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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, January 25 2010. 14:00

Wine Club in Bangalore with a Challenge

The Overseas Women’s Club in Bangalore has been in existence for some years with  almost a thousand lady members from all over the World, but since last year it has been trying to change its image from a tea club to wine culture, writes the club president Maureen Kerleau from Bangalore..

Brainstorming session at the sunset vineyard barbecue.

Since the middle of last year there has been a different kind of wine club in Bangalore. The Overseas Women’s Club has been in existence for some years, composed of almost a thousand ladies from all over the World, including a large proportion of Indian ladies that have returned from the USA, Canada or the United Kingdom.

The image of a group of genteel ladies sipping tea is far from the reality. Having lived abroad, most of them are keen wine drinkers. The newly created wine club has become quite a part of Bangalore’s social wine scene, with wine dinners and events every month. It is proving more of a challenge than the other wine clubs, since the expectations are high to start with.

The first aim of the club was not to run headlong into the most famous fine wines, which would have been a guaranteed disappointment in most cases, nor to hold dinners hosted by celebrity winemakers, whose wine would more than likely not be available in India before their posting was up – but to start off by introducing members to the best Indian wines available in the city.

Why spend Rs. 2000 on a rather tired New World Chardonnay when a Rs 600 Sauvignon Blanc bottled will probably give more palatable satisfaction? To start with most members were very wary as far as Indian wines were concerned and they had no idea where to start.

The wine for the dinners was very kindly sponsored by the Indian wineries which made the events even more attractive. As Bangalore’s vineyards are relatively close to the city, there was also the opportunity of holding events at the vineyards – including a visit to Grover’s vineyard and winery, ending in an improvised picnic and later on a superb sunset barbecue held in another of Karnataka’s most picturesque vineyards.

Another event was the Kerala Konnection, a total Kerala experience, in a Kerala-style hotel, with the chef flown in from Kerala to prepare the special dishes paired with Big Banyan wines. Caperberry restaurant also hosted an inventive menu paired with four of Sula’s top wines and of course the brand new Four Seasons range, with which the club was actually launched at Ista hotel remains some of the members’ favourites.

At the launch dinner, it seemed an impossible task when a table of guests from the UK was overheard stating categorically that it was just not possible to drink wine with Indian food. It was quite a stiff challenge, but opinions have definitely changed in six months, many members have switched from beer and some now swear by Grover Reserve, Sula Dindori, Big Banyan Chenin Blanc or Four Seasons Rosé.

Everybody has their favourites and it is a big step forward as far as their awareness about Indian wines is concerned. Things could not rest there for long, with the more impatient members enquiring when the dinners would actually feature imported wines, not realising of course that this would double the cost of each event.

Nevertheless, things have now gone one step further. The Christmas Dinner featured Italian Prosecco and the MTB Argentinean wines, complete with the surprise visit of the winemaker Mike Barrow.

Last week the club started off the year in style with a culmination of culinary delights thanks to the Bangalore-based Food Lovers Club, run by Kripal Amanna and his wine consultant, Heemanshu Ashar, who have made a name for themselves by hosting prestigious wine dinners in the city’s top locations. They have created a very innovative concept in partnership with the Taj West-End, top Indian Restaurant, the Masala Club and Brindco, that they call ‘Dawaat-E-Khaas’ consisting of pairing an amazing variety of traditionally-flavoured Indian dishes with fine wines from around the World. 

A great deal of thought and experimentation had gone into the pairing, the most astonishing results being surprisingly with the vegetarian dishes. The threesome of char-grilled paneer stuffed with pomegranate seeds sour mango, a grilled combination of green vegetables and seasoned fry fruit cake and water chestnut tempered with coconut and curry leaf was a heavenly combination with the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The club was treated to a slightly modified version, with more subtle spices and the result was a success all round.

The point has now been proved to the club members that not only Indian wines pair well with Indian food, but also a lot of fine imported wines.

Maureen Kerleau




Roncolly Gerard Gomes Says:

lovely article about your overseas womens club. share your details with me as I am marketing head m/s Vdya.s group for wines. [ our own vineyard in France]

Posted @ Feb 04, 2020 10:00


Basavaraj Says:

pl let me know the availability of good imported red wine 380 ml bottels in Bangalore.

Posted @ July 29, 2011 11:45


Soumyen Says:

can you please send an honest review of big banyan wines portfolio?it will be much appreciated. thank you very much for your time. regards soumyen

Posted @ May 31, 2010 14:56



It is nice read this article.Few years back wine was not very popular and consumed much in India.Only Golconda wine was available.Now market is also flooded with Indian and Imported wines. Regards Shetty Bangalore.

Posted @ January 28, 2010 11:45


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