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Beyond The Bar by Grey Goose at Asilo

ONDREJ POSPICHAL AT GREY GOOSE BEYOND THE BAR 3A couple of All Things Nice members and us went to Asilo a few nights ago on invitation from Asilo’s Sanam Sippy and Grey Goose. We were there to taste cocktails prepared by internationally renowned bartender Ondrej Pospichal for Grey Goose’s Beyond The Bar programme and to indulge in Asilo’s ambience and food. Situated on the top of the Palladium hotel, Asilo is Bombay’s highest bar and is truly spectacular.

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Any night with a seven drink minimum on the itinerary is destined to be a fun night. Ondrej went on to present his ‘Signature Seven’, a series of seven cocktails made especially with Grey Goose, inspired by spices available at local markets. One of the cocktails was named after the capital city, ‘New Dilli’, inspired by the DilliHaat souk where different flavors of India blend in. Nope, no drink named after Bombay but we forgive him.

Programmes such as Beyond The Bar are super because it gives bartenders in India training to be creative with cocktails and flavors which are different from the usual concoctions some of which we are getting tired off.

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Folks I could go on about the drinks and food but you’ve got to go to Asilo for yourself and soak it all in, my personal favourite was the New Dilli and the Martini (my 8th drink, on my 9th I attained what I call “The Wisdom”) that Ondrej made specially for me. You can try making them on your own if you like, see below for how…Happy Drinking….

Nikhil –  All Things Nice.

ONDREJ POSPICHAL AT GREY GOOSE BEYOND THE BAR 5   ONDREJ POSPICHAL AT GREY GOOSE BEYOND THE BAR 3

Signature Cocktail recipes:

  1. NEW DILLI
  • 50 ml     Grey Goose Vodka
  • 5 cm       stalk Fresh Dill
  • 25 ml        Apple Juice
  • 25 ml       Fresh Celery Juice
  • 15 ml       Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 15 ml        Sugar Syrup
  • 2 dashes   Celery Bitters
  • Method    Shaken/ Straight
  • Glass       Martini glass

Inspired by the DilliHaat souk where different flavors of India blend in. the same way, this cocktail will take your senses on a journey where popular flavors of India like fresh dill, celery, fennel seeds will add distinct native flavor.

  1. L’APERTIF 
  • 35ml       Grey Goose Vodka
  • 15ml        Lillet Blanc/Martini Dry
  • 2dashes    Green Chartreuse
  • 25ml         Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Method     Stirred/ Straight
  • Glass         Martini Glass

A French based pre-dinner cocktail inspired by the liking of James Bond. Infused with the strong and aromatic tonkabean which adds a hint of sweetness on the palate and leaves a refreshing sensation.

  1. WELCOME PUNCH
  • 50ml        Grey Goose Vodka
  • 15ml         Campari
  • 35ml        Homemade sage & white wine syrup
  • 30ml        Pineapple Juice
  • 25ml        Fresh Lemon juice
  • Top up     Sparkling wine / Soda / Tonic water
  • Method    Straight/ Big blocks of ice
  • Glass        Tea cup / wine glass

A cocktail which defines your personality by the choice you make between sparkling wine, tonic water or soda. Instilled with fresh sage, softened in white wine it complements the bitterness of Campari and silkiness of Grey Goose vodka.

  1. SENSE OF GOOSE
  • 40ml           Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 big slice   Fresh ginger
  • 10ml           Tequila Blanco
  • 15ml           Honey water
  • 20ml           Lemon Juice
  • 6 pieces      Green cardamom
  • 25ml           Mozart Black (or Crème de Cacao Dark)
  • Method       Shaken / crushed ice
  • Glass           Rock Glass

Every ingredient in this cocktail gives your sense of taste of taste an imaginative run. A heartfelt blend of Grey Goose, tequila, honey water and green cardamomwhich is not so sharp on the palate but surprisingly sweet in the end.

  1. WORLDWIDE SWEET 
  • 4ml            Black pepper infused Grey Goose L’Orange vodka
  • 30ml          Crème de Peche (Peach Liqueur)
  • 30ml          Coffee liqueur
  • 10ml          Sugar syrup
  • 2tsp           Cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch      Sea salt
  • Method     Shaken / cubes
  • Glass        Rock glass

The world at your table. This cocktail brings together different varieties of chocolates from around the world. With a hint of peach and coffee flavor, you are sure to experience the finesse across your palate.

