Category Archives: Media Articles

Classic Malt Social at Palladium

Classic Malt Social at Palladium
All Things Nice and Palladium Mumbai hosted The Classic Malts Selection Social in association with Classic Malts Selection and UpperCrust India. Guests enjoyed the Talisker, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila, Dalwhinnie and Johnnie Walker Green Label in the company of Whiskey Expert Nikhil Agarwal.
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Sommelier India – Celebrating India’s Finest with All Things Nice, 2018

Sommelier India  – Celebrating India’s Finest with All Things Nice, 2018
All Things Nice hosted the 6th edition of ‘Celebrating India’s Finest’, an evening recognizing winners of the “Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards’ held in January 2018, presented by HT 48 hours, Hafele and Living Foodz in association with Lucaris Crystal Glassware and Cathay Pacific Airlines. It was hosted at the Hafele Design Centre SOBO on Friday, the 13th of April 2018.

Wineries showcased their winning wines along with their entire portfolio and there was a free flow of all styles of wine produced in India, from full-bodied reds to fruity whites and dessert wines.

Blackbook – SUBMIT- An evening of Art, food and single malts at the Masque

Blackbook  – SUBMIT- An evening of Art, food and single malts at the Masque, Mumbai on 26th April, 2018
Organized by All Things Nice, the evening, in association with the Classic Malts of Scotland and BlackBook, India’s Luxury Insider, will showcase a selection of art by Lekha Washington, Artist, Dalip Tahil and Parhad Goghawala paired with a carefully curated 5 course dinner by Chef Prateek Sadhu of Masque and complimented by Classic Malts of Scotland in the company of Whiskey Expert Nikhil Agarwal.
This unique dining concept is designed to immerse all one’s senses at a superbly crafted culinary experience paired with a fine collection of art and extraordinary malts from the Classic Malts of Scotland.

Single malt and food are art forms and with SUBMIT guests are asked to submit their senses to the evening as premium single malts and an elaborate menu are paired with a collection of art, music and poetry. The malts on the menu include Talisker 10 YO, Glenkinchie 12 YO, Dalwhinnie 15 YO, Cragganmore 12 YO, Caol Ila 12 YO and Lagavulin 16 YO. The evening promises to be a completely unique sensory experience and comes with a surprise element with every course.

Hospitality Biz – All Things Nice acknowledges India’s best wines at IWCCA 2018

Hospitality Biz – All Things Nice acknowledges India’s best wines at IWCCA 2018.
 
All Things Nice, a Wine & Spirits Consultancy, acknowledged the best wines selected by the consumers, at the Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards 2018 (IWCCA) held at the  Hafele Design Centre SOBO in Mumbai recently. The 6th annual edition of awards was presented by HT Cafe, Hafele and Living Foodz in association with Lucaris Crystal Glassware and Cathay Pacific Airlines.

The best wines in categories of Gold, Silver and Bronze  were selected through a process of blind tasting of over 120  different varieties by 105 selected wine consumers from India, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Australia, UK, France, Italy, etc. through a four-hour process held earlier this year in Mumbai.

The gold winners at IWCCA 2018 were Big Banyan Bellisima NV, Big Banyan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Casablanca Vino Spumante NV, Charosa Reserve Tempranillo 2015, Four Seasons Classic Chenin Blanc 2017, Good Earth Antaraa NV, Grovers Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz 2017, Grovers Chêne 2015, KRSMA Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Oakwood Reisha Shiraz 2015, SDU Reserva Syrah 2013, SDU Deva Chardonnay NV, Sula Riesling 2017, Sula Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Sula Zinfandel Rosé 2017, Syonaa Shiraz NV, Vallonné Merlot Reserve 2014 and Vallonné Viognier Reserve 2017

FnBnews.com – Celebrating India’s Finest

FnBnews.com   – Celebrating India’s Finest
Celebrating India’s Finest’s sixth essay recognises Indian wine awardees | All Things Nice hosted the sixth edition of Celebrating India’s Finest, an event where the winners of the Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards (IWCCA), held earlier this year, were recognised.
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Society Magazine – That’s the Spirit, Austria – By Nikhil Agarwal

