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Delhi Wine Club
A Beautiful Pair of Wines at Chez Nini

Posted: Thursday, 04 July 2013 11:29

We Recommend: A Beautiful Pair of Wines at Chez Nini

July 04: It is a common refrain that wines are highly priced and unaffordable in the Delhi Restaurants but Chez Nini, one of the new-age restaurants in Lodi Colony, the newest gourmet center, has priced the wines responsibly despite the duty paid prices, with the Chablis Reserve 2010 from Drouhin Voudon an absolute winner and a special offer on the red Memoro from Piccini making a beautiful pair that will make your experience memorable, writes Subhash Arora.

Click For Large ViewChez (pronounced as Shay and meaning at the home of) Nini (the pet name of its owner Nira Singh) specializes in French cuisine not only because of the French name of the one-year old restaurant but also because Nira is a Chef with her culinary skills honed in Montreal, the French-speaking and cultural capital of the world on the other side of the Atlantic. Her father is a wine connoisseur and she grew up in Montreal with fine wines around her. She believes that wine is a part of a gourmet meal in a restaurant and is appalled at the high prices charged by the hotels even when they don’t pay any customs duties.

The wine list in her restaurant is displayed on a small and lanky blackboard with a limited choice with the top wine-also number one on the board being our highly recommended Drouhin Voudon Chablis Reserve 2010 from the well-known Burgundy family producer Joseph Drouhin. At Rs. 600 a glass (150 mL), this is a great-value-for-money Click For Large Viewquality white wine even though slightly more expensive compared to the other cheaper Chardonnays. You have to give credit to the lady to price a wine that retails at Rs.2400 (480 a glass), even if that price includes the VAT which is extra at the restaurant. The crisp and vivacious wine is very alive on the tongue and its typical Chablis steeliness and the green apple flavours make it drinkable easily by itself or even with a majority of the dishes.

Ok, it won’t stand up to lamb and maybe duck-incidentally the duck burger here is awesome. Go for the Piccini Memoro red 2011. Not only is it a juicy match with the juicy burger, the tannins are softer and it is full of dried-fruit flavours on the palate with a persistent and pleasant finish. The wine is not a high quality wine but a very unusual Italian wine made from grapes drawn from four different parts of Italy. The wine was created by the Piccini family especially in 2011 to celebrate the 150 years of Italian unification in 1861.

Click For Large ViewPrimitivo from Puglia is the dominant partner in the blend (40%) with Montepulciano from Abruzzo (30%), Nero d'Avola from Sicily (20%) and the balance 10% Merlot from the Veneto region contributing to the ‘all-Italian’ personality. Since different vintages and grapes from different regions were used, they were obliged to label it as Vino Rosso d’Italia. At Rs.550 a glass, it is well priced for a restaurant, with the retail price of Rs.1500, but at Rs.500 a glass it makes it quite recommendable. When I told Chef Nira about it, she agreed to lower the price, for sometime at least, and make it regular if the importer, Prestige Wine and Spirit co-operates with her. I hope they will.

At Rs. 1100 for two glasses (totaling 300 mL), these two wines make a beautiful pair in the wine portfolio and are delicious to devour with different foods during the evening. Just make sure the red is slightly cool at 16°C and the Chablis chilled at 10-12°C. If you really love variety and high quality wines and are looking for choices, she does have several other wines, many her personal favourites, in the temperature controlled wine cellar, which she would love to show off and help you select a bottle from.

Bon Appétit and à votre santé!

Subhash Arora

Tags: Chez Nini, Nira Singh, Drouhin Voudon, Chablis Reserve, Piccini Memoro red


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