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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, 03 May 2010 16:44

Utsav Australia Comes to an End

The fifth and final wine tasting in a series titled Utsav Australia was held at the Australian High Commission, Delhi at the end of last week under the aegis of the Australian Trade Commission. It is a commendable joint effort between the Australian Government and their Wine Industry to promote Aussie wines in India, writes Arun Batra who attended the tasting on behalf of delwine.

The Utsav Australia had ben intoduced in India by Austade in conjunction with the Australian Government to introduce some of the lesser known names and smaller producers of wine to a cross section of wine trade importers and hotel and restaurant professionals in India .

Three wineries were presenting their wares on the evening – Burton Wine from South Australia , Frogmore Creek from Tasmania and Eden Road from the Australian Capital Territory –and guiding us through the proceedings was the sommelier Harshal Shah. 

Burtons started the evening off with the very easy drinking Burton Raj 2009 Verdelho –this wine had a crisp peach and citrus interface . Their two stars for the evening promised to be the Cabernet Merlot 2000 and the Mclaren Vale Chardonnay 2002 – it’s pretty rare that one gets to drink 8 and 10 year old wines and that too straight from the winery.

Both these wines, which sell in Australia for A$16 and $18, flattered to deceive with the Cabernet Merlot 2000 coming with a free generous helping of sediment and the Chardonnay 2002 showing a remarkable absence of a fruity nose and very flat in the finish. Even with age on their side ,this twosome  could possibly really only shift some volume but at very youthful prices !

The Eden Road wines is from a little known wine producing area of Australia –the Australian Capital region around Canberra  and their sub brand Long Road with the Tumbarumba Pinot Noir 2008 had an elegant structure with a smooth and lengthy finish so typical of Pinot Noirs and justifying it’s A$33  retail price. Another sub brand of Eden Road – the Meeting Place 2008 Viognier -had a great flavour and a rich mouth feel . Definitely the best winery on show for the evening.

The Frogmore Creek winery from Tasmania typified the crisp freshness of wines made in cooler climes–and their Pinot Noir 2008 was smooth with a plummy mouth and understated acidity -a premium wine selling at A$36 back home in Australia. However it was with the Frogmore Iced Riesling 2008 –a sweetish dessert wine that we rounded off the evening –our palates tingling with the long orangy-citrusy finish.

You got to give it to the Australians –they really know how to organize a tasting so there were no glitches with the glassware and service and no expense wasspared with the finger food –top of the line breaded fried prawns , smoked salmon bruschettas and chicken dimsums et al from Manre and of course plenty of Australian cheeses.

‘We are doing our bit for the Aussie Wine industry “ says Mike Carr the Australian Trade Commissioner but from the way Utsav Australia was put together and executed over 5 sessions , the Aussies are doing much more than just their bit to promoting their wines in our country –makes one think whether the Indian government could take a leaf out of their book too!

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


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