June 01: Delhi Wine Club Dinner at the Grill Room of the Lalit Hotel, Delhi with Bordeaux white and red wines and a Rose from Provence were a perfect match with the excellent food curated by the new Chef Pankaj Panthri and the bonhomie around added to the charm of the evening making it a memorable wine dinner, writes Aruna Chawla, youngerst member of the Club, who felt comfortable in the surroundings thanks to the charged atmosphere which is so welcome at such dinners
Photos By:: Adil Arora
When I attended my first wine dinner last year, on Indian Wine Day, held at The Lalit Hotel on 16 November 2017, I was the youngest attendee. I knew that I’d want to be a part of this group, but who would be my company? Now that I’m back in Delhi for good, I decided to take matters in my own hands, and get my company with me. I asked a friend to join me, and together we attended the made merry at the 279th wine dinner of Delhi Wine Club at The Grill Room in The Lalit Hotel, Barakhamba Road.
The dinner was headed by Chef
Pankaj Panthri who has worked in America for 8 years and at a couple of hotels in India before that. Chief Sommelier of the Lalit Group, Donnadieu Charles guided us through the wines during the evening. It was a full house and then some, with people pouring in and being accommodated by extra chairs arranged for them immediately by the conscious staff.
Our amuse bouche was Smoke Salmon Mousse Toast, paired with a AOC Cotes de Provence Chateau Ferry Lacombe Haedus 2015. The 2015 vintage from Cotes de Provence is well regarded as one of the good vintages. I’m a sucker for good rose wines - this one was dry, crisp, but well balanced and palatable. It was a perfect pick-me-up for a hot summer day and a great wine to start the dinner with. This one was easily my favourite of the night - but I think that also has to do with my reluctance for a red due to the heat.
In Starters, we were served Goat Cheese Tart, Green Peas Puree & Capers with AOC Bordeaux Chateau Lamothe Vincent 2015 - I’m not a cheese person, so I didn’t like it so much, but the capers tasted divine! The wine was a crisp elegant example of a good
Bordeaux- with Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend. It was extremely perfumed wine, quite herbasceous and the flavour rounded off with the presence of Semillon. Very attractively paired with the Tart.
We were also served Chicken Empanadas & Spring Mix Salad with Balsamic Dressing with AOC Bordeaux Chateau Lamothe Vincent 2015 - The dish was honestly overshadowed by the wine - a good stand alone dish, but with very light flavours and textures. The wine on the other hand was complex, with
soft tannins and a good balance - and also manageable even in the heat. My guess is that I’d really enjoy this wine in a better weather.
Lamb Shank, Mushroom Ragout & Crispy Potatoes with AOC Bordeaux Superieur Chateau Domi Cours 2012 - The lamb was, sigh, divine! A big, juicy succulent lamb - easily one of the best I have had. It took me all my self-control to not leave the cutlery to one side, and dive into the lamb piece with my bare hands. About the wine, objectively this was definitely the best of the lot - just not my taste! I’d have loved to have held the first wine, and tried it with the lamb - my guess is that the explosion of the lamb’s flavours would have been beautifully complimented by the simplicity and elegance of the wine.
Dessert - Creme Brulee & Coffee
I’m going to quote what my friend said about the creme brulee we had - For me, creme brulees are like the ex boyfriends who you keep giving a chance to, and who keep failing you. But this one - I’m going back to him for sure! It’s that good
But what’s a good wine at the end of the day - some beautiful wines that helped us bond over a wonderful meal on a summer evening, age no bar.
As Chintamani Rao sitting next to me at the table summed up, ' this was a vintage Delhi Wine Club Dinner, what with the wonderful wines, excellent food so well presented, an eclectic atmosphere and the landmark high decibels that come with good wine and food combination and the company around you.'
And now with time, our job as the youngest members of the DWC is to bring the average age down!
Aruna is a lawyer, entrepreneur and wine lover - she writes for DelWine as a guest writer, runs her own blog on laws, business, and entrepreneurship at www.arunachawla.com, and runs an art gallery and cafe with the biggest coffee menu in Asia, called Bad Habit Art & Cafe in Good Earth City Centre, Gurgaon.
Gallery Menu Video
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