It’s that time of the year again. The season when the French are raising a toast to their new grape harvest. And keeping in step with their international counterparts, the Sofitel luxury hotel in Mumbai’s BKC has announced a month-long celebration of wine that makes us want to say cheers too.
At the swish launch of Sofitel Wine Days last week, we rubbed shoulders with connoisseur Sanjay Menon and were introduced to some choice French wines from various wine-growing regions of France by him, paired with Indian and Continental hors d’ouevres that showcased molecular cooking techniques. Of the six wines we sampled at stunning Le Bar Diamantaire, our favourite was the dry white Hugel & Fils Gentil 2013. From the Alsace region that’s close to the German border, it combines the freshness and finesse of Riesling with the body of Pinot Gris. This well-rounded white went very well with the Deconstructed Olive Tapenade Crostinis.
Next up, the Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Domain Jacky Marteau was a surprise, as you don’t expect such complexity from Pouillé wines. The citrus and spice combination brought to mind Indian guava, eaten with a hint of red chilli powder! The Beetroot Sev Puri, with beautiful pink spheres that burst with flavour, paired well with the Touraine Sauvignon Blanc. The third white was a delightful La Vieille Ferme Cotes du Luberon Blanc 2014. Now this one has pedigree, coming from the same stable as the famous dessert wine – Chateauneuf du Pape. And true to its lineage, this high-stepper is balanced and yet quick off the gun, winning rosettes for its tart fruitiness, slight sweetness of corn and hints of hazelnut. The Duck Croquettes with a Corn Infusion that was to be introduced using plastic drippers, were the perfect accompaniment to this one.
The reds followed the whites like a fierce army. The Francois Labet ‘Ile de Beaute’ Pinot Noir 2012, somewhat similar to a Burgundy but thanks to its high-altitude Corsican grapes, the richness and delicacy are perfectly balanced. We loved the way it complemented the red meat of the tender bite-sized and perfectly spiced Lamb Cubes and contrasted on our palate with the zesty mint foam. The Paul Jaboulet Aine Côtes Du Rhone ‘Parallele 45’ 2012 is hard to parallel for its provenance, coming from the heart of the French wine-growing region. As expected, the wine was gregarious and generous, fruity and spicy with notes of black currant, licorice and pepper. We ended this sophisticated wine flight with the supple and ‘so red it’s almost purple’ Michel Lynch Bordeaux Rouge 2012. A flamboyant flavour memory to take home on the tongue, for sure.
Sofitel Mumbai BKC has partnered with the famous and award-winning sommelier Enrico Bernardo to pick these and other great wines for the celebration that will continue until October 31, 2015. With over 800 bottles and 120 varieties of Indian and international wines, the hotel is well equipped to wow the wine connoisseur as well as the wine curious. Every bar and restaurant at Sofitel will also be mixing some magnificent wine and Champagne cocktails through the month, especially for the Wine Days celebration. And for people for whom food is just as intoxicating, there’s a host of fine-dining events planned to please the palate in every way…
Charcuterie and Wine pairings at the Artisan (until Oct 4) will revolve around choice meats made in-house paired with select wines. Wine and Cheese evenings (Oct 5-11) at Le Bar Diamantaire will give you the opportunity to treat your tastebuds to many gourmet cheeses, including Gouda, Blue, Cheddar, Feta and more with wines that are carefully selected to complement them. For those who thought that the Sunday Brunch at Pondichéry Café just couldn’t get any better… On Oct 18 it will be paired with a Wine Expo where you can not only sample the best wines but can buy some bottles to take home too! Vegetarians will enjoy the sumptuous sit-down Sommelier Dinner at Tuskers (Oct 23), where a personal sommelier will recommend the best pairings with pure vegetarian delicacies.
With such a wine-derful month on the cards we recommend you practice your best swirl-sniff-sip moves and gear up for some grade A gourmet experiences.
Address : Sofitel Luxury Hotels,
C-57, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East),
Tel: +91 (22) 6117 5115