Society Magazine  –  That’s the Spirit, Austria  – By Nikhil Agarwal

Vienna is the only capital city in Europe to have vineyards. This means it is incredibly easy to get a serious dose of Austrian wine culture and not have to travel far to get it.  I’ve been to Austria specifically twice and driven through it to go from Germany to Italy and back a number of times making brief stops in Innsbruck and the Alps. The first time I went as a back packer, I  ate chips for breakfast lunch and dinner and drank copius amounts of Guinness in the evenings. I stayed in a hostel, walked around the capital city and even managed to get the cheapest ticket to a show at the stunning Vienna Opera House where Shri Pandit Ravi Shankar played with his daughter Anushka.

Almost 18 years later I was invited by the good people at Vinexpo and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board for a quick 3 day introduction to 90 wine producers and their wines for a newly program launched program called Vinexpo Traveler.  While i have been familiar with Austrian wine for sometime, well atleast I thought, this trip opened my eyes to the depth of the quality and range that they produce, the regions and their diversity. As part of the activities, a grand blind tasting pegging Austrian wines against some pretty serious wines from across the globe was an enlightening experience and enough to convince you that Austrian wine is truly world class.

Unfortunately India doesn’t see too much Austrian wine besides a few random Gruner Veltliners and a Pinot Noir or two but I’m confident that as we go along more Indian consumer’s will develop a thirst for them. In India, wines from Schloss Gobelsburg, Heinrich and Jurtschitsch are making in roads. It is a pleasure to see people like Michael Moorsbrugger of Schloss Gobelsburg investing time and energy on creating demand for Austrian wine in India where the quanitities being imported cannot be exciting. Also Willi Klinger, CEO of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board and his fantastic team for bringing the world to experience Austrian wine.

Griuner Veltliner is indigineuos to Austria and is responsible for putting them on the global wine map. Other local grape varieites include  Zwiegelt and Braufrankisch which produce red wines. The wines however are not limited to these local grapes. Austria produces world class Riesling and also  international grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. They offer it all – whites, reds, sparkling and dessert wines. If you have not tried Austrian wine till now, it would be wise to give it a shot. This is by no means a new phenomenon, they have been producing quality wines for a long time, it’s just that we haven’t noticed.

Since Austrian wine can be diverse, to pair their wines from cuisines from any part of the world is easy.  Gruner Veltliner with its  acidity is perfect to start off your evening with as an aperitif or can go just as fine with food. I thinks it’s a great match for Chinese stir fried dishes, sushi, or even something as simple as a daal fry and roomali roti. Zwiegelt has gentle tannins and does well with roast chicken for example. Blaufrankisch is more full bodied with stronger tannins giving the requirement of something more substantial to go along with it, Indian kebabs come to mind.

Climatically the eastern part of Austria is best suited to making wine and it is here that you will find some of the more famous wine regions.  The area known as Niederrosterreich includes top sites such as Kremstal, Kamptal, Wachau, and Wagram to name a few. The other regions namely Burgenland, they do great reds here, Steiermark, Vienna all cntribute to Austria’s wine production but are not alone, wine is produced in other parts of Austria too. The Austrians do like their wine and a signfificant part of the wines made in Austria is consumed locally and the balance exported to all corners of the world in increasing numbers.

My first impression of Vienna when I got there years ago the first time still stands today. Vienna is uber grand and clearly very rich with per capita incomes being some of the highest in the world.  They do love their coffee, I would recommend going to a  coffee house and sipping on a hot cup of coffee and eating their delicous Apple Strudel.  This pairing is typically Austrian and is fantastic. I also think that Austria does otstanding desserts and if you have a sweet tooth, you cannot go wrong here.

Cullinary wise the most famous local speciality would have to be Schnitzel, veal/chicken/pork covered in bread crukbs and fried served with cabbage salad.  Meat that’s fried, how perfect. I was surpirsed to see how much I liked cabbage salad. Of course no trip to Austria would be complete without a sip of schnapps, their national spirit which is brandy made from fruit.

