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Delhi Wine Club
Taste of Fratelli and Magic of Chef Sujan at Olive

Posted: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 14:38


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Taste of Fratelli and Magic of Chef Sujan at Olive

Feb 03: After test marketing a few imported labels in 2014-15, Fratelli Vineyards shifted gears last November, adding several labels by taking over popular labels imported earlier by FineWinesnMore and showcased Zardetto, Fortant and Bonpas along with the domestic super premium VITAE at a surreal dinner curated by the Maestro Chef Sujan Sarkar who came up with dishes showcasing his dexterity and creativity at Olive Mehrauli, writes Subhash Arora

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewFratelli had also recently reached the sale of its one millionth bottle during 2015-16, propelling it officially to the number 3 position in volume production and thus had reason to celebrate. Kapil Sekhri, Director of Fratelli Vineyards, agreed to join members of the Delhi Wine club for the exclusive wine dinner with some of the wines that had already been registered with excise and were available for sale.

Fratelli has had a slightly different philosophy than either Sula-the top  producer and importer of beverages across the board - or Grover Zampa whose plans to import wine have been put on the back burner awaiting further penetration of their existing labels in the domestic market.  As Click For Large ViewKapil Sekhri says, ‘our goal is to be able to offer our customers a wide selection of wines at various points and different origins. We make quality wines (Sette and Vitae are the topmost wines selling between Rs. 1500-1800) but if the customer prefers imported wines we want to give him that choice from our stable as well. Initially, we plan to focus on affordable daily drinking wines.’

Chef Sujan Sarkar, one of the most artistic and creative Chefs Delhi has had is the soul of Olive Qutab’s kitchen. Dinner at the ‘Greenhouse on the Ridge’, popularly known as the Glasshouse, is ‘artisan’ and completely different than the regular Menu in the restaurant. Chef Sujan showcases his personal skills and dexterity right in front of you including the presentation which is also his forte. One problem is that not more Click For Large Viewthan 22 people can be accommodated in this glass house and after a long time, we had to disappoint many of our members for this dinner- a blend of  imported and Indian wines from the Fratelli stable for which Kapil Sekhri returned from the winery in Akluj especially to attend the dinner.

The Dream Dinner and wines

Zardetto is a well-established, very popular and respected name in Prosecco. His Private Cuvee with about 70% Glera and balance Chardonnay is a very easy styled entry level Prosecco that seems to be the darling- of-the-town in Bangkok where I had been last month to visit several wineries. It is a perfect refreshing bubbly that does not burn a hole in the pocket. As an aperitif it went down the thirsty  gullets so fast that I had to improvise and also uncork VITAE Tre- a blend of Chenin Blanc, Mueller-Thurgau and Gewürztraminer, the aromatic grape variety cultivated only by Fratelli in India so far. The Margherita and smoked Click For Large Viewchicken wild mushroom and paprika pizzas are the signature dishes of the restaurant and never fail to impress the Italian side of me but the House-Cured salmon on Pumpernickel truly showed the artistry of Chef Sujan with flavours exploding on the taste buds just as the salmon melted in the mouth.  

A simple item like Amuse Bouche had been handled ever-so delicately by Chef Sujan. Fermented Gooseberries was a delight. He is so much into details that when I met him a week earlier to finalise details he showed me the bottle in which he had kept them, a day earlier. Liquid Olives that squirted concentrated flavours into your mouth and the delicious parmesan shortbread each had a different shot of their typical flavours.

We continued with the SWAAD,  light bodied, perfumed, and elegant VITAE Tre with a dish that had what looked like the white of an egg but it was a false egg. It had mushroom, parsnipveloute and Truffle oil sprinkled on top. Choco bar-local cheese mouse Beetroot, plum, Nasturtium, goat butter crumble were presented to showcase Click For Large Viewthe innovative spirit and imagination of the Chef.  Fortant Chardonnay did an adequate job with the dish-it didn’t enhance the experience but was a good match.  Lemon & Green tomato Sorbet was very light and refreshing and gave members an opportunity to mingle for a few minutes and for us to have a short fun quiz.

John Dory with Prawn, black garlic, Crispy Quinoa and charred spring onion was perhaps the most appreciated  and admired dish that was accentuated by the Fortant Grenache Rose. Though one more main dish was still to be served, I had a feeling a few members managed an extra portion of fish which was served graciously. The wine was a pleasant salmon coloured, light bodied wine with a shade of tannins that in fact helped lift the flavour of the fish. It made an excellent match also with prawn.

Click For Large ViewMany members were discussing whether this was the best John Dory they had ever eaten- when the next dish Braised lamb breast-Lamb loin wellington, maple glazed Celeriac, mash provided a juggalbandi (dual) of the VITAE Sangiovese-the premium Sangiovese from the domestic produce and the Cote du Rhone from Bonpas, a Grenache Syrah blend- warm on the palate, full bodied and spicy with explosive flavours of dark red fruit. The lamb preparation with all its elements was outstanding, with each bite having a crunchy top and a well-cooked inside; even I loved it (I avoid red meats normally and use only as a condiment to the wines). It might be unfair to compare the two wines but the Bonpas seemed to curry favour with members though they enjoyed the lamb-Sangiovese combo as well.

This last course in fact, gave us an interesting food/wine for thought. Why not pit a few wines from the Indian portfolio with the imported wines in a juggalbandi with the same dish and same venue at another date. This thought made the dessert- chocolate Textures, Mandarin, kumquat even more delicious. Kapil Sekhri who is ever-so- supportive of challenges agreed and we dispersed with lots of encores for the concept- but after our founding member Ranjan Pal gave the customary vote of thanks and Kapil gave away two prizes to V. P. Rajesh and Ranjan Pal for the fun quiz.

For the previous Articles on Fratelli imports, please visit:

Fratelli Diversifies into Imported Wines

FRATELLI joins SULA... starts Wine Import

Subhash Arora

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Tags: Fratelli Vineyards, FineWinesnMore, Zardetto, Fortant, Bonpas, VITAE, Chef Sujan Sarkar, Olive Mehrauli, Fratelli, Kapil Sekhri, Sula, Grover Zampa, Sette, Prosecco, VITAE Tre, VITAE Sangiovese


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