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Delhi Wine Club
Taste of Taittinger & Ten wines at Trident Brunch

Posted: Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:44

We Recommend: Taste of Taittinger & Ten wines at Trident Brunch

May 07: With the prices of Champagne averaging at around Rs.5000+ a bottle in retail and a lot more in the hotels and restaurants, those who love it but find it expensive enough to be merely a celebratory drink, can celebrate Sundays with superb Brunches at several 5-star hotels in and around Delhi with the Trident offering an unmatched opportunity at Rs.3000+taxes, writes Subhash Arora who believes these offers are also an excellent way to increase the champagne consumption

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewTrident Gurgaon offers the most lucrative deal with unlimited quantity of Taittinger Brut and as a bonus 10 (ten) New World Wines, besides an excellent spread for Rs.2995+taxes. The adjoining Oberoi offers a more elaborate Menu with 6 Champagnes and 4 sparkling wines with a red and white wine to boot for Rs.4000+taxes. The usual spread of liquor available additionally includes premium whiskies and single malts as well. A majority of 5-star hotels have unlimited Champagne for offer with Brunches costing between Rs.3500-Rs.5000 +taxes.

There are numerous arguments in favour of sparkling wines like Prosecco as compared with Champagne. There are even more animated discussions on the hotels charging exorbitant profit margins on the duty-free costs of wines but thanks to the bean counters and their calculating machines presumably taking a rest on Sundays, they offer brunches where unlimited Champagnes are poured without holding the arm back thus making it possible to drink a bottle of Champagne or more (health warning - more than 2-3 glasses are harmful for health despite lower alcohol content of around 12-12.5% compared to still wines which more commonly have 14-15% or even more in recent years.)

Champagne can be an ideal accompaniment with most cuisines - a slightly sweet version can handle spicy Indian food as well; every sip can clean your palate of chilies. But somewhere during the meal one needs a change and this is where Trident scores over other hotels. Not only does it present an opportunity for unlimited Champagne, this offers the best opportunity for unguided wine tasting with 5 white wines followed by 10 red wines. Most of them are New World wines though I remember seeing a Beaujolais-Village in the portfolio as well.

Needless to say the Cilantro Restaurant at Trident offers a good selection of sushi platters, kebabs, South Indian cuisine and main course that is heavier on European (their pizzas are to die for) and Indian cuisine. The Oberoi on the other hand offers amazing Sushi but accent is more on the Pan Asian food. According to Rohit Dasgupta, F & B Director of the hotel, most of their clients are expats who typically drink 5-6 glasses of Champagne and a couple of glasses of wine. On an average, 4 glasses of Champagne are used up, he adds. Interestingly, what may appear to be a discovery for Indian wine lovers seems to have already been discovered by the expats. ‘Most of our clients ordering the champagne package (there is regular package of around Rs.2200+ without alcohol) are expats. They come here at around 12-12:30 pm and hang around till 5 pm sometimes. Of course, the champagne service is discontinued at 3:30 pm,’ he says. I interacted with several guests from UK, Australia, US and China who are regulars on Sunday and know that the hotel offers the best deal in town and is very relaxing, they agreed.

Click For Large ViewMy recommendation is to start with a glass of Taittinger with Sushi. Then ask for the server to bring the moveable wine trolley to the table and start you off with tasting portions of wines starting with whites and requesting him for any information he can offer. Of course, you choose the snacks to go with the wines. Asking them to give you 2-3 glasses with a different wine in each will not be frowned upon-neither would asking for any number of refills of Taittinger. After the wine tasting that should take 45 minutes,  you are ready for lunch-sip the champagne slow and enjoy the tingling sensations on the palate as you enjoy it. Drink water occasionally-remember wine is never a substitute for water to quench thirst. Alternately, you could tell the server your intentions to have only the Champagnes and you will find out the glass would be perennially full.

How can a hotel make profits on such a deal? ‘First of all we don’t make much profit when people drink a bottle or more. But on an average, we do end up coming out ahead because we get good deals from the vendors based on volumes and pass them to the customers,’ says Dasgupta. The fact is that over the years Champagne brunches on Sundays have become the de-facto standard in the industry. Until a few years ago, Cava and Prosecco ruled the roost. Many restaurants still offer packages with sparkling wine and without Champagne but if you love Champagne, it would be hard to find a better deal anywhere on the planet. This should make CIVC, Le Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne, the Champagne producers’ association, very happy and also adds to the top line of the importers.

Oberoi Gurgaon

If you love to travel Business Class in the wine world, The Oberoi Gurgaon has an enticing offer where they have 10 sparkling wines (it is loosely termed as a 10-champagne package but in effect has 4 sparkling wines which can be avoided or tasted at best.) Korbel is a Californian champagne (California is allowed to call their sparkling wines as Champagne which otherwise enjoys a GI status, so long as they mention the place of Click For Large Vieworigin) which is reasonably priced at around $12 (Source: Then get ready to taste and enjoy 5 other champagnes –Taittinger, Mumm, Moet, Roederer and Piper Heidsieck. There is no other place in India that offers such a wide selection and an opportunity to taste 6 champagnes (or 10 bubblies) despite the non-Oberoi Gurgaon hotels insisting that most customers either don’t know or appreciate the difference and like to stick to one label - a point well taken but all told, it is an offer a Champagne lover can’t refuse.