  1. HINT OF GREEN
  • 40ml        Grey Goose Le Citron vodka
  • 30ml        Homemade pineapple-coriander syrup
  • 20ml        Fresh lemon juice
  • Top up     Sparkling wine
  • Method    Shaken/ straight
  • Glass       Champagne glass

The name says it all. A refreshing mix of cocktail made with pineapple-coriander syrup, lemon juice and some freshly picked coriander leaves to garnish it. Very sophisticated welcome drink to suit any occasion and time of the day.

  1. LORD OF THE DOGTOWN
  • 40ml        Grey Goose vodka
  • 20ml        Agave water
  • 25ml        White Grapefruit Juice
  • Top up     Sparkling wine
  • Method    Shaken
  • Glass        Champagne Glass

A signature blend of five hand-picked spices (cinnamon, stevia, peppermint, grapefruit & black tea) is combined with the exotic flavor of Assam tea. Infused with Grey Goose vodka, this concoction is mixed with Agave and white grapefruit which makes it the best seller cocktail.

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Dinner

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Moet & Chandon hosted a Grand Vintage Dinner a few days ago to introduce their 2004, 1992 and 1975 vintages. Before I set off on the evening I should mention that it truly is great to see Moet Hennessy celebrate both their newly launched Indian made sparkling wine Chandon and their Champagne portfolio simultaneously.

I’ve always said that I’m happiest at dinnertime. This dinner in particular certainly made me very very happy and the copious amounts of Champagne I drank shamelessly had nothing to do with it.

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We started with their Non Vintage before getting into the three vintages 04, 92 and 75 with dinner.  Each fantastic, each with their own individual characteristics and I found it very interesting to compare all four of them together.

The Champagnes got more complex as the vintages got older, my personal favourite of the evening would probably be the 1992 which was somewhat mid way between the comparatively youthful 2004 and the more complex, nuttier 1975.

What caught me by surprise was the fantastic menu for the evening and the almost perfection with which the three vintages were paired with each of the courses.  The 1975 also went really well with dessert; a great example of just how versatile Champagne can be when it comes to food pairing.

A thunderous round of applause to the teams at Moet & the Chefs at the Four Seasons for creating an extraordinary wine and food driven pleasure experience.  All we need now is for them to do this with Veuve Clicquot !

The three vintages will be available in India in tiny quantities so you may just never get your hands on them but if you do, feel free to invite me to share that bottle of 92.

Nikhil Agarwal

Sommelier & Director, All Things Nice

Tasting notes:

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 2004

2004

A graceful palate with a light airy structure: straightforward yet complex, with a sleek, pure savour leading into a long, langourously rich finish. A light, lively, supple structure with mineral overtones.

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1992

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In the mouth the flavour is rich, warm and creamy, underlain by a delicately astringent structure. The impression of fullness and harmony linger. The finish is vivid and fresh with a subtle spiciness along with lingering notes of vanilla and candied citrus.

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection 1975 Format Magnum

1975

On the tongue the taste is vinous yet distinguished and, in the end, has a classical elegance with a certain uprightness. The warm, fleshy richness is underlain by a well-integrated, polished structure with rich notes of roasted nuts. The finish is firm and remarkably refined.

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Grand Vintage Menu April 2014 Page 2 Grand Vintage Menu April 2014-V

Nikhil Agarwal in Deccan Herald

Deccan Herald features Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier and director of All Things Nice, with his views in “Wine and the Indian palate”.

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Charosa Wineries

Charosa wineries

 

 

I had visited Charosa winery a couple of years ago in July 2011 (when the winery wasn’t completely ready) on an invitation from Milind Pandit, their National Sales & Marketing Head.  I was blown away with the size of their operation and knew immediately that when they launched they would create a stir.

I remember the weekend I was there they were rolling in brand new barrels that had just arrived the same day.  You could feel their excitement and passion for what they were doing.

