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Delhi Wine Club
Chilean Wine and Food Fest impresses Connoisseurs

Posted: Monday, 03 November 2014 12:44

Chilean Wine and Food Fest impresses Connoisseurs

Nov 03: Chilean Wine and Food Fest that seems to have become a steady feature on the Delhi Wine and Food annual calendar, organised for the 5th time in a row by ProChile and the Embassy of Chile, at Hotel Lalit last Wednesday, was extremely successful with seven importers offering over 30 wines and the hosts managing a couple of Chilean food specialties, writes Subhash Arora who has been promoting the event for the past 12 years

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewThe event held for the third consecutive year at Lalit, was also the last one for the Director of ProChile, Mr. Nestor Riveros who has been enthusiastically promoting wine and food among other products vigorously during the last 5 years and is returning to Chile next month. It was also an opportunity to welcome and formally introduce the new Chilean Ambassador H.E. Andres Barbé Gonzales who came to India a couple of months ago in August and promises to support this initiative with as much vigour.

Participating Importers and their wines

There were seven importers who participated in the Festival with around 30 wines.

Brindco offered Montes Reserva range of 2 reds and whites. Though the well-known Montes Alpha was present only in the form of empty wooden crates, the Montes entry level range has become increasingly popular ever since the imports right were transferred to this leading importer.

Prestige was very busy with a big range of their Miguel Torres wines from Chile- Santa Digna, Cordillera white and Hemisferio and the ever popular value-for-money duo of San Medin. They had the maximum number of labels and kept the visitors coming back for more as in the previous editions.

Sula Selections had the range of Cono Sur presented apparently for the first time at the Festival and the staff behind the tables was seen pouring their popular Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva through a Vinturi aerator also. Sadly, their top Pinot Noir was missing from the line-up (Cono-Sur is the biggest producer of Pinots in South America); Arvind Vaid, the North India Head of Sula regretted the absence due to the current non-availability of the stocks.

Agnetta presented 5 variants of Valdivieso which they re-introduced in India a couple of years ago. Their top-of-the range Caballo Loco would not be expected at such an event but the visitors kept 3 of the company staff on their toes throughout the evening with 5 labels on display.

Hi Spirits poured their varietals from the now highly popular Anakena label and the higher quality level ONA.

Nature’s Bounty debuted with Balduzzi Reserva wines.

Hema was presented with the entry level Emiliana from the winery that boasts of organic farming. These wines are otherwise very popular in retail and banquets.

Click For Large ViewAs every year since the concept was evolved over the last 5 years, Delhi Wine Club members were invited formed a happy contingent, appreciating wines and discussing various labels in animated manner even over dinner. There seemed to be lesser number of invitees from the diplomatic community and rightly more from the hospitality industry, sommeliers, wine and food  importers and food and wine bloggers.

High quality Chilean gourmet products like Salmon, Salmon Trout, Mussels and Pork were also present to please the gourmet palates but  Smoked Salmon Rosette with Caper and Horseradish and Herb and Lime marinated Salmon Ceviche were the Chilean specialties that were most in demand and invited long queues. Chefs Imtiaz and Goswami of the Lalit and their team excelled in the dinner service and unlike last year there seemed to be enough food, despite the long queues for the salmon preparations like in the earlier years.

Another positive feature was the presence of the French Wine Sommelier of Lalit, Charles Donnadieu who discussed and chatted with the guests on how to pair food with wines. He was the only other non Chilean invited to speak, besides Subhash Arora, President of Indian Wine Academy who talked about the Chilean wines and the genesis of their promotion in India for over 12 years when Nestor had been in India. He reminisced about the first event partnering the Delhi Wine Club in 2002 at the Taj Mahal Hotel and a host of others since then. He has had the privilege of being involved by the Embassy in every wine event since.

Click For Large ViewThe Festival was the last Hurrah for Riveros who departs India next month. During his tenure, Chile has become the fourth largest exporter of wines at around $1.9 billion thanks to a drop in the Australian export to slightly under $1.8 billion this year and has become behind only France, Italy and Spain-the other three bigger exporters miles ahead and unlikely to be challenged at least for the next few decades. He goes back satisfied with the grand finale- a highly successful event the likes of which throughout the world have helped Chile keep a steady growth and status. Ambassador Barbe acknowledged his achievements and promised to extend the same support to the next Director of ProChile and assured us that the Chile Wine and Food Festival would continue to be the regular annual feature.

Chile 's main export to India may be 96 % in copper, but wine and food products continue to be the face of Chile in India and one hopes ProChile will continue to hold such events and maintain its leadership position by being the only wine and food producer in the world to host an event annually and then some. With the efforts of ProChile and Nestor Riveros a foundation has been laid for a 3-digit growth in food products and continued maintenance of the share by Chilean wines in a highly competitive market.

Subhash Arora

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