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Delhi Wine Club
Go Spanish with your Valentine at Hyatt Delhi

Posted: Monday, 14 February 2011 10:45

Go Spanish with your Valentine at Hyatt Delhi

There is no better way to promote wines than matching with the cuisine prepared by renowned international chefs and this is what Torres did at the Hyatt Regency Café where Chef Sergio of the family-owned restaurant near the winery in Penedes, has been crafting Spanish dishes matched with wines, making it a unique choice for romantics celebrating Valentine Day, writes Subhash Arora .

During my stopover at Barcelona on my way back from Jerez in southern Spain last May, I visited the Torres winery near a small town called Villafranca in Penedes, barely 40 minutes' drive from the Barcelona airport, to interview the Torres girl- Mireia. After the winery visit, I was driven to an old historical farmhouse, about 10 minute drive from the winery for the interview. It had a quaint little restaurant called Mas Rabell where I had lunch specially  prepared by Chef Sergio after I tasted over a dozen wines and before I interviewed her. The exclusive lunch and the chat left me mesmerized for days.

Therefore, when I learnt that there was the Spanish Food and Wine Fest being organised at the Café Experience, the 24-hour coffee shop at the Hyatt Regency Delhi, known for such varied cuisine specials, I could not resist the invitation to meet him once again and taste his Catalonian cuisine at a foreign venue where it is often more challenging to display one’s culinary skills.

When eating out at a restaurant, one cannot afford to order too many different or expensive wines. The Mas Rabell- red and white wines pass muster on many counts as the ordered duo. Not only are they inexpensive, they are also on-trade wines, sold only in restaurants. Thus, the MRP and hence the excise duty which is at 30% of MRP is lower. The lower cost to the hotel means that they can sell at lower prices, making it a fabulous value-for-money proposition and Valentine’s Day or not, anyone can indulge in a bottle of each at the dinner table.

The Menu for the promotion is rather elaborate with soup, Tapas and the Main Course. At Rs.2100++ a person with a glass of Torres wine sounds like a great experience, even for persons unwilling to be adventurous. All Torres wines are supposedly at promotional prices though I did not find a noticeable difference. Mas Rabell white is made basically from the cava grape Parellada blended with a small quantity of Chardonnay, giving it body and some complex flavours like that of green apples. The red was also a DO Catalunya wine made from Garnacha (Grenache) and Carinyena (Carignan), making it spicy and fruity with soft tannins.  

It is a matter of concern that the standard glass measure at the Hyatt seems to have inched up to 190 mL-based on 4 glasses to a bottle, the complimentary glass notwithstanding. This could set off a dangerous trend. With the standard in the industry being already 150mL (5glasses to a bottle), one should be going to 125 mL a glass (6 glasses to a bottle). Pricing them naturally lower accordingly, a person can order 2 glasses which are healthy and offering a choice of two differnt wines for the consumer. But with this size, the customer is limited to a glass during the meal or overstretches his budget or the liver with 2 glasses- making the intake of over half a bottle per person.

The festival has been ongoing from Feb7 and will be on till February 15. One hopes that the hotel will pick up ideas from Chef Sergio and include some of his signature dishes to be served as Tapas in the Menu- even if terming it as Tapas Platter- or even Torres Tapas Platter, with a glass each of Mas Rabell thrown in at special prices in conjunction with Prestige Wines, the importers of one of the strongest global brands from Europe and certainly a top contender from Spain; it would be a great way of promoting not only wines to the Hyatt’s clients but also adding a touch of Spain to their Café menu.

Subhash Arora

For interview with Mireia Torres at Mas Rabel, the Torres Estate Restaurant, click


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