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Not a thing to wine about

Anamika Mukharji  |  Mumbai 

The second Bandra Wine Tasting Festival promises a heady mix of wines, food and music.

Imagine a green lawn, perfect early winter weather, live music, good food, and 60 varieties of wine. Saunter around, wine glass in hand, sampling exotic cheeses to complement the wine spilling down your throat. Listen as wine connoisseurs enthuse about the right way to taste wine. Hungry? Try the live seafood barbeque, tapas, oysters, or Lebanese shawarma.

Actually, don’t imagine it. Just show up in Bandra next weekend for the Second Annual Bandra Wine Tasting Festival, organised by Monsoon Winds, a venture of the Pune Gourmet Club (PGC). “This year we have over 60 Indian and international wines on offer, ranging from Chenin Blancs, Zinfandels and award-winning French oak barrel-aged reserves, to exciting new varietals like Sicilian Nero D’Avola and Grillo and Spanish Tempranillo,” says festival coordinator and founder of the PGC, B Shankarnarayan.

“Our festivals attract the wine-curious,” he adds, using the word to describe a growing number of enthusiasts eager to drink and learn about wine for health reasons or for the sophistication of sipping out of a wine glass versus rather than chugging beers by the pitcher. The festival also allows smaller wineries, which may not be able to muscle their way onto wine-store shelves, to reach out to this willing consumer base.

If you want to learn, Ajit Balgi of the Tulleeho Wine Academy will have a session on “Six Wine Styles You Must Know”. You can learn to identify wine aromas using the Le Nez du Vin wine aroma kit, guided by Nikhil Agarwal of All Things Nice.

Wines, for some, are an excuse to eat cheese. The Cheese Lounge at the Festival will feature a huge array of cheeses, including 30 Indian varieties by boutique producers. In case you’re in danger of forgetting that wine is the reason you’re here, Hari, cheese master from Kodaikanal, will help you pair wines and cheeses, and point you toward the cheese fondue.

Whether you take it seriously and walk around taking notes, or just float around after sampling more than your fair share, this promises to be a fun weekend. But don’t plan to drive back. You’ll have trouble locating your seatbelt, and stretching it across your full stomach.

At D’Monte Park Recreation Club, Bandra (West), October 30-31. Passes, Rs 500 each, at, cover only wine samples. Food is extra. Visit  

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First Published: Sun, October 24 2010. 00:16 IST