Situated in the Dindori Taluka of Nasik, Charosa has its own vineyards and also sources fruit from contracted farmers that they supervise closely. The winery is state of the art and its location is absolutely stunning; you can climb to the top of that hill in the picture and take in a 360-degree view of the surroundings. Not open to visitors just yet but it is going to be a great place to spend the weekend once they have their hospitality infrastructure in place.

The current portfolio launched in late 2013 includes a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc that is absolutely stunning and one of India’s best.  A classy crisp Viognier made in an oxidative style, which I really enjoyed, a Shiraz that has spent some time in oak and a Reserve Tempranillo, which is brilliant. The Tempranillo grape variety has proven itself to thrive in Indian climatic conditions and we will see a lot more wineries launching their versions using this variety soon. They also have a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that didn’t impress as much as the others but I think the next vintage will be much better. What I really like about Charosa is that they are making efforts to be different. For example they haven’t included a Chenin Blanc in their portfolio, a gutsy move that I respect. All wines are bottled in screw cap, which in India makes complete sense.

My only grouse is that they too have become part of this new trend for wineries in India to price one or two of their wines at around the Rs 1500 and above mark, a trend I don’t support.

Charosa is a great example of the level of wine quality India can produce when we put in the right effort and investment. Milind and the team have set high standards right from the get-go and we look forward to seeing what else this winery will offer in the future.

Tasting Notes: (Provided by Charosa Wineries)

Charosa Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark ruby red with complex aromas of ripe fruits, black olive, vanilla, eucalyptus, chocolate, with hint of sweet spice.    On palate wine is rich and soft, expressing ripe fruits like plum, raspberry.     Full bodied this wine finishes with well balanced tannins. MRP Rs.1500/-

Charosa Vineyards Reserve Tempranillo: Dark Ruby-red in color, the nose is filled with rich coconut, vanilla, chocolate & raspberry aromas.   Medium-bodied with excellent concentration of warm red fruit flavors like raspberry, strawberry & plum are distinctly ripe and fleshy.  Round and soft finish is an endless display of well balanced wine. MRP Rs.1500/-

Charosa Vineyards Selections Shiraz: Ruby red , bright, fresh dark fruits on the nose with some vivid raspberry, strawberry, cherry, vanilla and toasty aroma notes. The mid palate expresses ripe red fruit and mature tannins. Great spicy finish with a hint of oak. MRP Rs.800/-

Charosa Vineyards Selections Sauvignon Blanc: Bright straw yellow. Lively intense flavors of tropical fruits with gooseberry and orange flavors on mid palate The palate is broad, balanced and quite rich with tropical fruit and a grassy mineral freshness. MRP Rs.750/-

Charosa Vineyards Selections Viognier: Bright straw yellow. Very rich, fruity floral nose, luscious edge displaying sweet spices like cinnamon and delicate apricot aromas. On the palate this is full, and soft silky texture imparted by short ageing in new French oak barrel. MRP Rs.750/-

Viognier  Shiraz Sauvignon Blanc Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo

By Nikhil Agarwal

 

All Things Nice Penfolds Wine Dinner at Ellipsis

Penfolds dinner (40)

 

All Things Nice & Penfolds hosted a dinner at Ellipsis on the 29th of November 2013. The dinner was organised by All Things Nice to welcome Simon Cant, Penfolds Brand Ambassador.

The wines for the evening included the Koonunga Hill Chardonnay and Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet and the Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz and Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The dinner was attended by Mr.Mark Pierce – Australian Consul General and Patrick Kearins – Austrade Trade Commissioner and members of All Things Nice.

Nikhil Agarwal greeted the guests and handed the evening’s proceedings to Simon Cant who spoke about Penfolds and the wines for the evening.

The 5 course menu for the evening was created by Chef Kelvin of Ellipsis.

Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & Director All Things Nice is an A+ Wine Educator and promotes and educates consumers and the F&B trade on Australian wine. All Things Nice is a Sommelier driven Wine & Spirits Consultancy.

Ellipsis restaurant is a gastro-inspired Modern American dining concept, offering small plate items meant for sharing.  Menus are printed daily based on the freshness of ingredients – ensuring the best quality standard for our guests.

