After many potent years of loving, smelling, infusing, circling (the glasses), tasting, blind-tasting and pairing wine with Indian food, Mumbai’s wine connoisseurs are getting a chance to sample wine in their dessert too.
Renditions of classic French and Italian wine-infused desserts have been concocted by city pastry chefs, while original recipes have been introduced by as many as six restaurants in the city, making it official: wine has moved from your stem glass to savoury mains and now, to your dessert plate.
“People have warmed up to the idea of cooking with it, and now they are trying desserts made with an element of wine too,” says Vikas Bagul, executive pastry chef, Trident Hotel, Nariman Point, who recently added Spiced Red Wine Praline Chocolate to The Gourmet Shoppe menu, and plans to include at least four more wine-infused desserts.
Biting into the wine truffles at Vinoteca by Sula, the city’s latest wine bistro, reveals what all the fuss is about. The White Wine Truffle is a mouthful of delight: fruity, potent liquid floods your mouth, chased by silky folds of chocolate. The Champagne Truffle is equally decadent, and if you like a hint of red chilli in your chocolate, try the Red Wine Spiced Truffle.
“I told my team of confectionery suppliers, ‘We are at a wine bar, why not use wine as the prime flavour?’” says Spanish chef Sylvia Grimaldo-Torres of Vinoteca. The menu also includes two gelatos — a Cabaret Shiraz and a Blush Zinfandel — a potent mix of wine and sorbet.
“Wine in dessert helps cut down on calories; you can replace sugar with wine, which is healthier,” says Chef Juliano Rodrigues, senior sous chef at Out of the Blue, Bandra. He serves Drunken Prunes, made by naturally maturing wine with prunes without adding sugar. "Even the gelatos at Vinoteca contain a paltry 40 calories", Grimaldo tells us.
Another plus point, says Pooja Dhingra of Le 15 Patisserie, is the fact that “flavours blend very well with wine without getting killed.” Merlot works well with dark chocolate, while Sauvignon and Chenin match fruity tones like passion fruit, lemon and strawberry. Even Geddy’s Gourmet Ice Cream, a Bangalore chain that recently launched in Mumbai, has a Red Wine and Fig ice cream, as fruit flavours blend beautifully with wine. And Dhingra is experimenting with wine-based macaroons that will retail at her store next month.
For Chef Glyston Gracias of Smoke House Deli, wine also breaks the monotony of the sweetness in a dessert. “You can eat more dessert that way,” laughs Gracias, who has conceptualised the Philly Plum Cheese Cake with a red wine reduction.
Praline chocolate infused with red wine and allspice: Rs50 per piece
At The Gourmet Shoppe, Trident Hotel, Nariman Point
Assorted truffles made using sparkling and dessert wines: Rs 180
Cabaret Shiraz Gelato (white):Rs 180
Blush Zinfandel Gelato: Rs 180
At Vinoteca by Sula, ground floor, Sunville Building, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli
Burgundy-poached Pears in Ivory Mousse and Pistachio Brownie: Rs 425 for two pieces
At Frangipani, Trident Hotel, Nariman Point
More wine desserts this summer
Merlot with white chocolate macaroons. Chardonnay with passion fruit macaroons: Rs 75 per macaroon
The new wine-range of macaroons will be available next month at the Le 15 Patisserie outlet at Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
Red wine and fig ice-cream: Rs 40 per scoop
At Geddy’s Gourmet Ice Cream, Under the Banyan Tree, Sophia College lane, Peddar Road.
Cinnamon Tuielle or Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Red Wine Reduction: Rs 150
At Shop No.3, ground floor of Royal Classic Co-op Housing Society Ltd, New Link Road, Near Fame Adlabs, Andheri.
Drunken Prunes soaked in red wine: Rs 225
At Out of the Blue. Restaurant outlets in Bandra (W) and Powai.