March 21: After 11 months of inactivity post the maiden wine dinner by Sourish Bhattacharyya as the new President after Founder President Subhash Arora took voluntary retirement in January 2020 after 18 years and 300 events, the club had a mesmerizing evening with full-house at the Olive Bar and Restaurant on 17 March with premier wines like M/S and Sette from Fratelli and a Menu crafted brilliantly by Head Chef Dhruv Oberoi, writes Ranganathan Parthiban, the Club President
It has been a long wait, as the pandemic did take a toll on every sphere of life throughout the world. Mr. Sourish Bhattacharyya, who took over presidency from Mr. Subhash Arora, in January 2021 at the 300the wine event of the Delhi Wine Club, organised an iconic event on 29th February 2020 at the ROOH Restaurant Mehrauli, which was well attended and talked about across the wine community.
Alas, that turned out to be the last event of 2020 because of Lockdown announced on 23 March, and no physical event conducted for the rest of the year!
While the core committee of the Delhi Wine Club was in the process of discussing how to restart the activities, Sourish expressed his unavailability to continue as President due to health reasons. It was then decided by this committee to elevate me from Vice-President to President, a post I accepted with all humility and the responsibility it places on my shoulders. However, I was encouraged by both Subhash and Sourish who promised to assist me with their vast experience and contacts in the wine and hospitality circles.
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To restart our club activities, we chose Olive Bar & Kitchen, New Delhi. We were humbled to receive immense support from the members. Actually, more than 50 people registered for the event within two hours of announcement! We had to close the booking and even refuse some guests. ☹
As Subhash explained to members during his short speech at the Sarai Bar@Olive, he was extremely happy that we had chosen this venue because of sentimental reasons; the very first wine dinner Olive organised in Delhi was with our club as he reminisced. The Club had taken a booth at a wine show in 2004-5 where A D Singh, CEO of Olive group met Arora who gave him a short Presentation of the Club. AD requested him to meet him at the restaurant and showed a keen desire to have a wine dinner soon after the liquor license was procured. That done successfully, the Club organised several dinners in different formats later.
Fratelli has been a big well-wisher of the club as well. Late Kapil Sekhri, founder
Also Read: Obituary: Kapil Sekhri of Fratelli Wines Passes Away due to Cardiac Arrest
Director had always been very supportive of the Club and we had several events with Fratelli at restaurants like Olive, Q’la and The Lalit. Sadly, he was snatched away by fate last year. There had been yet another tragedy earlier this month when Steven Spurrier, the well-known architect of Judgement at Paris 1976 and a collaborator of M/S label from Fratelli, where M stands for Masi, the Winemaker and S for Spurrier. Succumbed to cancer. Relating the anecdotes of how M/S was born and how the blend for 2020 vintage was carried out at Bride Valley Estate owned by Spurrier’s wife’s in Dorset, England. Subhash requested the members a minute of silence to pray for the peace of both the souls-especially as both M/S white and red were being served today at the dinner.
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The event was well attended with a lot of enthusiasm and anxiety by members and their guests. Fratelli Wines not only sponsored their premier wines but also made the members taste their newly introduced artisanal cheeses produced in Chennai. Rakesh Awagadhe, the erstwhile corporate Sommelier at The Oberoi, and now with Fratelli, was at hand to talk about the 4 wines-the other 2 being Soiree Brut and Sette- making it a high quality foursome of Indian wines.
Chef Dhruv Oberoi curated a unique glocal menu (global cuisine with local twist) which was influenced by his passion for cooking from his mother. As each and every dish appeared on the table, it brought a lot of surprise and puzzle factor until Dhruv explained it in detail. While the food was fantastic, the flow of service took the icing on the cake and it even made the members give a standing ovation to the team at ‘Olive’.
Also Read: Taste of Fratelli and Magic of Chef Sujan at Olive
When many members quipped “the wait is over”, “looking for forthcoming events”, we felt elated and satisfied. Although we do have along way to go in keeping up the momentum, the dinner at Olive has raised the bar of expectation, due to which we have a couple of updates in the pipeline:
. We are working towards bringing out a membership card with benefits like discounts and/or special offers with various restaurants and outlets in hotels. We need support from members to rope in more restaurants into this scheme.
. We are planning to conduct webinars in coordination with wineries in India and abroad for the benefit of the members and also to promote wine culture at a more regular basis.
. We are also looking for sponsorship with interested corporates for mutual benefit.
Also Read: DWC Dinner: Summer Soiree at Olive with Fratelli Wines
Our next wine event is going to be on 7 April, 2021 at 20:00 at the well-known TRES Restaurant in Lodhi Colony, known for Fusion world cuisine and fine wines served at this relaxed restaurant and bar.
President – Delhi Wine Club
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