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Delhi Wine Club
Olive Wine Bar inaugurated at the Beach

Posted: Tuesday, 23 November 2010 12:05

Olive Wine Bar inaugurated at the Beach

Olive Beach opened the Wine Bar with clinking of hundreds of wine glasses in its restaurant last Saturday in the presence of Michel Laroche from France with wines from his estates in Chablis, Punto Nino in Casablanca in Chile and L’Avenir in Stellenbosch, South Africa, accompanied by bonhomie that has become a tradition when organised by the flamboyant AD Singh

Photos By:: Adil Arora

‘Last month when delWine broke news about the new wine bar being launched as part of the restaurant at Olive Beach on November 20, it seemed like a distant dream. Even Ramola Bachchan who is partnering AD Singh in this project seemed slightly unsure of them pulling it off so soon. The CWG effect was very much in sight even in the afternoon when I checked out the venue- with uncountable number of people working in what the restaurant staff claimed was a method. They all seemed to be sure that by the evening everything would be in place.

Having experienced the recent Common Wealth Games (CWG) where nothing seemed to be ready days before the event but at the end everything turned out to perfection, it was not surprising to see everything seemingly in place, including the Enomatic machine (one needn’t have checked if it was working or not as bottles were being emptied at a pace faster than being uncorked), and a barrel hung from the ceiling, with wine bottles with a bulb in each, acting like a chandelier,  were just a few of the props that made it look like a wine bar-not to mention that one could see only wine glasses filled with red or white wine all around.

Wines being served were from Michel Laroche which has fallen into Brindco’s lap after several years of pussyfooting around with Sonarys as Michel Laroche who was also present as a special guest, pointed out. The Enomatic machine is being imported by Brindco. Also a look at the Wine Bar list, and it could well be mistaken as Brindco Bar-with AD’s visible footprints and the finger-food the restaurant is now well-known for.

Neither the staff nor the guests cared but there were Petit Chablis and a Chablis Premier Cru 2007 from Les Vaillons being poured. For those inclined to know more as they enjoy their white wine, Chablis ( region north of Burgundy and also an appellation in which only chardonnay grapes are used) has four classifications-Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru-in the ascending order of quality, prestige and price. For the discerning, Chablis Premier Cru offers some of the best value- for- money super premium French wines. I used my knowledge unabashedly for my drinking pleasure-though I did taste the Petit Chablis, two variants of Punto Niño as also the L’Avenir. Cabernet.

The wine bar is now operational which means that one can stop by for a relaxing glass of wine or two anytime. One thing that a wine bar must provide is the wine to be fresh from the first glass to the last and the cost of each glass to be on a proportionate basis. If the 750 mm bottle costs Rs.3000, the 150 mm glass should be priced at Rs.600. It is good to know that this condition is being met.

The freshness of course will be guaranteed by the newly installed Italian Enomatic machine which keeps wine fresh for at least 2 weeks. 16 wines are proposed to be available by the glass, using this machine, which should translate to two modules of 8 bottles installed.

The prices are however, not excitingly attractive, though not on the prohibitively high side either. Perhaps, it might be more practical to standardize the drink size to 125 mm (6 glasses to a bottle) to make by-the-glass more affordable. The same wine would thus cost Rs. 500 instead of Rs.600. The customer could then order two different wines and spend Rs. 1000 for drinking a healthy one-third of a bottle.

However, the real benefit to the consumer and an incentive for wine lovers connoisseurs and novices alike, would be when the wine flights with the possibility of a sommelier interacting with the consumer and educating in an informal atmosphere, are started. ‘We shall start the flights in a couple of weeks when our new lady sommelier joins us from Canada,’ confirms Mohit Sharma, CEO of the Olive group. Hopefully, more people would then learn the difference between a Petit Chablis and a Premier Cru by drinking them one after the other-with the sommelier briefing them about the region, appellation and region’s well-known wine producers, Michel Laroche being one of the passionate, quality producers.

Hopefully, the wine-by-the-glass Menu would be shifted around regularly to give an opportunity to the Punto Niño Sauvignon Blanc which at Rs. 360 a glass would make it an excellent choice, replacing the ubiquitous Tarapaca Chardonnay currently at Rs. 320 a glass. The best choice for white wine at the moment is a Soave Classico 2009 from Masi at Rs.430. Take your pick for the red. Surely, you won’t pick a glass of Sula Blush for Rs.415! I belong to the old school, strongly believing that one label each of premium red and white Indian wine should be on the Menu for Rs.199 (even if it is 125 mL).

One can bet your Barolo 2004 that AD Singh and his team will soon come up with innovative themes like corporate tastings, verticals, country specifics, same varietals, same-vintage tastings from different regions etc. The beautiful thing about the wonderful world of wine is that there is always so much one can offer-provided there are enough takers..

In the meantime, rejoice as Delhi moves a notch closer to the wine culture.

Subhash Arora




Carol Firenze Says:

Congratulations on the opening of your wine bar. With a name like the Olive group, wouldn't it be wonderful if you also included Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your offerings. I am the author of The Passionate Olive - 101 Things to do with Olive Oil. Let me know if I can be of help.

Posted @ November 29, 2010 17:00


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