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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, January 11 2010. 11:25

Terroir One: Wine Dinner with Miguel Torres at JW Marriott

The wine dinner at the hugely popular Mezzo Mezzo Italian and Mediterranean cuisine Restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel on the Juhu Beach organised in honour of Mr. Miguel Torres, President of the Spanish wine empire turned out to be fit for the President of a State, writes Bindu Malhotra, President of the Terroir-One, Mumbai Chapter of the Delhi Wine Club

When I was told by Mr. Subhash Arora, Chairman of our club that Mr. Miguel Torres was going to be in Mumbai in person for a day with his wife I was elated, anxious and then petrified in that order. It dawned on us soon that Mr. Torres was a very important person, what with the €200 million company that he owned, as I was told. But when Mr. Arora volunteered to help out and assured me that he would come personally for the all-important dinner, the third event of the club formed only in November last year, I felt re-assured.

Our task was made easier when I met Mr. Faiek Saadani, the visionary F & B Director of JW Marriott who agreed to co-host the dinner when it would have been easier for us and Mr. Torres to organise it at Hotel Taj Mahal in South Mumbai. He also realized that Mr. Torres was a celebrity wine producer and promised me that his team would make it a dream dinner for the invitees.

After Mr. Arora helped organise the wines for the evening, another nightmare hit us- we were told by Mr. Sumit Sehgal, the Chief General Manager of marketing  that Mr. Torres was a perfectionist to the core and the menu was to be approved by Spain. It might sound unbelievable but the Menu went back and forth for nine times to Spain before it was finally approved by Spain. Several other requirements were met thanks to the co-operation from Faiek.

This strategy eventually turned out to be very well for us because this kept the Marriott staff on their toes and take special measures to ensure it to be a perfect evening. Barring security measures, Faiek made more than adequate arrangements in the PDR of the restaurant popular with the Bollywood stars. The Italian Chef Orianna, the world acrobatic pizza champion overlooked every minute detail of each dish, including the presentation which was superb.

The aperitifs were just awesome in terms of variety and taste, and went so well with De Casta Rose 2008 made from Garnacha (Mr. Torres told us later, not to confuse it with the French Grenache). Our only problem was that the snacks seemed to be too big to eat in a bite or two. They would have been perfect to eat sitting at the table.

The way the evening would turn out was clear when we entered the totally transformed Private Dining Room with one long and wide table, fabulously dressed up with blue tablecloth and fancy silverware, with fresh flower and candle arrangements adorning the room as well as the table. A 20-page Menu listed the dishes as well as the wines with tasting notes, which had been so meticulously paired by the JWM staff with the help and final approval of the Torres Spain.

While Mr. Torres was kind enough to explain the wines after an interesting DVD was shown to all the guests, members were enjoying all the dishes with enthusiasm. I must say that out members are not yet such connoisseurs as perhaps the Delhi Wine Club members. They loved both Franseola and the slightly sweet Vina Esmeralda but were not too enthusiastic about the tannic Mas la Plana which I understand is a very important wine from Torres and has won many global awards.

Perhaps, we should have another dinner with Mr. Torres after a while to enjoy their complex red wines like the Plana. But it was a dinner one can talk about for years. Mr. Torres must have been very happy with the event as Mr. Mark Perello, the brand ambassador commented to the club, ‘Let me congratulate the event celebrate. I truly believe this venue went very well and reached the expectations of this important visit and I'm sure these kinds of events will help to establish and increase the wine culture in this tremendous potential City. You may count on our future support in your Institution.’

While Mr. Torres was kind enough to present a bottle of wine each to Faiek and Chef Orianna, Mrs. Waltraud Torres mixed easily with women members and made friends for a long time, I feel. It was also very magnanimous of the Torres to invite the members of Terroir One to visit the winery near Barcelona-on offer which even I may be tempted to accept as we are planning a visit to Spain this summer.

Main credit for the successful event goes to Mr. Faiek Saadani, who not only supervised the whole event but also orchestrated at the dinner table. Chef Orianna and her team had not only done a magnificent job in crafting the most delicious dishes she apologized to members for keeping ‘one leg here and the other in the main restaurant’ where Katrina Kaif, one of the most popular Bollywood actors today and a regular at the restaurant, was eating with her coterie of friends besides an almost full restaurant.’

Bindu Malhotra
President, Terroir One

Mumbai Chapter of Delhi Wine Club


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