Tag Archives: wine and food

Mid Day -The city – sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mid Day  -The city – sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce. From Spain, with love.
Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy, whom Gordon Ramsay once called the Antonio Banderas of cooking, is headed to India to present contemporary Spanish cuisine.

Article by Nikhil Agarwal for Restaurant Week India Magazine

Folks I’m going to keep this simple. Wine isn’t rocket science, in fact nothing is rocket science except of course rocket science itself.

To begin your path to vinous discovery you must taste in order to choose wines effectively. Sounds like fun? It is. Feel free; take a sip from the glass of the fellow on the next table if you must. The more you taste the better. Build a memory bank of wine flavours. The more you taste the more you will understand the differences between grape varieties, regions and most importantly the style of wine that you like and don’t like.

To make it easy some restaurant wine lists have the tasting notes of the wine mentioned below the wine, if it sounds appealing to you, go for it. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for some advise, this however I must caution you only works in select places, like the ones I consult for example. The tasting note on the back of a bottle will give you a lot of information as well incase your buying from a retail store.

Sure you’ll pick a few duds in the process but it will only make you enjoy the good ones more and I predict if you give yourself enough time you’ll be picking winners every time, making you the pride of your family and joy of your town.

Wine and food when paired correctly is a match made in heaven. But don’t get too wrapped up in the technicality of it all, just have fun with it. Keep in mind the weight, texture and flavours including sweetness and acidity of the food and find a wine with characteristics that matches them or in some cases you could also try contrasting them.

Experiment, you’ll get it in no time. In fact, because there are just so many styles of wine you could find a style of wine for pretty much any kind of food out there.

Ever tried a Vada Pao with that deadly red masala with a Chardonnay aged in American oak? No ? Well neither have I but it could be fun to try!

Indian wine can offer more value than an imported counter part but all in all it’s still relatively expensive to drink wine in India. It’s expensive because the duties on wine are very high, some of the highest in the world. Expensive because of high margins applied by hotels and restaurants and ridiculous demands from retail outlets. Also sometimes because importers and producers think they can charge a higher value and get away with it. Last but not least the truestest reason for high prices is because there is more demand than the producers and importers of wine in India can supply……..well not really but even Sommeliers have dreams !

Nikhil Agarwal- Sommelier and Director at All Things Nice – www.allthingnice.in

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.


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


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


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


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.




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

All Things Nice in Absolute India

Absolute India features the return of wine week in its third edition by All Things Nice.

The aim is to bring together the consumer and brands that deserve recognition through superior events and training programs on all things nice ranging from wines, craft beers, cognacs and single malts to cheese, charcuterie, chocolates, teas, coffees and really fine cigars.

Absolute India 21st Feb 2014 Section - Lifestyle