Rajie, April 23, 2015

SOMM-movie night

SOMM-Movie night

SOMM-Movie night

SOMM-movie night

SOMM-movie night

SOMM was an eye opener to Terroir members.

The members of Terroir and their guests got a good measure of what it takes to be a connoisseur of wine through a film. In the first event organised this year-2015, a documentary film titled SOMM, made by Jason Wise , which tracks the mammoth effort to crack the Master Sommelier Exam was screened at the Hyatt Regency on April 11th as part of it’s agenda to raise consciousness among members and guests.

The movie offers a ring side view on what goes on in the lives of those who aspire to pass the Master Sommelier Exam.

Filed in Events 1 Response
admin, July 22, 2011

Four Seasons

Location: Chennai
Date & Time: Thursday, September 3, 2009 – 15:02

Terroir – Madras Wine Club organised its fourth event since its inauguration in Jan 2009 with a tasting of UB’s Four Seasons range of wines held at the fashionable pub of Chennai called 10 Downing street on the 3rd September 2009.

Mr Abhay Kewadkar, the chief wine maker and Business Head of the UB Wine division was present at the event attended by about 30 members of Terroir.

The event started with the tasting of UB’s Sparkling Wine from the Bouvet Ladubay range – Bouvet Ladubay BRUT, one of the prestigious Loire valley sparkling wine producers which was bought by UB a few years back.

While the members were sipping the BRUT and making their palate ready and fresh to taste the Four Seasons range, Mr Abhay Kewadkar gave a brief talk on the Bouvet Ladubay range and then introduced the members to the Four Seasons range of wines made at their Baramati winery. The five varietals of Four Seasons wines launched this year all over India – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Blush Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

The Chenin Blanc was an instant hit with the members of the Terroir compared
to the Sauvignon Blanc. The reds were soft and easy drinking too without too much of tannins. A few members preferred the white wines over than the red ones and there was a comment from one of the members that India needs a few more years to experiment and come out with a good red wine. Mr Kewadkar emphasised that Four Seasons range of wines are simple wines which are light in body and have low alcohol content. He also pointed out the “ herbaceous” character of the wines.

Some members did like both the reds and I personally liked the Shiraz and all the members agreed that this vintage happens to be the first vintage from Four Seasons and we were all very confident that their wines will improve with every vintage with the able guidance of Mr Abhay Kewadkar who is right now India’s only well known “ Indian” winemaker and we should all be proud about that.

Mr Kewadkar answered the questions of some members about the winemaking process in Baramati winery and also shared with us Dr Vijay Mallya’s preference when it comes to Wines. The snacks offered by 10 Downing Street was a good accompaniment to the wines tasted.

Terroir was proud to have the first tasting of Indian wines from the Four Seasons range after having organised a few tastings of Imported wines from the old and new worlds. We look forward to organise such tastings to promote and popularise wines “ Made in India”. Mera Bharath Mahan!

Chinmaya Arjun Raja

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admin, July 22, 2011

An Evening with Steven Spurrier in Chennai

Location:
Chennai
Date & Time:
Thursday, April 8, 2010 – 19:30

Right: Steven Spurrier with the Terroir Chronicle 2009

Talk about shattering preconceptions about wine. “Steven Spurrier’s take on the current wine scenario is that the French are drinking less wine, the Chinese can’t get enough and that India is the next big market,” writes Parvathi Nayar. The setting was the wine dinner held at the Sheraton Park, Chennai.

Right: Steven Spurrier with the Terroir Chronicle 2009.

Mr Spurrier’s myth-shattering persona is famous – he was responsible for the 1976 blind tasting competition, “The Judgement of Paris” which made the world sit up and take notice of Californian wines. The story was given the Hollywood treatment in the Alan Rickman starrer, “Bottle Shock”. Interestingly enough, a screening of Bottle Shock paired with wines, was one of the activities that Terroir members enjoyed last year.

Quite appropriate then, that Terroir’s 10th event was an evening with Mr Spurrier himself. Today, Mr Spurrier is Chairman, Board of Wine Advisors, Wine Society of India, as well as consultant editor to Decanter and director of Christie’s wine course among other wine-related activities.

The evening’s liquid refreshments opened with a sparkle, an Italian Ti Amo Prosecco. Mr Spurrier recalled how, in Italy, his preferred mid-morning drink was always a glass of Ombra Prosecco; adding, his choice of beverage was influenced by the knowledge that you risk being labelled an ignorant tourist if you ask for a cappuccino any time after 10 am.

