Wine and Culinary Tours in Mumbai
The Frankfurt International Wine Competition
Sommelier Nikhil Agarwal judges at The Frankfurt International Wine Competition 2017. Nikhil attended The Frankfurt International Wine Trophy which is an international wine competition where he was invited to be one of the judges on the jury. Other judges included famous sommeliers and wine experts. The trophy is credible, well-known and ISO 9001 certified. Winning wines are awarded the prestigious Frankfurt’s Grand Gold Medal. The competition took place on 9 April 2017 in the Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten, located in the heart of the city of Frankfurt.
Do’s and Don’ts of Drinking Wine
The first do when drinking wine is that you don’t need to worry about saying the right thing or perceiving the aromas and flavours as anyone else does. Wine is wonderfully subjective and your appreciation of it depends on the time of day, how much wine you drink, what you usually eat or drink, your mood and of course most importantly your own preferences. Do trust your own instincts and form your own opinions.
The wine world comes across intimidating at times but it really isn’t and once you get into it you will find that it is not that complicated either.
A couple of things you should do. Ensure your wine is at the right temperature. Too cold and you will not be able to taste or smell all the aromas and flavours, if too warm the wine will come across flabby and flat. Ideally wine should be drunk at 11 degrees Celsius for whites, 6 degrees Celsius for sparkling and sweet wines and 16 to 18 Degrees Celsius for reds.
Do drink your wines in the right glassware. The shape, size and thickness of the glass all matter and also of course the cleanliness of the glass. If you’re going to pursue discovering wine, I would recommend spending a little money on good glassware. Incorrect glassware can destroy even the best of wines. If in your trip on discovery road you intend building a collection at home it would be wise to buy a wine fridge to store your wines at the right temperature. Do not keep your wines at the back of your cupboard where they can be subjected to 40-degree heat.
Do allow some reds wines to breathe. Open the bottle and keep it open for some time depending on the wine you are about to have or pour the bottle into a decanter to speedup the process. You could also simply rotate the wine in your glass to enhance its offerings to you. Wine opens up as it comes into contact with air and releases otherwise hidden aromas.
Please do experiment with our local cuisines and cuisines from all over the world with wine. We have some of the greatest culinary traditions on the planet and not drinking wine with our food is a shame.
Do experiment, get a bunch of people together and constantly try new wines. The world of wine is very large with many countries, regions and grape varieties producing a plethora of styles for you to discover.
We even have a wine-growing region in our very own backyard – Nasik/Akluj/Nandi Hills to name a few and you will find that there is great quality being produced here itself.
Do not put ice in your wine, do not fill it all the way to the top and please do hold the wine by the stem of the glass and of course don’t be disappointed if the wine you have bought is not to your liking. Move on and do try the next.
Written by -Nikhil Agarwal
Sommelier & CEO, All Things Nice
Walk around tasting with Corte Giara Allegrini Soave 2012, Il Poggione Brunello Di Montalcino, Marchesi Di Barolo Gavi Di Gavi 2014, Pighin Pinot Grigio D.O.C. 2015, Querciabella Camartina 2010, Réserve Mouton Cadet Sauternes 2012, Marchesi Antinori Tignanello 2013, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label NV, Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2011, Zonin Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG 2012 at Chambers at Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai.
Martell, the oldest of the great cognac houses hosted ART D’ ARTISAN, a fine evening for the crème de la crème of Chennai at ITC Grand Chola where Martell celebrated its 300 year old legacy of craftsmanship through art, gastronomy and conversations.. Cognac enthusiasts came together to celebrate the evolution of Martell Cognac through this finely curated evening.
Focusing purely on French elegance and style, the evening witnessed chosen installations crafted by Jean Francois Lessage, scion of the legendary couture embroidery family, where the art pieces reflected the dimensions of curiosity. Just like the brand Martell, his designs have today become a paradigm of French artistry.
Moreover, showcasing Martell’s passion for gastronomy, the evening turned each moment into a gastronomical pleasure where all the guests came together under one roof to indulge in sumptuous combinations of international and Indian cuisine. Sommelier, Nikhil Agarwal, paired these combinations with the luxury of different blends of Martell Cognac. In the first course, Nikhil and Jean Francois Lessage himself, spoke of the artistry of the French 19th century, the Martell founder’s craftsmanship and Jean Francois’ artwork. Also, being the first luxury liquor brand to collaborate contemporary art with gastronomy, Nikhil shared his thoughts on the concept of the 19th century French artistry along with Martell’s art of distillation while the guests enjoyed Martell VS served with the chef’s choice of appetizers.
In the second course, guests were served molecular fare as Nikhil and Anil Thadani, General Manager, ITC Grand Chola, spoke about Martell’s passion of gastronomy. The element of curiosity was also brought alive by the chef through the use of unique ingredients and innovative presentation of the food while the guests indulged in a pairing of the main course with Martell VSOP.
The evening culminated over an indulgent pairing of the Martell XO where the complimenting notes of XO and desserts were savored over a riveting rendezvous with S. Muthiah, a renowned historian, as he spoke about the French way of life, literature, art and the cultural exchanges between India and France, creating a sensorial experience.
Living up to its rich legacy with French elegance, ART D’ ARTISAN brought alive a prefect amalgamation of Art, Gastronomy & Conversations, for its discerning epicureans.
MOUTON CADET RÉSERVE SAUTERNES 2012, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
GRAPE VARIETY: 75% Sémillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc & 2% Muscadelle
TASTING NOTES: Bright gold in color. The nose opens on yellow fruit (peach, mirabelle), then goes on with airing to develop an attractive aromatic complexity on notes of bergamot, gentle spice and quince.
From a powerful, refined attack, the wine expresses crystallised quince and mirabelle jam flavours enhanced with a fresh touch of bergamot. On the finish, the wine’s sweetness and power bring a balance typical of Sauternes.
QUERCIABELLA CAMARTINA 2010, TOSCANA IGT, ITALY
GRAPE VARIETY: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon & 30% Sangiovese
TASTING NOTES: This elegantly structured wine opens with aromas of ripe black fruit, cedar, leather and a whiff of exotic spice. The firm palate delivers ripe black cherry, plum, coffee, grilled herb and ground clove alongside firm but polished tannins.