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Delhi Wine Club
Grand Tasting Experience debuts at the Taj Mahal in Delhi

Posted: Saturday, 19 March 2016 11:18


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Grand Tasting Experience debuts at the Taj Mahal in Delhi

March 19: After curating it thrice at the Taj Bengal and following it up with the Taj Krishna at Hyderabad, Keith Edgar, an expat wine educator and importer residing in Kolkata has tied up with the Taj Mahal Hotel to launch for the first time, the International Vine and Food Experience in Delhi on March 25-26 where one can have an excellent culinary experience with several Masterclasses running concurrently and a Grand Tasting of around 250 quality wines spread over 2 evenings and a Lunch

While the event focuses on a Grand Tasting of wines with snacks on the first evening on 25 March from 7:30 pm-10:30 pm, the second day also sees a Lunch with Master Classes and a Gala Dinner. Keeping in mind the weather in Delhi, Keith has curated the events to bring people to experiment with fine wines without burning a hole in the pocket.

Grand Tasting appears to be the not-to-miss highlight of the event. A total of around 60 wine houses with around 250 wines on pour and delicious pass around snacks Menu, make it a must-attend event for novices and experts alike. What’s more, a few Master classes are also being held within the Grand Tasting area being created by the poolside where the event is being held. At Rs. 1500 a head with international multi-cuisine snacks and 250 wines and Masterclasses to boot, the Grand Tasting is one of the finest value-for-money culinary experiences being offered with focus on wines, in the city on March 25.

Two theatres with open seating will offer the Master classes that are included in the price, making it a very attractive offer. Liam Steevenson MW will make you learn wine tasting like a Pro. Chianti Classico is celebrating 300 years of the region being awarded the official status of Chianti making. Prince Duccio Corsini, owner of a few Tuscan wineries including Le Corte which produced this classic Chianti, will talk about "Understanding Chianti, 1716-2016". Besides the history of this beautiful Tuscan region, the Prince will let you explore Chianti Classico and its quality classification system, including the latest top level Gran Selezione introduced two years ago.

Craig Wedge of Fratelli will conduct a tasting of Zardetto Prosecco, one of the wines added to the import portfolio of Fratelli wines. There will be a session on sparkling wines from one of delWine’s Top Ten Women of Wine (WOW) in India, Rupali Bhatnagar, the sparkling winemaker from Sula.

Another Top Ten Indian WOW of delWine, Karishma Grover will guide you through the process of barrel fermentation with Viognier while Chief Winemaker Ajoy Shaw from Sula will talk about pioneering successful white varietals in India. Port lovers would love to know more about their favourite beverages from Senhora do Convento who will discuss LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) port, their process and style. Port is neither very easily available, not is it popular in India, but this is a great opportunity to learn about this delicious Portuguese fortified wine.

Kei Choshiya from Japan will introduce you to the world of Sake, another great learning opportunity for Japanese food lovers since it is becoming very popular in Delhi and is being sought more often with Japanese cuisine. Vishal Kadakia of Wine Park will explore native grape varieties from Spain and Portugal.

Lunch with Masterclasses

Whereas The Grand Tasting on 25th is free-styled tasting in that you can choose which wines to taste and which Masterclasses to attend, the Lunch on 26th is more structured with Masterclasses on Champagne, icewine, Prosecco, Sake and Wines of New Zealand following an exquisite lunch. At Rs. 3000 a person, this offer including lunch and the Masterclasses, is a steal. Of special interest will be the one with Liam Steevenson MW from UK. He conducted a similar one at one of the Delhi Wine Club dinners last year and his informal and lucid style of presentation was a big hit.

Gala Dinner

If you don’t like to go for tasting from table to table but are happy with tasting a few fine wines served at your table, the gala dinner on Saturday, 26th March is just what the doctor ordered. Organised by the Taj Hotel at Rs. 4,000 a head, you can experience an excellent meal with several diverse wines at the Event. Just remember it’s a black tie affair-not a very common sight in Delhi so don’t put yourself in an awkward situation if you like to dress right for an occasion. This will be preceded by a Champagne Reception where the Drappier fine champagne will be served.

The credit for bringing the International wine and Food experience to the Taj Delhi goes to Satyajeet Krishnan, General manager and Abnash Kumar, the F & B Director of Hotel Taj Mahal, who saw the event conducted for 2 years in the Taj Bengal and decided to work with Keith Edgar to showcase to the wine lovers of Delhi a platform where they could taste different wines from different producers-both domestic and international.

‘I wanted to make sure that the wines are not the entry level,’ says the dynamic Sommelier Pankaj Balachandran who is also looking after Varq Restaurant at the hotel. ‘There may be a few here and there but if a stall has 5 wines, we have made sure at least 3 are premium wines,’ he says. With four champagnes in the list including Drappier, Mumm and Moet and with Icewine from Donald Ziraldo, the pioneer who launched Inniskillin and after selling it off, kept a portion of top quality vineyards, the grapes of which go into making Ziraldo icewine, the list will make any wine lover salivate and go for the Grand Tasting Event that starts at 7:30 pm and finishes at 10:30 pm.

Contact him for details at  or write to him at or the hotel at or call 6651-3602/3799.

Subhash Arora
While the dinner will be the preferred choice for many people who like to enjoy a dinner experience with wines, the Grand Tasting and Lunch with Masterclasses should appeal to all those who are novices and experts who are serious about learning about wines. After this experience costing Rs. 4,500 one does not need to attend a WSET 1 course and if you don’t care for certificates, this experience can bring one close to a WSET 2 qualified person. Jai Ho!-editor

Grand Tasting Menu            Lunch Menu               Gala Dinner Menu

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