In Vienna a couple of must visit places include the Schonbrunn Palace, a lovely place to sit and drink coffee and watch the grandness of this palace. Also the Hofburg in the centre of Vienna & Belvedere Palace is a must see. If you can, do take in a show at the Royal Opera House, it will astonish you. If you’re into architecture, walking around the first dristrict and ringstrasse will keep you in wonder.

Wine tourism in Austria is picking up and the vineyards in the city make it super easy. Or you  could rent a car and drive around to visit some of the winerie. From my last visit a few wineries really got my interest and if you get a chance it be good to give them a visit. Domane Wachau, Topf Johann, Sepp Moser, Nigl, Lenz Moser,  are some of the producers that come to my mind in terms of quality but there are many more including the wines I mentioned earlier.

To finish, there is enough beauty, wine and food to keep you well engaged if you decide to go there purely for a wine and food experience. If Austria isnt on your list of must go places then like their wines I urge you to give it a try.

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Celebrating India’s Finest 2018

Celebrating India’s Finest 2018
All Things Nice hosted the 6th edition of ‘Celebrating India’s Finest’, an evening recognizing winners of the ‘Indian Wine Consumer Choice Awards’ held in January this year. Celebrating India’s Finest, presented by HT 48 Hours, Hafele and Living Foodz in association with Lucaris Crystal Glassware and Cathay Pacific Airlines was hosted at the  Hafele Design Centre SOBO. Delectable hors d’oeuvres carefully curated by Eat Drink Design and paired with the wide selection of wine completed the indulgent experience. Guests also enjoyed a fine selection of Pascati Chocolates with the wines. Participating wineries included Casablanca, Charosa Wineries, Four Seasons Wines, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Oakwood Vineyards, Reveilo Wines, Soma Vineyards, Sula Vineyards, Syonaa Wines and The Daily Dose.
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Business Traveller – Plush Puffs

Business Traveller –  Plush Puffs

Cigar smoking is still a new concept to most Indians. Here is a breakdown of how to enjoy a good quality roll by Nikhil Agarwal. 

