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Delhi Wine Club
Olive Wine Bar on Thursdays

Posted: Monday, 07 March 2011 12:03

Olive Wine Bar on Thursdays

Olive Wine Bar at the Olive Beach restaurant in Delhi may not have yet innovated enough as a wine bar but a special discount of 30% on the already low prices and complimentary snacks during the special promotion every Thursday evening, makes it a must-visit venue for wine lovers, writes Subhash Arora who checked out the report card last week while visiting during the inauguration of Greek Food Festival.

One must compliment AD Singh and Ramola Bachchan partnering him in this venture for keeping the prices relatively low and providing affordable wines-Tarapaca Chardonnay and Cabernet are both available at Rs.275 a glass of 150 mL, a DOC Soave Classico from a well-known Veneto producer Masi sells for only Rs. 350- all served fresh thanks to the Enomatic machine.

But on Thursdays between 6-10 pm the prices are reduced 30% across the board on the bottles as well as wine-by-the-glass, making them even more palatable. Coupled with the offer of free Mediterranean snacks, Olive Bar becomes an ideal place for business meetings, rendezvous for young lovers or simply casual meeting place, not to forget that this makes it an ideal opportunity for anyone wishing to learn about wines through the best known method there is- by tasting and more tasting.

During this weekly promotion, Tarapaca sells for only Rs.192.50 a glass (150 mL-6 glasses to a bottle) while the Soave Classico is available at affordable Rs. 245. Even a Pouilly Fuisse from Louis Jadot that sounds expensive at Rs.600 a glass, becomes sweet to the ears-and the palate, at Rs.420 a glass. The Champagne lovers would be happy to celebrate any occasion by ordering a full bottle of Taittinger Brut Champagne at Rs.4340, perhaps lower than its retail value.

Some of the other great wine buys for a Thursday are the Casablanca Valley Sauvignon Blanc from Michel Laroche-owned Punto Nino 2009 for Rs.1260, Chateau Gazin 2001 (Pomerol) at Rs.3710 for serious Bordeaux lovers. Meerlust Rubicon 2006, a beautiful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from a premier estate in South Africa sells only for Rs.2240. 

However, there a few quirks, anomalies and downright unforgivable mistakes in the Menu that eclipse the wonderful deals on Thursday evenings. Chablis Louis Jadot 2008 is a great drink at 6 pm-after office, at Rs.2240 a bottle. But describing it in the menu as ‘one of Burgundy’s most reputable wine house, tasting an Albert Bichot wine is an authentic timeless moment of sharing and emotion,’ is disappointing and shows lack of application of mind or knowledge of two competing Burgundy producers and is an inexcusable for a stand-alone bar, leave along a wine bar- any wine bar. (The confusion arising perhaps due to Brindco handing Louis Jadot and till recently Albert Bichot, is not excuse to offer a wine lover)
Sula Brut is described as a Methode Champenoise sparkling wine, using an illegal terminology allowed only for the making of champagne. While Sula stopped labeling their bubbly as Champagne within a couple of years after introducing, this terminology should not be acceptable for an elite wine bar such as this one.

Another surprise is the absence of Grover wines and listing of only Sula from the Indian    stable. Since most of the wines in the Olive Wine Bar at the Beach are from Brindco (you get married to Brindco and get Enomatic in dowry, they say!) who is the exclusive distributor for India for Grover, one would have expected their La Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier.

What intrigues more is that in the list of six red wines by the-glass, there are two Indian wines-from Sula; both Merlot and Dindori priced at Rs.415 are substantially more expensive than Tarapaca from Chile (Rs.275) and Malbec Reserva Norton from Argentina (Rs.350). Moreover, they have been priced much higher than their equivalent bottle price suggested in the Menu which cries out, ‘please don’t touch me, I am Indian! drink Chile, Argentina or even Mouton Cadet from Baron Philippe de Rothschild (the incorrect spellings in the Menu could be forgiven since their French Sommelier has not yet arrived- and even I am used to foreigners misspelling even my name!)

The minor irritants notwithstanding, Thursdays are a place to be-at Olive Wine Bar from 6-10 pm. Take it from me and go there once-. You’d be hooked. As a starter, try going during the ongoing Greek Food Festival. On Thursday 10th March, you would have an opportunity to taste Greek Meze platter-on the house.

Subhash Arora

It is our endeavour to publish any such promotions that we believe are genuine promotions for the wine lovers and would help promote wine culture. We have introduced ‘Wine Promotions’ and ‘Wine Events’ in the Classified Section of our website  -editor


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