Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Wednesday Wine O Clock at The Taj Bengal

   If the whole universe is in a glass of wine….I’ll take two.

    When I walked into Junction, Taj Bengal, a few minutes past 6:30 last Wednesday, the hotel’s General Manager, K Mohanachandran was deep in discussion with a journalist. I was there to attend the inaugural evening of the Wednesday Wine O Clock and it was no surprise that the discussion was about…well wine. But it was a curious bit of information that I walked in upon. It seems a research concluded in the UK has inferred that Wednesday was the day when most people (in the UK) cracked open a bottle of wine after a three-workaday-dry-spell. And that t precisely at 6:55 in the evening. (Read a report on the research here).

      I expressed my amusement, parked myself in a comfy chair, browsed through the selection of wine on offer and settled for a Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Semilion, a medium bodied Australian White Wine with lovely citrus notes, I rather love. By the way 36 per cent Brits who prefer white wine on Wednesday’s wine-o-clock. Yes the study says that too. 36 % choose white, 37% red, 20% go for a Rose and 6 % opt for sparkling wine! For me the experience of drinking wine begins with soft gurgle of wine being poured into the glass, the wine was poured and I soft golden liquid shimmered invitingly , but I didn’t touch it, not yet. I checked, it was 6:52 by my watch.  Another three minutes I said, and just at the clock struck 6:55 I took my first sip. I am crazy that way. Ah no I didn’t hear invisible bells toll somewhere, but the Chardonnay Semillon surely did its trick. Chardonnay is arguably the most popular grape in the world and my absolute favourite.'
       So,  Taj Bengal’s Wednesday Wine O Clock is an attempt to bring the city’s wine lovers an eclectic selection of wines served by the glass. On offer is an impressive rage of 25 different types of wines – sparkling, red and white, from across the globe, from India to Chile and Spain to Australia. The selection will be altered and updated from time to time. But yes the number 25 is fixed, you see 25 here has a special connotation. Taj Bengal celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year and Wednesday Wine O Clock is part of the grand celebrations and will continue till October.

          The assortment showcases a good balance between Indian and international wines. So, there is Torres San Medin and Tarapaca Vina from Chile, Oxford Landing and Jacob's Creek from Australia, Pouilly-Fuisse from France and also Sula, Fratelli and Nine Hills from India among the 25 options. And the idea of wine by the glass makes it affordable.

I pondered over the GH Mumm Cordon Rouge, (Rings a bell? Think Formula1) but finally declined the bubbly for a glass of Soave Allergrini DOC “Corte Giar” Pagus, Garganega. Garganega is  by the way are a kind of grapes grown on the slopes the Veneto wine region of North Eastern Italy. A supple fruity white wine that has made to my favourites list right away. 

My last pick for the evening was a Red. I am not too fond of Red wine. Did I mention that before, but I simply wanted to try the Ebeia Riberia Del Duero DOC made from Tempranillo grapes grown in Ribera del Duero, an important wine region in Northern Spain, One because Vinod Pandey, F&B Manager, Taj Bengal, vouched for it. Two, I have a soft spot for all things Spainish. Except may be the bull fights. For a red wine it is delightful, medium supple, the tannin fine and lingers on your palate for quite a bit. I wished there was a Rose on the wine list for the day though. 

With the wine you could order for a cheese platter. Pocket pinch: Rs 250

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