Wine is a varied subject and I’m told that it takes many a years before one finds his/ her true love in wine. So, when I was invited for the Taj vine and food experience, I was kinda shocked. Why would someone invite an idiot like me to this event ? I am not a wine connoisseur, no sir- never in my life. Then, what can be the reason ? And then the reason struck me. It’s an experience or rather a vine and food masterclass and they need a good listener (off course with zero knowledge ) to attend and learn something.
Statutory warning … This blogpost will have excessive video contents and talks about wine. Legally underage kids are not advised to go beyond this point …
So, let’s start from the very start … where did it all start ? Though we get the mention of wine in Somveda in India (named as somras), it was first documented probably in china. Let’s watch this small video here for a beautiful demonstration.
The theory may vary and hundreds of people are working all across globe on this topic. But now that we have a slight idea of when did it all start, an idiot like me, may not be so sure about how a wine is made. Many have an idea that if we extract some wine juice and let it ferment, it’ll be magically converted into wine, but let me confirm you as one from that clan, it’s not the case. There is a very formal and strict process on the wine making and still if you have some time and want to get some idea about generic wine making, here’s another video.
Now, at this point in time, let me tall you a story from my youth. In younger days, everybody wants to prove his/ her smartness and I was off course no exception. So, it was during my high-school days, when I went to purchase my first bottle of wine, the first question asked was which one do I want- is it red, white or rose ? And, still I remember the day when world witnessed a red faced high-school kid coming out of the off-shop, almost feeling like an idiot.
So, white vs red vs rose wine- an attempt to explain in layman’s language
For a layman, let’s start by saying, red wine is one of the most complex wines, and it needs some understanding of one’e preference to develop a liking. And, aging is very very important to get a perfect red wine. On the other hand, white wine is often an introduction to the world of wine for an idiot learner. They lack from very sweet to extremely dry and is enjoyed like that. Now, rose wine lies somewhere in between. while, they have best of both the worlds, lack on few traits which make the red and white immortal. If we look for a visual demonstration of the difference, it’ll be somewhat like this.
So, if you’re bored with my lack of knowledge and these videos, let us get back to Taj Bengal once again. As I said, it was a wine masterclass after a working lunch. And the class was to be taken by Count John Salvi MW and Keith W. Edgar. Count John Salvi, the internationally acclaimed wine connoisseur, hails from France and is a master of wine from 1970 (even before I was borne). His profile can be checked here. Keith Edgar , on the other hand is an globally renowned sommelier, hailing from Denver. And, with them, we were taken on a journey of old world vs new world wines. And the discussion ranged from oak vs steel casks, processes to major wine regions in New Zealand to both sides of Bordeaux.
We were served Pouilly Fume and DurvilleaSauvignon Blanc. Wherein the pouilly fume was fully grape-ish in taste, the other one was more, much more intense in taste. As the saying goes, more sun, more color. And it was surprising to know, where the old world maximised or prefered heat, new world wines tend to minimize heat.
Again, if you’re in the mood for another video explanation (not this one, as it was the master’s IP), you may check the following one.
And, it was time for Vishal Kakadia from wine Park, Mumbai. He spoke more on the types of grapes used (from Argentina to Italy) and the most popular varieties. And, from him, it was quite surprising to know that in India, much contrary to the weather condition, 70% of the wine drinkers prefer red wine. In short, Vermentino-was the medium bodied wine. Garganega was super aromatic. And Torrontes ? A mild rosy aroma. And I must say, it goes great with Indian palate.
The third session was taken by Karishma Grover from Grovers wines and it was mostly on rose wine from the Grover Vineyards. The session was super interactive and we were almost literally in to splits with laughter. We were served Grover Zampa Rose, and we were suggested to try out with mostly coastal food and seafish. Not that meat don’t pair with them … but we, as bongs, need something for our fish also …
The final tasting battle was Bordeaux left bank vs right bank. We were served Chateau Phelan Segur and Ets Theuvin (a.k.a Bad Boy). Here, the bad boy had a tinge of sweetness and suited my palate more. But whatever, after these many glasses of wine, how does it matter ?
After all, not that we learnt much or became overnight gurus, but what we started to understand, is from where to start. And, probably, that’ll be the take away from this wonderful wine and food session from Taj Bengal. And, wholeheartedly, I would like to thank them for this.
You can check my other unusual gastronomic experience in Taj Bengal, here.
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
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