Once a month, cigar enthusiasts of the members-only Bombay Cigar Club gather to enjoy a fine collection of cigars, paired with alcohol. Each month the group of roughly 150-200 gets together to network, share news on the cigars on the market or simply attend to unwind. Another is by-invitation-only, The Cigar Club in Bengaluru that meets at least once a week for the same purposes as the one in Mumbai. These are just examples of such closed groups in India; there are several others catering to small groups of like-minded people. It is a common practice in Delhi for importers of cigars to host high profile events with luxury cigar brands promoting themselves in India. Mumbai-based All Things Nice, a wine and spirits consultancy and events firm too has hosted its fair share of events for with a focus on cigars.
Cigars in India is still a niche market, yet a growing trend. In January,  The Hindu Business Line reported that about five lakh cigars are bought and sold in India each year, at a market growth rate of 20 per cent per annum. I have observed more curiosity around cigars in recent times than let’s say five years ago. The advent of clubs, lounges and retail stores in the country is testament to this. There is easy availability of cigars, there are cigarenthusiasts, and as time goes on, more people with higher disposable incomes will be drawn to cigars like wine. Plus the old adage of it being limited to sweater-clad men in front of a fireplace is no longer relevant. At some of our events I have had sari-clad women lighting up a cigar with practiced ease, and puffing away on what they rightly recognise as a good blend.
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Cigar Lounges in India
Not Cuban 
Contrary to what most believe, Cuba is not where smoking tobacco leaves was first discovered. When Native Americans offered Christopher Columbus dried tobacco to smoke, he realised there was a bigger market for it across the seven seas. Where the first cigar was actually discovered, remains a mystery where the. Having said that, Cuba continues to be the land known for producing the best quality cigars, which is not surprisingly also its prized commodity for exports. This is perhaps because the Caribbean island nation’s soil is most suitable to cultivate all types of leaves for the making of cigars — tobacco, wrapper, filler and binder.
I like that cigars are all natural products and that no chemicals have been in contact with them — at least for those of premium quality.
Does size matter? 
No. The real flavour of a cigar lies in the elements that go into rolling one or what is known in cigar terms as the “blend” — wrapper, leaves used to “bind” the tobacco together, and the concentration of tobacco within the stick. So whether it is thick or thin, long or short, each cigar shape demands a different blend, which ultimately determines the taste of the cigar. Having said that, there is no “best” shape to experience the cigar’s flavours — it really depends on what is enjoyable to you. But if you’re new to cigars, I would suggest corona to begin with because it’s not too thick nor thin.
Here are some common sizes you may have heard from cigar smokers — there are many more apart from these basic ones. Before I continue, you must understand that a measurement of one inch is equivalent to a ring gauge of 64.
  • Churchill: seven inches with a ring gauge of 47.
  • Corona: 5.5- to six inches with a ring gauge of 42 to 44.
  • Petite Corona: 4.5 inches with a ring gauge of 40 to 42.
  • Robusta: 4.75 to 5.5 inches with a ring gauge of 48 to 52.
And all that jazz
The next step is knowing the paraphernalia that goes with cigars. I’d invest in a small (or big) humidor depending on how much I want to stock. There is no point in buying a box of cigars and keeping them in  the cupboard, only to have them to have lose some of their properties. A humidor helps maintain the humidity level and temperature of the leaves that hold the cigar together while imparting taste to it.
cigar cutter is a must to snip one end of the stick from where you puff. Some of my friends do the whole bite and peal off bit, which is totally fine if you have had practice, otherwise you will just destroy a good cigar. To light that fellow up you’re going to need a butane lighter or a box of long non-sulfur-tipped matches. Fluids form a regular lighter and sulphur from regular matches have chemicals that are easily transmitted to the cigar when lit, thus interfering in the purity of its flavour.
Lighting your cigar is an art too. Hold the cigar at a 45-degree angle over the flame, while rotating it such that the foot catches fire while you puff on the other end. Be patient; make sure the edges are lit first and then the central area so that the filler, wrapper and binder are all evenly lit. You would not want one half of the cigar’s foot burning and the other not. Lighting the unlit part later is going to be a messy affair, and destroy the quality of your smoke.
Two to tango 
A good cigar usually has earthy flavours, that of the soil from where its leaves have grown. While the possibilities on how it can be paired and with what is endless, I’ve narrowed it down to some of my favourites. I like contrasting the flavours of my cigar with my drink, so I either go with aged rum or whiskies that have been aged in sherry or bourbon casks. They tend to offer a certain sweetness in contrast to the cigar’s taste. When pairing with cognac, I opt for Rémy Martin VSOP, and when it comes to pairing with wines, I go with the reds that are tannic and suit my cigar and me just fine. Port wine is another nice pairing; I in fact like dipping the end of my cigar and then drawing in. The pull gives you a mix of delicious tobacco smoke combined with the sweetness of the port wine.
Making the choice 
The more aged the cigar the better and more luxurious is its taste. I do like the cigars from the Indian-origin brand now produced in the Dominican Republic, Gurkha (gurkhacigars.com). It has leaves that have been infused with cognac, rum and bourbon. One of my favourites is the Gurkha Grand Reserve, infused with cognac by Louis XIII by Rémy Martin. Wrapped in a “silky five-year Connecticut wrapper with an aged three-year binder and filler,” it is also the brand’s flagship cigar, a box of which sells for upwards of approximately US$10,000. I’ll take two please and send the bill to the fellow over there. But the luxury of it doesn’t stop here. At Gurkha, you can even choose your own leaf for the wrapper that makes up 60 to 70 per cent of the cigar’s taste, and have them rolled as per the size and shape you prefer. It’s a very expensive affair because you need to schedule an appointment with them where you’re flown down on a private jet, and have an assigned “helper” take you through the leaves and tobacco that lead to the rolling.
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Other premium cigar brands
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Cigar brands by Indians

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