Intimidated by wine terminology? Do you panic when handed the wine list? Confused by the wide variety available? Want to try something but afraid it might turn out to be a wrong pairing? The techniques of perfect wine and food pairings tend to confuse and elude most of us (and I am not going to hide the fact that it scares me too!) They say it’s a little easy once you know the difference between the wines: once you get a hang of the basics like intensity, acidity, weight, sweetness, tannin, it’s easy to avoid the dreadful wine pairing pitfalls.
Last week I was invited for a wine tasting and dinner session at Premier Inn, Kharadi. Not being much of a wine enthusiast, I was a bit skeptical to accept the invitation.But it’s a little hard to ignore an opportunity to try something different- great food coupled with appropriate wines? Hell yeah! So here we were at Linx, Premier Inn Pune Kharadi, looking forward to what promised to be an exciting culinary journey.
Beverages can take a meal from special to extraordinary. And good food and good wine go hand in hand. Whether you’re serving a simple selection of cheeses, or entertaining with a mutli-course meal, knowing the nuances of wine-pairing will help you go a long way. Keeping this fact in mind, Grover Zampa and Premier Inn hosted a wine and dine event for some of us. Brilliant (and helpful) concept I must say.
Our Menu for the night included-
Amuse Buche with Zampa Soiree Brut
Crab & Rocca wrap in Salmon
Oriental Grilled Prawn
Chicken Vol u vent
Golden fried corn Basket
Mushroom & Broccoli Vol u vent
Seeing a variety of food being presented always gets me excited. There’s a certain sense of adventure that variety gets- you don’t know what you’re digging into. You don’t have any idea what it’s going to taste like…and THAT is what makes the culinary journey interesting. My verdict-
The crab and rocca wrap in salmon was a little too bland for my liking- loved the crab (HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO COOK IT THAT WAY? GENIUS!) But the salmon tasted a little stale (or was it too cold?) The oriental grilled prawn could have been softer (there was a hint of rawness too!) The chicken vol u vent was absolute love (ate 2 of them ^_^) The golden friend corn basket was a welcome change since everything else on the platter was bland- this one had a sweet, almost tangy side to it. Loved it! Couldn’t taste the comprese salad or the mushroom vol u vent due to food allergies. *sigh*
The Zampa Soiree Brut was a red wine- crisp, with a dry finish. Not really my type (I’d like my red wines sweeter) But of course, a fine pairing.
Appetizer with Sauvignon Blanc
Dimsums: Vegetable / Chicken / Prawns
I had been craving for some steaming hot dimsums since the beginning of the monsoons, and it was WORTH the wait. Dimsums are always a good idea, so there’s no way you shouldn’t try these.
The Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite (I didn’t stop at one glass) This sparkling white wine is quite different from the other crisp white wines- I love the refreshing fruity flavor left at the end. Once again, a big hit!
This was my personal favorite of the night. Noodle soup made with a thick coconut milk base- 11/10! (In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a BIG fan of South Indian cuisine) This dish reminded me so much of the stew they have done south….I’m literally drooling while typing this out. I’d probably go back for this soup here once again (totally worth the distance!)
Main Course with Grover la Reserve
Noodles served with lamb can never go wrong. The noodles were a tad bit too spicy though. Other than that, great flavor, well cooked meat, and a lovely wine pairing once again!
Grover la Reserve is a thick red wine with a very strong woody flavor at the end (this is because it is aged in oak barrels) Quite an interesting mix of fruity and spicy flavors.
Dessert with Grover Art Collection Rose
Fried Ice Cream
Time had passed too quickly, and it was sad that I couldn’t stay back for the dessert. I did manage to have a bite of the fried ice-cream though- have eaten this once before and didn’t fancy it too much even then. It tasted a little too oily, and the sweetness is considerably reduced. Not a big fan. But definitely better than the one I had tried before at a joint on FC Road.
The Rose was my second favorite wine of the night. I wish I had got a little more time to sip this one at ease. Light pink and soft on the tongue, it’s also known to be the perfect summer wine.
Premier Inn being a little too far is not exactly a viable option to visit every week. But if you’re looking for that perfect place for that quiet dinner for two, or maybe a dinner meeting with a client, you could give this a try. If you’re near the airport and looking for some “budget” fine dining, I would definitely recommend this (it’s also a good option to stay put: you have Costa Coffee , Linx, 87, close proximity to the airport and they guarantee you a good night’s sleep too. What more would you need?)
Stocking up on some Grover Zampa wines is a good idea if you’re planning to entertain guests at home. They’d also make the perfect gift if in case you’re confused the next time around. I personally would love to stock up on some Sauvignon Blanc (if in case you are planning to visit me soon, you now know what to get me)- this one was probably the best wines I have ever tasted. So go ahead, try them out. You won’t be disappointed!