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Delhi Wine Club
DWC Dinner:Hola with Roda de Rioja

Posted: Thursday, 09 December 2010 15:07

DWC Dinner: Hola with Roda de Rioja

It was a delightful Spanish evening for members of the Delhi Wine Club says Arun Batra with wines from the renowned Spanish winery Bodegas Roda and for the first time in the history of the club an olive oil tasting .

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Ambassador Rivas with Commercial Counsellor Teresa Solbes, Subhash Arora and a glass of Cava from Gramona

On a night when the Corps Diplomatique was hosting a farewell for the outgoing Spanish Ambassador, the presence (albeit briefly) of his Excellency Mr. Ion de la Riva at a Wine dinner of the Delhi Wine Club the same evening speaks volumes for the intensity with which the Spanish are promoting their wines in India.

The 18th wine dinner of year 2010 hosted under the umbrella of the Delhi Wine Club, held at the Aman in New Delhi was with a difference in its conceptualization. This was in keeping with the Club President Subhash Arora’s view that the format of our wine dinners must not be so inflexible that they become predictable and boring.

So there were going to be some changes with the evening divided into  three sections – After an Apertif starter with III Lustro delicious Cava from one of the most illustrious cava producers of Spain and finger food in the Wine Cellar, we would have a formal and serious guided tasting of three wines from Roda followed by the same wines over dinner. For the first time in the Club’s history, an olive oil tasting was incorporated into the evening’s tasting schedule !

We were lucky to have with us, Arancha Busnadiego, the export manager of Bodegas Roda Wines, a relatively new and modern highly rated Spanish winery from the Rioja region.In addition to talking about her wines ,she also agreed to tantalize our nostrils and palates with two of the finest Spanish olive oils.

During her very educative presentation, Arancha mentioned a few very interesting facts which probably set Roda on the way to earning a quality reputation in just two decades. They concentrate on the Tempranillo grape with Garnacha and Graciano  added to the blends. With all wine making done in house, Roda believes in the sanctity of a vintage; wines from previous vintages are never added to standardize subsequent vintages enabling each vintage to have its own identity and the vintage authenticity.

We started off with the Roda 2006 – an easy drinking Tempranillo based wine with plenty of fresh fruit on the palate and just that bit of spicy aroma coming from the Garnacha and Graciano in the blend.

The Roda 1 2005 – a full bodied 100% Tempranillo – was certainly many cuts above our first taste of the red this evening. The Tempranillo with its silky softness and muted tannins is probably Spain’s answer to the Shiraz’s and Merlots of the New World – wines which can be quite versatile when paired with different types of foods and have more  of an universal appeal to the average drinker.

The Cirsion 2007 –also a Tempranillo – its concentrated fruity nose was evident of this wine’s vintage from the year 2007 – a year when the area was attacked by mildew leading to low yields but great quality. The wine was multi layered with cherry and plum being very much to the forefront but with hints of spice on the finish. This super premium wine, retailing at over 120 euros in Spain, is definitely one for the connoisseurs with deep pockets.

Arancha Busnadiego conducts the Masterclass
With wines dealt with, Arancha moved onto widening the olive oil horizons of the Club members .The Dauro and the Aubocassa Olive oil are something not a lot of us are familiar with but it was interesting to see how the basics of tasting do not differ when it comes to olive oil. Sniff, swirl and sniff again and it’s amazing how olive oil releases terroir based aromas – though I must admit I prefer my olive oil drizzled on my salads and bruschettas rather than sampling it straight.

Olive oil, with its low boiling point, has a major drawback vis a vis other oils when it comes to being used as an medium in preparing fried/curried Indian food. But if you think laterally, you can get the best of both worlds, as did Subhash Arora when he told the audience that he loves his stuffed paranthas drizzled with some premium Extra Virgin oil-which probably explains why we had parantha triangles-albeit cold and hard- in our breadbaskets at the wine tasting !! I tried this with a piping hot parantha next day for breakfast with the sample bottle of Dauro given out to all and I realised it was a cracker of an idea .

And so we moved onto dinner, where the Aman chefs flattered only to deceive –the meal of tuna , chicken breast and a minced lamb patty though excellently presented  did not complement the wines.

The Aman has an excellent opportunity to take advantage of its exclusive and pristine settings in a central location to become one of the finer dining options in Delhi , and I do hope the new team will make the necessary course corrections.

The food apart, all members were indeed very appreciative of the changed format of the evening. What also did help was that all three sections of the evening was at a different venue –lucky as the Aman had bags of space available on a Tuesday evening in all its F&b outlets, as if all the restaurants were closed to others!!

If the wines of Bodegas Roda maintain their quality, they are  definitely a name wine lovers all around the world will get to know in the years to come and we look forward to seeing many more such quality Spanish wines at our forthcoming wine dinners.

Hasta Luego !

Arun Batra

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



Subhash Arora Says:

Its a pity that there is no distributor in India so far. But I am told negotiations are in the final stages with a couple of importers and I will have the company post on the Comment section when they officially tie up with a partner so you may check back. Subhash Arora

Posted @ December 13, 2010 13:50


Nanuk Says:

Dear Subhash, Are these wines from Spain already available in India? Thaks,

Posted @ December 13, 2010 10:20


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