Wine fans in the city have multiple reasons to rejoice this February, with two special wine events coming up. While the first concept - Wine Week (from February 11 to 17) - offers you 30 per cent discount on wines and sparkling wines at over 25 restaurants (see box for list) across the length and breadth of the city, the second - Kala Ghoda Wine Festival (February 8 and 9) - will showcase wines and artisanal cheese from different regions of India.
"We want people to go out and indulge. There are over a thousand wines to pick from. And some are expensive, so hopefully, this discount will encourage people to
experiment," says Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier and director of All Things Nice, the food and drink marketing consulting company that has launched the Wine Week.
Nikhil and his team have also worked with each partnering restaurant to create a special three to four course menu that will go with certain wines. "As a result, we've also covered a variety of world cuisine. Patrons can also ask the chefs to recommend dishes that would be best paired with the wines they have chosen," says Nikhil, adding that there will also be a few master classes planned through the week, "which, in an informal setting, will educate those interested about the finer nuances of wine".
The registration for the Wine Week can be done online, for no charge. "Once you log on, you can also see the entire list or menu of wines that are on offer at all the eateries, in case you want to plan your week in advance," he adds.
Meanwhile, the Kala Ghoda Wine Festival, an independent event that is concurrent with the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, will not only showcase top Indian wines, but also a selection from Spain, Italy, France, Georgia, Portugal and Chile. "We started with only four stalls three years ago, and this year we have about eight," says Pratap Arora, event director.
As for the cheese that will be paired with the wine at the festival, Arora adds, "We have got artisans bringing handcrafted cheese from places like Kodaikanal, Ooty,Pondicherry, Jammu and Kashmir, Manali and Pune. I believe this is the first time all these artisan producers will come together at such a fest."
Apart from cheese made from buffalo and goat milk, the event expects participation from an artisan in Nepal too, whose produce is made using yak milk.
Registration for R700 online or for R800 at the venue includes tasting of the wines as well as the cheese pairing.
WINE WEEK AT...
Botticino at Trident, BKC
Busaba, Lower Parel and Colaba
Fratelli Fresh, Renaissance, Powai
Opium Den and India Jones at Trident, Nariman Point
Olio at Novotel, Juhu
Shiro, Lower Parel
Red Zen, Courtyard by Marriott Andheri East
San Qi and Café Prato at Four Seasons, Worli
Koh and Kebab Korner at Intercontinental, Marine Drive
Pali Village Café, Bandra
Vinoteca by Sula, Worli
Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mahalaxmi and Bandra
China House, Celini and The Bar at Grand Hyatt, Santa Cruz
Spices and Mezzo Mezzo JW Marriott, Juhu
Shamiana, Starboard and Golden Dragon at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba
Two One Two, Worli
HOW TO REGISTER
For Wine Week: Log on to www.allthingsnice.in and register for free. Book your restaurants and avail of 30 per cent discount on your wine bills.
For Kala Ghoda Wine Festival: For details, log on to www.mumbaiwinefest.in. Booking online costs R700 per person; the same at the venue costs R800. The event takes place at Royal Oak Banquets, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda.