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Delhi Wine Club
Bigger Bang for the Buck: Wines at Taj Palace

Posted: Wednesday, 28 May 2014 12:50

Bigger Bang for the Buck: Wines at Taj Palace

May 28: Although most hotels and restaurants have kept the wine prices very high, some of them try to devise schemes to encourage higher sales or help liquidate slow moving inventories. Hotel Taj Palace uses a multi-pronged strategy to keep its wine list and wines alive, with prices on several wines quite attractive, beyond the Wednesday Socials and Happy Hours at the Blue Bar, writes Subhash Arora

Taj Palace has a very exciting scheme during the Happy Hours every day at the Blue Bar when one can buy a bottle and get one free. Not all wines are in the programme but it is a good promo if 3-4 people are together in a group. Then there are Wednesday Socials about which delWine had written about earlier. There was an issue of some dead/off wines finding their way to the consumers’ palates but the hotel is conscientiously trying to solve the problem. There is nothing as bad as a hotel losing its reputation because of badly stored wines even if it were due to the negligence of the vendor.

The regular list which is available at all the restaurants has quite a few wines which are available at decent prices. Following are recommended: (last number refers to the price in Rs.)

Sparkling Wines

Carpene Malvolti Prosecco NV  3500. The oldest winery and perhaps the best Prosecco available in India. Bottega Gold may challenge our claim but at more than twice the price, they are in different categories and Malvolti is still much better value unless you want to impress someone with a ‘gold’ bottle. Taittinger Brut is the most interesting Champagne but at Rs. 7500 it is still pricy.

White Wines

Chablis Albert Bichot Long –Depaquit 2012   2700 This is a bargain Chablis- pure, dry, expressive and steely bone dry. But one can get a better value with Chablis Ier cru "Les Vaillons" Albert Bichot 2008- a Premier Cru  wine more concentrated and at Rs.3600 it is a better value-if you don’t mind  spending a few extra bucks for much better quality. Chablis has 4 classifications in ascending quality-Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru Chablis and Grand Cru Chablis.

Gavi Di Gavi marchesi di barolo 2012 2800 is fresh and full of juicy flavours. Gavi is a pricy Piemontese wine made from Cortese grapes but Gavi di Gavi implies it is produced in the village of Gavi and generally more concentrated ,fuller bodied  and fruity. Marchesi di Barolo is a historical producer who may not make the top wines but in the range we are interested, it is hard to match them because of the volumes and the production efficiencies and history.

Villa Bianco marchesi antinori 2012 1800 is an entry level Tuscan white made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes blended with Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Rhine Riesling at their farm bordering Umbria, by the renowned producer Antinori. Very interesting quaffable, fruity and juicy wine.

If you are in a mood to try different varietals, go for any one of these wines 

Riesling chateau ste-michelle 2010 2100 (USA) slightly off-dry would suit the palate of novices

Viognier “Y Series” yalumba 2012 2000 (Australia)

Chardonnay villa maria “East Coast” marlborough 2012 2400 (New Zealand) known for its Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is better priced than the former.

Sauvignon Blanc Fairview charles back 2011 1800 (South Africa) Decent producer-basic wine

Sauvignon Blanc “casa lapostolle” rapel valley 2012 1800 (Chile)- Great producer-can’t go  wrong if you like Sauvignon Blanc but want to trade up from the Indian Sauvignons and like an ‘imported’ wine–notice its cheaper than Indian wines and one of the best value for money wines.


Reds also have a huge choice of decent quaffable wines(first four digits refer to the restaurant code):

Moulin a Vent georges duboeuf 2009 2200 –a Cru Beaujolais from a popular village (there are 10 such designated villages). All purpose wine with soft tannins. From a  big producer who brought Beaujolais on the map with his Nouveau festivals.

1952 Valpolicella Bonacosta masi 2011 2100  Masi is a renowned producer of Veneto. Valpolicella is a light-medium bodied wine with soft tannins. Easy drinking wine. Vegetarians would love it too.

2056 Grenache- Merlot “Mas Rabell” torres penedes 2012 1800  Warm weather Fruity wine, feels full on the palate, decent end too, slightly tannic.Very good value.

3219 Cabernet Merlot “Stamp of Australia” hardys 2012 1800  at a recent tasting organized by me, the audience preferred this wine to all others- simple, well rounded wine for Indian food as well.

3304 Pinotage master reserve nederburg 2012 2100- If you like Pinotage, this wine from a famous producer gives good value at this price

3305 Shiraz master reserve nederburg 2012 2100 for Shiraz lovers

Here are a few wines which are expensive but good value for fine wine lovers who are out to splurge

3215 Cabernet Sauvignon penfold bin 407 2010 7900 

1801 Brunello Di Montalcino castello banfi 2008 9500


All wines are priced at Rs.2000 except Fratelli Sette  2010 which is priced at Rs.2700. Decidely, the best value-for-money for this super premium wine. It will taste more delicious if you knew it is priced at Rs.7000 at Leela Delhi.

My other favourites are:

Fratelli Chardonnay 2012 2000

3375 Cabernet Shiraz “La Réserve” grover vineyards 2011 2000

3376 Shiraz “Dindori” sula vineyards 2012 2000

The prices do not necessarily mean the lowest or most reasonable for the scope of this article. But Taj Palace really gives you a wide choice of affordable wines. Enjoy one of the fine wine destinations

Subhash Arora

Rating- Based on various parameters like the prices, description, variety, clarity of explanation etc. The List is rated at

Restaurants already covered:



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