Spectra at the Leela Gurgaon

If you love Rosé Champagne, the place to go might be Spectra at the Leela Gurgaon. The Brunch at Rs.4000+ includes unlimited Brut and Rose Brut of Moet et Chandon. Of course, for Rs.2700+ you could have a Prosecco instead. With the alcohol-free lunch priced at Rs.2200+, it is implicit that if you drink one full bottle of Moet et Chandon Rose Brut, you are paying only Rs.1800 a bottle! You can’t finish a bottle, you might say! But the expats who have already discovered the little secret of enjoying Champagne in Delhi, drink an average of 1.5 bottles, says Arjun Raghuvanshi, Restaurant Manager at Spectra, one of the most popular venues for buffets in Delhi and NCR because of its different cuisine live kitchens.

ITC Maurya has an exciting buffet at Rs.3500 + that includes an unlimited sipping of Moet et Chandon. What’s more, it offers the loyalty card holders 50% discount if 2 people eat, confirms Rishi Raj Singh the Beverage Director at ITC Maurya, that has been one of the earlier hotels to offer the Champagne packages for Sunday Brunch. The same costs Rs.2995+ with sparkling wines.  Still wines are also served but as in the other hotels play second fiddle at the brunches. ‘ This is perhaps the only hotel that respects the loyalty card to the full on Sundays too,’ says Arun Batra, a member if the Delhi Wine Club who is a frequent ‘loyal’ visitor to these brunches, adding  ‘one of the lesser known facts about the Sunday brunch at the West View is that in addition to their grill accented buffet , one can enjoy a wide range of dishes from their Oriental cuisine outlet next door - The Humble House.’


Hotel Claridges offers one of the most relaxed venues in their lawns. Unfortunately, they open their live stations and uncork the Champagne in the winter months from October-March. Tarun Seth, the F & b Manager says, ‘ Our Garden is dressed for a perfect Mediterranean Sunday brunch with white linen, umbrellas, water fountain, kids' play area and Spanish 4-piece band performing from 12-4 pm  every Sunday. The food is spread in the form of stations - Cold cuts and cheese, Oysters, Teppanyaki, Yakitori, Grills surf and turf, Pasta and Paella, Tempura station, Indian kebabs and Ulta tawa, Indian and western hot buffet. Champagne, wine and other cocktails are a part of the package at Rs.3495+. Claridges Gardens is definitely a place to go during winter when the sun shines brightly.

Hyatt Regency

Click For Large ViewHyatt Regency has had delectable brunches for a long time-in fact delWine once featured the Sunday Brunches here. The prices seem to have shot through the roof since then with the Laurent-Perrier Rose Brut Brunch costing 5400+ in TK’s, Café and The China Kitchen. Laurent Perrier Brut Brunch at Rs. 3850 is more reasonable. The suggested package here would be with Prosecco at Rs.2750+. If you are looking for the real McCoy, you may like to look at several other options
Binge on Champagne for $20 a bottle-Conditions Apply


A past master at offering Champagne brunches for several years, where Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin was savoured by many a champagne connoisseur, the hotel offers  unlimited Taittinger now with their Sunday brunches at Rs.2950+. Confirming to delWine, Vineet Wadhera, the F & B Director of Shangri-la says, ‘since last week we have started offering a free swim in our pool to those who opt for this Brunch.’ With this option, this becomes the best deal in town-if you are not keen to taste as well the ten wines offered by Trident.

The Oberoi Delhi offers Mumm at Rs. 3600+ while Leela Chanakyapuri has the offer at Rs.4000+ but with two champs - Moet Chandon Brut and Rosé. Surprisingly, an enquiry with Taj Mahal Hotel indicates that no such offers are available anymore with Champagne but if the guests so desire, they sell it at a special price of Rs. 2500+ a bottle on demand (currently not available, we were told)

Champagne lovers – I call them Champagne Charlies - have it really good with the Sunday brunches at 5-star hotels. Enjoy the largesse while it lasts. Check with any of your favourite hotel for the Champagne package. You don’t even have to be wine-monogamous and stick to one hotel-change the venue and the friends to go out with! But please remember that more than 2-3 glasses of Champagne are harmful for health. Indulge only if you are adventurous and this is the only occasion of binge drinking. And remember; please never drive yourself with the amount of Champagne you might tuck under your belt-even if it is a relaxed lunch lasting over three hours.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Trident Gurgaon, Taittinger, The Oberoi Gurgaon, ITC Maurya, Hotel Claridges, Hyatt Regency, Champagne, France


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