Meu for the evening:

First Course

Raw Almond Yogurt, Mushroom Confit, Raclette, Pickles

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, 2011, South Australia

 

Second Course

Tomato, Tomato Reduction, Spaeztle, Ketchup, Basil
Or
Prawns, Millets, Pickled Onions, Parmesan, Micro Greens

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, 2010, South Australia

 

Third Course

Tofu, Brussels Sprouts, Soya Sauce, Black Pepper Caramel
Or
Chicken Breast, Cheesy Polenta, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts , Sherry

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, 2010, South Australia

 

 Fourth Course

Risotto, Pumpkin, Apple, Pistachio
Or
Lamb, Olive Caramel, Smoked Potato Puree, Kale

Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, South Australia

 

Fifth Course

Crème Brûlée, Coconut, Pretzel Streusel, Caramel Sauce, Coconut Cookie

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Here’s what Mr. Patrick Kearins – the Australia Trade Commissioner to India had to say about All Thing Nice !  http://youtu.be/ppl4nSNwooE

 

All Things Nice at the Mumbai Farmers Market

mumbai farmers market

Guests at the Mumbai Farmer’s Market had a unique wine tasting experience conducted by our very own Sommelier Nikhil Agarwal. They tasted 5 different wines and were asked to guess which country they came from. While guesses like USA, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Italy, France and Chile ran through the air they were surprised to know that all wines tasted were actually from India!

Wines tasted were Sula Riesling, Fratelli Sangiovese Bianco, Charosa Sauvignon Blanc, Myra Shiraz and Grover Zampa Chene Grand Reserve.

 

All Things Nice takes Indian Wineries to Hong Kong

hk4Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier and Director of All Things Nice took 6 Indian wineries and 7 different Indian wines to Hong Kong. The tasting and dinner was done in collaboration with The Flying Winemaker – Eddie McDougal . The Flying Wine Maker is a wine store and bar in Hong Kong and has been voted as the top 10 places for purchasing wine in Hong Kong.

The wines showcased were Sula Vineyards Riesling, Grover Zampa Vineyards Soiree Brut and Viognier, Vallonne Vineyards Rose, Fratelli Vineyards Sette, Charosa Wineries Tempranillo and Myra Vineyards Shiraz. There were 30 people in attendance most of whom had never had tried Indian wine before. The wine dinner took place on November 11th at The Flying Wine Maker and then moved to Ganga an Indian restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong.

The wines were paired with a 5 course Indian menu showcasing Indian dishes like Biryani, Mutton Massala, Dal Makhani, Paneer Tikka and King Prawns.

This was the first time ever than a wine dinner showcasing various brands of Indian wine was organised internationally. This was done to showcase not any one particular Indian wine but the Indian wine industry as a whole.

Images along with videos of feed back from the guests at the event.

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The videos are testament to the event itself.

 

 

 

 

 

Nederburg Dinner by Aspri Spirits

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I attended the Nederburg Wine Dinner at Pali Village Cafe recently hosted by Aspri Spirits. Jacobus Whilhem Pienaar, Wine Maker at Nederburg and Jan De Bruyn from Distell co hosted the event. It was an interesting evening drinking wines I am quite well versed with. The Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Pinotage were all great and kept coming all through out the dinner.

We had an interesting conversation with Jacobus on the style of wines preferred in India and the price we as consumers are willing to pay in general. Having worked directly with Distell while I was at Sula Vineyards it was great to interact with the team again. Conrad Dsouza at Pali Village Cafe put together an outstanding menu, the most notable of which was the dessert which had Amarula as its base.

 

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By Nikhil Agarwal (Sommelier & Director of All Things Nice)

Rajeev Samant unveils Sula’s new range of beautifully packaged sparkling wines

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All Things Nice was invited to Sula Vineyards for a celebration that marked the rebranding of Sula’s sparklers. The new labels are cleaner and more in tune with what we would look for in a label today. Rajeev conducted a tasting of their Brut, Brut Rose and Seco speaking briefly of Sula’s history and the Indian wine market in general. The Tasting Cellar in place of Sula’s bottling room is new too. Exposed brick, warm lighting, a sprinkle of barrels and a very long tasting table makes this a winner giving us another great reason to visit the winery.

sula_brut. sula_brut_rose sula_seco