The thing about wine is that you can drink it with food. You don't have to drink it before eating, you don't have to stuff your face with oily, unhealthy junk food either. When I go out to eat and I see the wine selection is very slim or too expensive I will either order a cocktail or vodka on the rocks. But whenever I am home and have company I will serve up wine. My best friend prefers reds and says that one of the rare stereotypically feminine traits I have is that I prefer white wines or even rosé occasionally. India is slowly heading toward globalisation, I say this because the process is not complete, it is ongoing. As much as pundits would love to believe doing certain things is not "Indian" the change is happening, it is not as bad as conservatives would love to convince everyone. No one is forgetting our culture, modernity is not the complete murder of the past, in fact it would do some people good to let go of somethings they do just because it has been going on for centuries(yes I am talking about all kinds of female oppression). Anyway more on that later. Here I am talking on the consumption of wine. Kolkata is the 4th biggest consumer of wine in India and India itself is not far behind in the global arena. The growth has been steady over the years. And we have Indian wines like Four Seasons Wines to provide the growing market an array of reds, whites and even rosé.
As a blogger (not just someone who happens to have a blog) I feel truly delighted every time I get to attend events and go places I earlier wouldn't have the agency to, and I go there as a digital influencer not just a random guest. If I can convince even 10 of you to try out wine and pair it with your Indian fare next time you have company I will feel like I have made a difference, because people will learn that from you in turn and the process will go on. Wine is all about your personal preference. It is about what makes your taste buds dance. Such a unique experience cannot be brought on by any other drink. You might perceive of different notes while you taste and smell the same wine than your friend.
Yours truly with Soumi, Shreya and Poorna. Pic c/o - Shreya
Hats off to the Four Season Wines for taking this initiative where they are helping in the propagation of wine culture in India. They are taking this very seriously. Last Wednesday I attended the inaugural dinner of the "Four Seasons Gourmet Indulgence" they have launched in partnership with PoshVine that kicked off at Saffron, The Park. Abhay Kewadkar, Business Head (Wines) and Chief Wine Maker, United Spirits Limited was there, he spoke briefly about the winery in Baramati, the importance of choosing the wine most suitable to you and the food you pair it with and he also said that they have tied up with ninety restaurants over 7 cities to host the Gourmet Indulgence events. Thanks to Mr. Peter Mitter, Regional Manager -Trade & Marketing of UB Group, I know quite a lot about wines now, not to mention his presence at these events puts us all at such ease.
Generous servings of Barrique Reserve Cabernet Savignon and Viognier along with delicious starters like Wasabi Green Peas Sate, Katori Mauj Ki Galauti, Macchi Khagina and Malai Pesto Murgh Shatoosh were served up to all present. Trying the food with the different wines helps you in understanding the flavours and gives you a better grasp about what goes with what. Chef Dewan was responsible for a delicious spread that included salads, corn pulao, tandoori roti, chicken curry, mutton curry and a couple of vegetarian curries and dal. I should give special mention to the raita that I loved. Imagine having this with wine. It is delicious I tell you. The sensory journey ended with repeated raidings of the flourless chocolate cake area. They were simply put, heavenly.
Even if you are not Indian but are fond of curries, do tell me if you have ever thought of pairing wine with Indian food? Have you done it? Let me know what you think of it in the comments section.