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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Cigar Lounge at Artisan, Sofitel Mumbai BKC; sofitel-mumbai-bkc.com
- Cigar Lounge at Luna, The St. Regis Mumbai; stregismumbai.com/luna
- Kastros – House of Cigars; kastros.com
- Rubicon Bar and Cigar Lounge, The Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel and Residences; theleela.com
- The Cheroot, Malt and Cigar Lounge, ITC Grand Chola, Chennai; itchotels.in
- 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.
- Romeo y julieta; romeoyjulietacigars.
- Montecristo; montecristo.com
- Partagas; partagas.com
- Cohiba; cohiba.com