Beautiful setting by the beach,friends for company,scrumptious spread and that perfect liquid paired with all of the above..what more could I have asked for on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Organised by Ginger-claps for UB groups' Four seasons wines,the event was a small, interactive affair hosted by Novotel.
Ashu,from Ginger Claps informed me that it was all about pairing food and wine together .That was enough to arouse my interest in the event.Novotel provided that perfect setting by the sea . Event started a bit late but once it started rolling,it got better and better.The appetizers looked inviting and tasted even better.The appetizers were paired with a glass of Rose wine.A round of starters,raised toasts and lively conversation set the room buzzing with excitement.
Without much fanfare,Mr.Abhay Kewadkar, chief winemaker and expert took over the reigns of the event as we travelled with him to faraway vineyards to soak in the pleasures of growing,extracting,curing,preserving and storing wines.Keen as I was to learn more about wine pairing with food,this seemed like a perfect opportunity and I had no intentions of letting go of any of that.
I always felt rather uninformed when I was in the company of those who made a spectacle of wine appreciation each time they ordered their glass.There are two kinds of people accompanying them,one who joins the game of pretension and the other who watches in amusement or awe.I have always left the choice of drink to my guest whenever I entertain.
Mr Abhay opened his talk by saying there were no rules to be followed while serving wines.I was pleasantly surprised to see a small sigh of relief escape the lips of many in the audience.He said it was perfectly alright to enjoy wine as any other beverage along with food without attaching too much importance to it.
I had always heard of 'White goes with White and Red with Red' when it comes to wine and my knowledge began and ended at that.I wanted to know how one could pair wine with say coastal Maharashtrian food or spicy Kolhapury food ? I also wanted to know the difference between fine Indian cuisine in India and traditional regional cuisine and how well can it go with a glass of wine.Mr Abhay along with the dishy chef Ranvir obliged willingly and gave us all the answers we needed.It was only later that I found out that they have quite an informative website and if you need to know more about food and wine pairing visit here.
Next, we were part of a live,interactive cooking session with chef Ranvir at the two live stations .I tried my hand at making ravioli stuffed with Lamb mince while the other table fried veg cheese balls stuffed with Jalapeno and sun dried tomatoes served on a bed of Spinach. Piping hot food washed downed in minutes ,we soaked in some more as the host talked about his experiences in wine making.It was thrilling to know that Mr Abhay was working on book dedicated to food and wine pairing and that our two bits could be a part of the process.
The leisurely afternoon was stretched further as main course was followed by exotic looking and even better tasting desserts .They came in tiny bits easy to pick and gobble down.
As the Sun changed its position in the Sky and the evening drew closer, I began summing up in my mind and felt there was this one small thing that would have made it easier for us to know the selection of Four Seasons Wines better.Select wines could have been kept together with accompanying basic information about them for comparison and appreciation.A guided tour of sorts would have been perfect for better understanding.
Kudos to Ginger Claps for bringing it all together for bloggers .An afternoon that ended with coffee with friends mulling over the experience.
PS-I for one, will wait eagerly for the above mentioned book to launch .