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Delhi Wine Club
Passing by: Cristanelli from Sartori at Pluck da Pullman

Posted: Tuesday, 10 November 2015 10:46


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Passing by: Cristanelli from Sartori at Pluck da Pullman

Nov 10: Dott. Daniele Cristanelli, Export Manager of Sartori di Verona was in town last week and must have been very happy for the Wine Dinner organised at the newly opened Pullman Hotel at the Aerocity as the French hotel chain organised an Italian Wine Dinner with quaffable wines from one of the biggest Verona based producers, which has been spreading its wings with various partnerships primarily in Italy, writes Subhash Arora who attended the dinner

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewIf November 1 were Dussehra when the hotel finally opened against all odds with numerous bureaucratic hurdles and suffering heavy losses due to non-operation, Diwali came soon afterwards-at least for a few wine lovers as the hotel decided to host an Italian wine dinner to welcome Daniele Cristanelli, Export Manager of the family owned winery, Sartori di Verona, who has visited India before. He would also be happy that the new hotel has selected wines from the Valpolicella-based company. The setting to receive him and the quaffable Pinto Grigio, Bardolino, Valpolicella could not have been better perhaps in any other hotel.

Established in 1898, Sartori Di Verona is among the well-known and well established wine blenders, not only in Italy, but in the world. Think of famous wine styles like Amarone and Recioto, and Valpolicella among others and they are very much there. As Daniele says, their strength likes in collaborating with different producers and giving them platform to make different blends not only in Negrar, Valpolicella where they are based but elsewhere in Italy and other countries as well.

Ti Amo is their most popular wine in India, thanks to their importer Brindco. Packaged in a beautiful bottle used for their regular ERFO brand Prosecco in Italy, this wine is made only for Brindco and only for India and is a DCO bubbly made in the province of Treviso. But this is only a small part of their business-he admits-only a million bottles out of a total sale of over 10 million bottles.

Think Amarone but at least drink Ripasso

Their best offering is their highly rated Amarone. ‘I have been trying to get Brindco to import Amarone or at least Ripasso for many years but due to the government policies they are unable to start importing the labels,’ he says. Although Recioto is a sweet wine from Soave and very popular in Veneto, it has few takers in India. What is really needed is a Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC. Known as Baby Amarone, Daniele agrees when I tell him about my slogan ‘Think Amarone, Drink Ripasso’. This wine ‘lifts up’ the basic fresh wine by maceration- passing it through the must of Amarone thus extraction tannins and the rich dried-fruit aromas of Amarone. The process gives the wine longevity as well as complexity and yet the price is much more affordable than Amarone.

Best of Luck to Pluck at Pullman

Click For Large ViewTalking of the ‘Lift up’, the multi-cuisine Restaurant Pluck where the dinner was organized had a fabulous ambience, the food quality, variety, innovation and the outstanding style of presentation. It gave a definite lift to the wines which though playing a second fiddle were very good condiments because of the good pairing in general. Daniele presented each wine supplemented by Sommelier Kriti Malhotra. Chef Ajay and his team presented each dish as the guests went ‘ga-ga’ over the presentation and enjoyed the newness of the variations and the finesse in which each dish had been prepared.

The credit for taking the initiative and organizing the dinner goes entirely to Tristan de Lomenie, French General Manager of Pullman and Novotel Hotels in the Aerocity, who is determined to give the denizens of Delhi a fabulous gourmet experience. Being a Frenchman whose wife Isabel is a winemaker for her family owned winery in Sauternes, both of them fully understand the importance of wine with gourmet dishes and the importance of food and wine presentation. He had hired a Sommelier months before the opening so the staff could be trained properly well-in-time. This was obvious at the dinner where the wine service was outstanding too. The hotel had arranged the daily liquor license in order to procure and serve the wines in the hotel, making it a rather unique event where a French chain hotel organized an Italian dinner with Italian wines without a regular license, within the first week of opening!

It appears the hotel’s focus on food and wine will be a good draw for the wine aficionados and gourmets always on the lookout for something affordable and a quality experience.

And one hopes that next time Daniele Cristanelli visits Delhi, there will be an Amarone or at least a Ripasso on the table!

Subhash Arora   

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