First things first. Is “The Wine Company” a wine specialty restaurant? Yes and No. ‘Yes’ for its impressive range of wines cutting across new and old worlds at competitive prices (claimed much lower than other restaurants in Delhi/NCR), and ‘No’ because you would be disappointed if expecting wine flights or wines by the glass, except for a couple of house wines.
Whatever said, The Wine Company is a bold step towards wine nirvana for the average wine lover wherein it offers a good range of wines coupled with immaculate service- and what’s more- help at hand in the form of an in house Sommelier ! The restaurant, conveniently located both for Delhi and Gurgaon, is a value adding component to the foodie’s paradise that DLF Cyber Hub Gurgaon has come to be known as.
As you enter the restaurant , the expansive bar area beset with chalk graffiti on black boards announcing offers like “Unlimited Sunday Prosecco Brunch” and “Midnight Steak Out” stands out unmistakably. The overall décor is quite modern and wood dominated, with an attractively visible wine display categorized country-wise. There are seating clusters for possibly every preference- from standard restaurant tables to cosy bar counter arrangements for intimate conversations. However, the place could do better with some more space within the seating arrangement to facilitate unobtrusive movement , especially on crowded weekends. There is also a small al fresco area at the entrance but has limited application, owing to legal restrictions on outdoor alcohol consumption, as also the infamous Indian summer.
Drinks and Food
The wine list, as mentioned above has a good range at fairly reasonable prices .For example, I found a Torres Viña Sol (a good white wine from Spain) at ₹ 1890 (plus taxes) per bottle, which is a good bargain considering its retail cost itself being ₹ 1400+. Apart from the wines, a host of other options like beers on tap, cocktails, a decent collection of whiskies and a choice of Sangrias makes sure that the place has lots to offer on the drinks front. The food menu is a good mix of cuisines – mostly Mediterranean and Continental with a deeper focus on American and West European offshoots. A wide range of Thin Crust Pizzas, Gourmet Burgers, Pastas and Risottos bear testimony to this premise.
Getting to the Proof of the Pudding
Looking at the options available, I decided to go for a multi course approach with wine pairing and made the first splash with Prosecco Sangria with Mint and Strawberry (₹ 450) from their Signature Sangria range. Priyanka Singh, the Brand Manager at the restaurant strongly recommended that I also try one of their red wine based Sangrias and I happily obliged with a Pomegranate and Cranberry Sangria (₹ 325). Both the drinks were innovative and refreshing, though I felt that the red variant lost some glory due to being chilled sub-par . The starters in the form of Sizzling Prawns (₹475 ) and their signature Karari Roti (crisp Indian bread given an intriguing hollow semi-spherical shape, a must try at ₹ 395 ), were pleasing hors d’œuvres.
Food: Caesar Salad (Veg ₹ 329, NV ₹ 425)
Wine: Opera Pinot Chardonnay 2012, Italy (₹ 1490) – A blend of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay (recommended by the Wine Company Sommelier)
Caesar Salad is often considered a ‘can’t go wrong’ food to pair with a white wine thanks to its various textures and flavours. My keenness to accept the Sommelier’s proposal of wine was also ruled by the fact that Opera wines are made by an Indian –Italian collaboration in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and are aimed particularly at the Indian palate . The crispy lettuce/ bacon and poached chicken strips along with a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese worked well with the wine’s crisp acidity and tropical fruit flavours. A good combination that could possibly serve as a complete meal when one’s got to rush back to office in the afternoon.
Food: Thin crust Pepperoni Pizza (₹595), Crispy Bacon and Chorizo Risotto (₹ 695)
Wine: Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,Napa Valley, California,USA (₹ 6990 )
The pizza had a signature touch to it with an uber thin crust that stayed crisp till the end along with the palpable high quality of ingredients used. The risotto was savoury with a wonderful nuttiness and smokiness to it. Both these dishes worked astoundingly well with the well structured, fruity and full bodied wine having oak and spice overtones.
Food: Dark Chocolate and Whiskey Mousse (₹ 295).
Wine: Opera Lambrusco Sparkling 2011, Italy (₹ 1690)
Trying another wine from the Opera stable had another solid reason for me other than its Indian orientation – i.e. having never tried a Lambrusco (a red grape variety largely from the Emilia region of Italy) in its sparkling avatar. This was an exciting wine with just the right amount of residual sweetness to stand up to the sophistication of the chocolate and whiskey mousse. The palate coating creaminess and intense chocolate flavours of the mousse accentuated by a malty highlight imparted by the whiskey married well with the rich vinosity and a restrained sparkle of the wine. I think the wine is an exciting and good value proposition not only with desserts but also with gourmet burgers, pizzas et al.
Looking to round off the evening with a Single Espresso shot, I was rather surprised not to find the coffee option on the menu, but the restaurant sportingly took my unsolicited yet sincere recommendation by assuring to include it soon.
After all, the best of life’s pleasures are the simplest- isn’t it?
- Pleasing décor.
- Good wine collection.
- Friendly Service.
- Multitude of cuisine options.
- Loud music.
- Crowded seating.
- No coffee on menu.
Average meal for two(with taxes): Rs. 3500.00
Timings: 1230 p.m. to 1230 a.m.
The Wine Company
Shop No. 22 & 23, DLF, Cyber City, Sector 24
Gurgaon, Haryana 122002