastry shop aromas (chocolate, vanilla et al) this firm yet gentle, fruity yet restrained wine is an epitome of man’s skill in the consistency of blending.The wine was a hit particularly with the cheeses and the Egg and Caviar Tapas.
Wine # 5
J Calvet À Bordeaux AOC Sauternes 2008
J Calvet À Bordeaux AOC Sauternes 2008 There are dessert wines and then there’s Sauternes. The name itself evokes respect and the pairing with the crumbly and lush peach and pear tart was anything but coincidence! The lovely medium gold wine with a bouquet of apricots, quince and honey had a wonderful medium bodied feel on the palate with flavours of honey,nuts, liquorice and apricots. The lingering finish ensured a perfect reminiscence of the just concluded tasting!
The most encouraging part of the soirée was the enthusiasm of attendees towards a typically international format of wine tasting- where tasing measures of wine were served in a fluid sequence amid passionate discussions without the need to be politically correct- and to think that we get fixed up on the notion of Indians being aloof of wines!
Prenez le Vin s’il vous plait!