India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Wine Club Dinner: Theme for a Dream at Claridges

Posted: Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:59

Wine Club Dinner: Theme for a Dream at Claridges

Delhi Wine Club dinners are mostly planned around the presence of a visiting eminent winemaker or a wine theme or simply the launch of a new upmarket restaurant which looks upon the DWC as an excellent promotional vehicle. However, for our April wine dinner (number 5/ #176) at Hoteld Claridges Delhi the theme was most unusual, writes Arun Batra.

Photos: Anurag Mehrotra

Ever since the time I attended my first Delhi Wine Club dinner at the Taipan way back in July 2004 (number #38 for those interested in chronology), Adil Arora, the son of our Club President, has been in attendance, discreetly clicking photographs which are now on the website as a library of memories of the wonderful journey our Wine Club members have had in the world of wine.

Adil was getting married in early April and Subhash who treats the Wine Club members like his extended family, decided in his typically large hearted manner, to host a Wine dinner for all the Club members – not only was it a complimentary evening but the 50% cancellation rule was also specially waived for the occasion!

With the 13th of April being Baisakhi, Subhash took time out from organizing the wedding, to build the dinner on this Northern Indian festival theme. He reasoned that not only had it been quite a while since we had Indian cuisine at our wine dinners and also since only a handful of members drink wine with Indian food at home, it would be a great opportunity for us to reacquaint ourselves with the sensory perceptions of pairing Italian wines with a good robust Butter Chicken.

With this in mind, what better venue than the popular Dhaba at the Claridges – one of the few restaurants in a 5-star hotel that has been around ever since I can remember – and also the ones not to have hopped on to the identity or name change wagon? The decor at the Dhaba is indeed very rustic and adds a very major touch of realism of a highway eatery with its charpais and the front end of a Tata truck adorning a wall. Unfortunately due to our numbers being too large to accommodate at the Dhaba, we had to shift the location to the larger Vice-regal Room. This meant a lot of extra last minute running around for Kumud Singh, the F& B manager, to try and recreate the Dhaba atmosphere – a task he managed admirably well.

So whilst we admired the décor, we sipped on the Zonin Prosecco DOC – a straw coloured sparkling wine with a good balance between dryness and sweetness with a tinge of apple and lemon on the tongue. Very simple though not rustic, this is an excellent easy drinking aperitif which handled the barbeque masalas on the chicken, paneer and cauliflower pretty well though the excellent seekh kababs might have done better with a red.

After welcoming and congratulating Adil and his new bride Pratibha in the foyer, we moved into the Vice-regal room for dinner –though this time the wines for the dinner were already pre-poured when we took our seats -a change brought about more for logistical reasons but it all worked out in our favour in the end as the wines had a chance to breathe for at least half an hour in the glass.

As a result, the wines which were in the range of about 8-12 Euros, definitely tasted well above their price point perceptions. The only downside was that with the wineglasses being identical and no labelling, the two reds being very close in the looks department caused some concern amongst lots of our members who didn’t know which one was which!

The food delivery format was a thali –just right for this kind of cuisine and with the wines already pre-poured on the table, one was able to mix and match the wines with the food. Having heard so much about the Balti Meat - their signature Dhaba dish – I decided to have it first with the Colle Malvano Rosso Piceno 2008 – a full bodied robust red which did excellent justice to the meat. This wine comes from Rosso Piceno - a wine appellation in the central part of the Marche region of Italy just south of Ancona, which  must have a minimum of 60%  Sangiovese with Montepulciano making up the balance.

Though with a deep red colour, the Templi Nero d'Avola IGT2008 from Sicily, the second red wine in the other glass, had a soft and delicate structure and managed the creamy Butter Chicken admirably with its fruitiness. This wine definitely boxed above its weight and I have a hunch that the “airing” of the wines received was definitely responsible.

The white wine, Le Vele Verdicchio dei Colli di Jesi 2008, I found paired very well with vegetarian items on the menu – the bhaigan bharta and the spinach curry –good news for those vegetarians who like both their food and their wines. This is a 100% Verdicchio grape, has a brief fruity nose was well balance and has a just that hint of crispness to make it a refreshing drink.

With a thali one somehow tends to stuff one’s self to the gills, but Executive Chef Neeraj Tyagi was on hand to tempt our members with the calorie accumulating Malpua and Rabri, which in the spirit of experimentation that evening, I tried with the remnants of the Prosecco which I believe is a very versatile drink and would probably be my first choice to go with Indian food.

After such an enjoyable evening, it was indeed disappointing to learn that Subhash Arora has no more progeny waiting in the wings – so no more free dinners and its back to the 50% cancellation rule from next time.

Chak De!!

Arun Batra is a Delhi based food and wine enthusiast and a longtime member of the Delhi Wine Club




Sameer Gandhi Says:

Dear Mr.Arora, Congratulation for the event, i know it is great pleasure to have a success Wine Dinner and especially when I have enjoyed this privilege of hosting and driving the show. With warm regards, Sameer.

Posted @ April 23, 2011 12:07


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet