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Now Italians lure Indians to drink their wines

india Updated: Oct 19, 2009 20:25 IST
Naomi Canton
Naomi Canton
Hindustan Times
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The latest international winemaker to fly to Mumbai to promote his wines is Chef Rolando Ruiz Beramendi, social director of Allegrini wines. Allegrini is a 70 hectare family-run wine estate in the lush, hilly Veneto region of north Italy, the country’s most famous wine-growing area.

Allegrini’s first wine pairing night was held at Mezzo Mezzo in the J W Marriott and was the latest in a string of such nights held by foreign winemakers in the city to educate Mumbaikars about imported wines and how to drink them.
The aim of this event was to educate locals about how to pair Italian wines with Italian food.

The meal started off with Allegrini Corte Giara Soave Pagus 2008, a Soave (white) made 20 per cent from the Charadonnay grape and 80 per cent from the Garganega grape (typically used for Soave). The wine was very light and smelt grassy and fresh.

Fruity flavour
It went very well with the crudites and olive oil dip served with it, and the Chardonanny grape added a tropical fruity flavour. “The younger this Soave is drunk, the better,” said Beramendi. This was followed by the Allegrini Valpolicella Classico, a red wine that had a classic ‘red wine’ taste. It was very easy drinking, mild and light, made from the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes.

“If you serve it slightly chilled, it’s delicious” explained Beramendi. The third wine, the Poggio Al Tesoro-Mediterra Toscana 2007, had a stronger spicy, cinnamony fragrance and tasted as if it would suit red meat. It had a slightly bitter edge and was the kind of wine you would have to drink with food, not alone. It complemented the spicy onion flan in asparagus sauce.

The third red, the Allegrini La Grola, was a very dry wine, served with a pasta with duck ragout. Despite being dry, it was also an easy drinking wine. This was followed by Sallegrini La Poja 2003, a deep red wine with a smoky flavour.
Grown on top of a limestone hill, this vintage wine, made exclusively from the Corvina grape, has been aged for six years and is best suited for connoiseurs.

Very dry
It was very, very dry, with pleasant cherry notes. It was quite unusual and would compliment smoking a cigar. This was served with roast chicken. The final wine, the Amorone Classico, was a sweet fruity red, that suited home cooked food like roast chicken and dessert. By the time the Allegrini Grappa (a potent Italian spirirt) was served, most people had drunk quite enough.