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Delhi Wine Club
DWC Masterclass: Mumm’s the word

Posted: Friday, 26 November 2010 15:10

DWC Masterclass: Mumm’s the word

There are champagnes and champagnes and then there’s Mumm’s, says Arun Batra who was at an exclusive tasting of Mumm’s on Tuesday at the Maurya Sheraton where Indian Wine Academy had organised a Masterclass for the members of Delhi Wine Club and other guests by the Brand Development Manager Thomas Didier, followed by guided tasting and drinking the delicious bubbly from Pernod Ricard.

Photos By:: Adil Arora

If the most recent couple of back-to-back events of the Delhi Wine Club were extrapolated, Tuesdays would take a new meaning- Champagne Tuesdays as our President Subhash Arora had named them both while organising this event and a dinner with champagnes from Louis Roederer last week at Hotel Imperial where four champagnes including a couple of Cristal had been relished by the members at the dinner when the global sales director Frederick Heidsieck had come to India.

Champagne has traditionally been associated with celebration and good cheer and with the well to do in India showing an increasing propensity to celebrate in style, it’s no wonder that this market is now being viewed differently by Champagne producers –Mumm’s being the latest to showcase its signature Champagnes at an exclusive tasting for members of the Delhi Wine Club (#17)-169th since the club was formed in 2002.

With some 8 million bottles being shipped out of its cellars every year to over a hundred countries, G H Mumm & Co is the third largest producer of Champagne in the world. Traditionally, India was very much way down in the Mumm pecking order with miniscule quantities being rationed every year. However in recent years with Italian Prosecco and Spanish Cava now very much on an aerated wine drinker’s choice list, Champagne producers have had to, willy nilly look at new markets to shift saleable stock out of their cellars.

Mumm’s is one of the oldest Champagne producers having commenced serving discerning European palates with quality Champagne way back in 1827. Now a part of the Pernod Ricard Group, the reputation Mumm’s has created since then, preceded us as we settled down in the My Humble House at the Maurya Sheraton for a guided tasting by Lignier.

After a presentation on Mumm’s, conducted with typical French panache and aplomb, Thomas Lignier demonstrated how to successfully and “pop” a Champagne bottle (rather than the cork) clean, with one rapier movement of a sword and then yet again, incredibly, with the edge of a wine glass .On both occasions the cork in its pristine gold foil and wire restraint came away undisturbed - don’t try this at home unless you have deep pockets as the learning curve can be very expensive!!

Click For Large ViewIt was a limited tasting restricted to the 2 Champagnes –the Cordon Rouge and the Rose –which are now being promoted in India. The Cordon Rouge, with its distinctive red sash signifying its linkage to the legendary French Légion d'honneur decoration, has been given a rating of 90 points from the prestigious Wine Spectator.

And well deserving of it too – a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the Cordon Rouge is fresh and fruity with a long supple finish and definitely a cut above some of the Champagnes available in India currently. It has the potential to become one of the top choices for a Champagne drinker and the cases they shift will largely depend on what the price it is rolled out at.

We were also fortunate to sample a wee bit of the Rose –just enough to reinforce Mumm’s reputation as a versatile Champagne producer. With the Pinot Noir (60%) dominating the other two varietals in the blend, the result was a fruity and well structured Rose.

Our club president, Subhash Arora proposed the vote of thanks to Thomas Lignier for a delightful and educative morning and as we trooped off towards the snacks, I ran into Chef Akshay of the Maurya who told me with a glint in his eye “try the snacks with the champagne and you’ll be surprised”

And what a surprise it was – Not only was it the first time I had eaten dhokhla and khandvi at the Maurya in the last 25 years but it was also the first time I was going to do so with a glass of Champagne! And did I enjoy it? Sure I did- the Cordon Rouge paired excellently with the gram flour based snacks and the fruitiness of the Champagne beautifully offset the salty sourness of the dhokhla and the sharpness of the coconut and coriander in the khandvi. I did make another discovery -a chilled glug of Champagne is a great douser of the after effects of eating too much green chilli that comes with the dhokhla!! Champagne is indeed a very versatile drink when it comes to pairing with food though I would draw the line at desserts.

It was a great job by Chef Akshay and Ajay Gothwal of Pernod Ricard in putting together an educative afternoon which was thoroughly enjoyed by our Club members. So the next time you are invited into the oh-so- genteel drawing rooms of our well heeled countrymen who can afford to serve Champagne and you see dhokhla and khandvi on the pass- arounds to accompany your Mumm’s, remember you read about it here first !!

Arun Batra

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




sidd banerji Says:

Wonderfully written article.The easy flow with glitters thru expressive words made a happy reading.Wine culture is making its sure and steady entry in Indian societies.A healthy signature on the society walls indeed.Greetings,IWA.sidd banerji

Posted @ November 30, 2010 13:57


Wine Says:

Why does your Mumbai Chapter does not organise such events ?

Posted @ November 30, 2010 13:53


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