Oct 11: Sonal Holland MW believes in gaining and rendering wine education and therefore organized three wine Masterclasses this year, on the day of the Award evening at India Wine Awards organized at the Ballroom of the Hotel Leela, in Mumbai. Sheetal Kadam who attended all three, reports
She believed that Investment done in gaining knowledge always pays back good returns. And thus began the journey through Italy in the first Masterclass.‘The Extraordinary Italian Taste’ was followed by ‘Varietal Tasting- Focus on Chardonnay’ by Alex De Cata, DipWSET, WSET Certified Educator (Business Development Manager – Middle East, Africa and India). The last one was again by Sonal who is a brand ambassador for Lucaris, the leading glass maker of Asia in India and took us through ‘A journey of the senses- The glass and the Palate’.
The tasting rooms were overflowing with professionals from hospitality industry, writers, journalists, educators, marketers, promoters, importers and wine enthusiasts.
Extra-ordinary Taste of Italy
Italy as a wine region is full of diversities in grape varieties, variation in the climate due to altitudes and surrounding sea, vividity in the soil and terroir, huge range of gourmet foods. Sonal described as “Northern Italy has moderate short dry- climate, higher altitudes allow the grapes to develop the disease resistance. The altitudinal cool breeze bestows the freshness in the white wine. The diurnal climate prominently influences the wine making style in this region.”
In the flight of six Italian wines, to start with we tasted Carpene Malvolti Prosecco Brut DOC, off-dry, medium in flavor intensity, fresh high in acidity with citrus fruit and floral aromas, hint of minerals. This wine was youthful but didn’t express any secondary or autolytic flavors. In fact, more generous on fresh fruits.
The Ferrari Brut was a dry wine, zingy medium bodied, well balanced wine rich in flavors, a bit of complexity on nose, autolytic and floral characters were prominently felt on the palate. Ms Holland commented, “Ferrari is compared with the best of champagnes.”
Soave is generally youthful, unoaked and fresh but the Zenato Soave Classico DOC when tasted hinted a bit of secondary flavors hinting thi was a bit oaked. Perfect balance of acidity and pronounced flavors. Ms Holland commented on the wine to be “full bodied, textured, stunner soave. The hint of stone fruit flavors in this wine indicates, the wine must have experienced a bit of sunshine in the cool climate. This is definitely an outstanding wine.”
The Santa Margherita Valdadige Pinot Grigio, was lighter and youthful with a bit of grassy herbaceous notes. This wine comes from altitudes of Alto Adige, the freshness of the wine is clear indication of the cool breeze.
To complete the Italian wine flight here comes the Natale Verga Barolo, made of Nebbiolo. Medium flavor intensity wine with garnet ring and high on alcohol. “This is traditional wine making style Barolo with lot of nuttiness, this wine is slowly allowed to ferment at the higher altitudes, adding a bit of herbaceous flavor character to this kind of Barolo. Also, this wine must be from southward facing vineyard, experiencing good amount of sunshine, hence it can be a high priced premium wine” explains Sonal.
Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella DOC Superiore was high on alchohol, spicy toasty slightly similar to Amarone. Flavors like prunes, dark cherries, berries, almonds, chocolates were prominent. Full bodied wine with mature or rounded tannins. “can be perfectly paired with dark chocolate, cheesy truffle pasta or ravioli” says Sonal.
Focus on Chardonnay
Second Masterclass on Chardonnay was taken over by Alex de Cata on Chardonnay wines. Chardonnay widely adaptable international white grape variety, was showcased in the flight of four wines. Chardonnay from Chile, Meursault Burgundy , Chablis from French grand cru were tasted and discussed out on the basis of similarities and individual unique wine style.
Alex de Cata made it very clear and explained the wines to be judged if the wines had ‘BLIC’ Balance between the flavors, alchohol and acidity, Length of finish, Intensity of flavors, Complexity of the wine and overall mouth feel of the wine.
Lucaris makes wine
Masterclass on wine glassware was again conducted by Ms Holland, brand ambassador of Lucaris. While explaining the importance of glass in the wine serving she stated “Clothes make man and the glassware makes wine”
Carpene Malvoti Prosecco DOC was served in the Desire Sparkling Flute wine glass. How important is it to serve the sparkling in such tall narrow glass explains Ms Sonal, “Easy drinking, fresh light sparkling wine is best showcased in flute glass, as it renders fruit flavors directly on the palate. The acidity and the vibrancy tops out of the glass”.
Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Vineyards Fume Blanc was served in the Desire Crisp White glass, not as tall as the flute glass but yes narrow enough. “Especially for the flavorful wine like Sauvignon Blanc this is the perfect glass as it holds the structure of wine tight, accentuates the fruit and the acidity better” explains Sonal.
Maison Albert Bichot, Chablis Blanc Domaine Long-Depaquit was tried in Desire Rich White glass. This glass has ridges at the bottom of the glass, used to decant a wine so that it opens up the flavors. Ms Sonal further explains, “when the white wine has more to offer like the secondary and the tertiary flavors, such glasses are of great benefit. At every swirl the wine hits the ridges at the bottom of the glass speeding the swirl and helping the flavors to freely pop-up”
Framingham Pinot Noir was tried in Desire Elegant Red glass. The glass best suits for elegant red wines and not the bold, powerful, tannic wines.
Syrah Clos du Phoenix was tried in Desire Robust Red glass this Lebanese tannic, bold wine was a great example to understand the importance of using this kind of a glass.
Every time we tasted the wine from each of these glasses, we poured some wine of each type to the simple non-Lucaris wine glass named as ‘Joker ’just to experience the difference between the Lucaris specialized glass and the normal wine glass. That was a great experiment could distinctly find the difference between two of them.
Well, thankful to the Joker!