My absence should probably indicate that I’ve had a pretty successful weekend! Apologies for the delay but I’m all set now to give you the skinny on my high society Saturday night in Mumbai. So my Saturday evening started with a very “propah” cup of tea at the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai where they serve you a large variety of teas in darling little glass tea pots and even give you an hourglass timer to get your brew just right. (I hear there was a Fendi sale on too, oh goody that means it’ll only take like two months salary to buy a bag instead of three now. I’ll add it to my list!) Anyway the last time I was there (tucking into their four level rack of tea savories Mallika Sherawat stomped (yes stomped) in for a photo shoot dressed in black and looking pissed off, or wait maybe she was just on diva autopilot.)
Later that night I headed over to the Leela Kempinski (where for the most part all I’ve ever seen besides Bling is a blurry view of the lobby as we stumble in or out, depending on what side of the after party we’re on) for a super stylish wine and food pairing which turned out to be quite delightful and just a tiny bit intimidating for the average wine rookie like myself. We started with a chilled glass of white (a Riesling I’m told) with Shamita Singha and Craig Wedge at 6 degrees, an impressive bar/brunch spot at the Leela where the rich & restless often go to brunch and later chill by the pool. I had a nice chat with Dharti Desai the founder and CEO of Finewinesnmore, a charming little lady with a playful air about her as she jokingly confided, “whatever we don’t sell I intend to drink!” Eventually everyone made their way over to Jamavar where Chef Surender Mohan had conjured up a special mini feast to pair with a selection of German wines. Yum.
The cool thing was our table turned out to be quite a motley crew of people including a scion of the Leela hotel chain Aishwarya Nair aka “The Heiress” (who really likes her pictures taken in profile), Dharti Desai, Bhisham Mansukhani (a fellow paparazzo and wine aficionado), Zainab Barodawala aka “Lady Liquid” (the editor of Liquid a B2B magazine for India’s hospitality industry), a friend of mine (who was soon dubbed “Alex”), Craig & Shamita who mingled with expertise and myself.
Amidst much swirling of wine and discussions about its bouquet, legs and flavor we had a really good time giggling about everything from (the eccentric at best, loco at worst) Suhas Awchat (that’s a whole other blog’s worth coming soon), how stupid Arbaz Khan was for ordering Merlot for Priyanka Chopra and himself in a scene from Fashion to all the must-watch movies. (I can recommend a Russell Crowe film called “A Good Year” to all wine lovers, you’ll feel like a glass right after the movie!) At dinner I did learn the following however;
The more “legs” (those are the streaks you see inside the glass after you swirl) the more potent the wine.
People who love Pinot wines think its funny to refer to themselves as Pinot-philes.
If your Riesling has a slight petrol aroma, that’s a good Riesling.
In a perfect food pairing you should always be able to constantly taste both the food and your wine.
Wine experts are known as Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers.
Morel’s are mushrooms and damn they’re good!
Clearly there is a whole world going on here which I was not really aware of. In fact Shamita is off to study more about wine this weekend and then on a girlie trip to Amsterdam. My friend Alex did ask her the all important question about becoming a wine connoisseur. “How do you not get totally drunk in the process?” She revealed that she learnt this at school (the hard way) that you’re supposed to spit it out since you really don’t need to swallow it to taste it, but occasionally she cheats.
I know the whole wine shpiel can get a little pretension sometimes but I guess that’s why they always offer you liquid courage before you have to deal with it. I like wine people. They’re alright.