Our caviste for the evening declared the first wine served with dinner, the 2005 Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2005 from Burgundy to be “perfect”, from its balanced structure and fresh fruit aromas to how it had been stored. However, the crowd pleaser of the evening was probably the 2004 Joseph Phelps Sonoma Napa Chardonnay. Spurrier commented on the richness of the wine and pointed out how “the higher alcohol content in this wine does make the wine bigger.”

Diners were duly appreciative of the selection of wines over the evening. Terroir member Salony Kane, for instance, noted, “The two reds tasted were both wonderful representations of the stylistic traditions of their regions. The Stag’s Leap Artemis showed vivacious zest and elegance whereas the 97 St Estephe was mature and subtle.”

Mr Spurrier was happy to share his knowledge, and his expertise publicly with the assembled guests, and more privately in one-on-one conversations, where he took time to answer specific questions. He explained, for example, exactly why 2009 was an extraordinary year for wine in France.

“The reasons were because the flowering and fruit-set was early, at the beginning of June with sunny and relatively dry weather, so that there was no loss of buds; the ripening was complete, thanks to hot weather and just the rainfall needed in August and September. The grapes were in perfect condition in the final ripening stages in late September/early October and the vintage took place during unusually dry conditions.”

Good conversations and legendary company, the Steven Spurrier evening was a memorable occasion – and a sign of many more such good vintages to come for wine lovers in Chennai.


Left: Founding members of the Terroir Madras Wine Club

Filed in Events No Responses
admin, July 22, 2011

Dinner in the French Quarter

Location: Satsanga Restaurant — Puducherry
Date & Time: Saturday, August 28, 2010 – 19:00

An evening with Pierre Elouard the owner of Satsanga with a selection of Bordeaux wines and maybe a little education.

Filed in Events No Responses
admin, July 19, 2011

The Screening of Bottle Shock

The Screening of Bottle Shock

Location: Chennai
Date & Time: Friday, July 24, 2009 – 15:01

Bottle Shock Night

The third “official” event organized by the Chennai Wine Club, Terroir, was a well-balanced brew of great ingredients: a thoroughly enjoyable film about the grape titled Bottle Shock, some appropriate grape to keep the film company, and great company that stayed to chat about the grape.

On the evening of July 24th 2009, 20 members of Terroir gathered at the Screening Room of the Park Hotel, some reaching by the appointed hour of 6pm, others making impassioned telephone calls about “traffic snarl-ups”. So the evening started fashionably late but as the movie itself – picked by Terroir’s Mukund Padmanabhan – was an unqualified success, there were few actual complaints.

Creating – shock – waves of appreciation at Sundance, Bottle Shock directed by Randall Miller is based on a real event of great importance in the history of wine: the so-called Judgment of Paris, a wine tasting event in 1976, in which French and Californian wines faced off in a blind tasting.

The always-enjoyable Alan Rickman plays Steven Spurrier, a Brit wine merchant in Paris who is a snob about the superiority of French wine. He gets involved in setting up the blind wine tasting, which forces him to visit the barbarians of Napa Valley. But it’s his nose that’s in for something of a shock – no longer can it be held disdainfully up in the air when faced with the luxuriant aromas of Napa’s perfect chardonnays. The Napa end of things is brought to life by the conflicts between Barrett senior (Bill Pullman) and junior (Chris Pine) about how to lead ones life, and run a profitable business by making the best possible wine.

The Screening of Bottle Shock

“I admittedly felt proud and patriotic when the American wines won against all odds!” says Ragini Gupta, Acting Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General, Chennai of the film. She adds: ” This wine club event was especially enjoyable because members got to know one another – it was a nice intimate event unlike prior dos!”

Members made good use of this opportunity to discuss the movie as well as meet other Terroir members in an informal setting. There was, for example, a hilarious round of introductions; had there been a prize, the member who offered an entertaining self-introduction as “professional socialite” would have won hands-down. Unwilling to call it a night even as the Screening Room closed, 10 members went on to have dinner – and the odd glass of wine – at the Anise in the Taj Coromandel.

Wines brought in by the members to accompany the film included both Californian and French vintages. Among the offerings were Seshagiri Valangiman’s 2006 Kendall Jackson Napa Chardonnay, Reserve which has a “big, tropical fruit-scented nose, fine acidity, and medium to full-bodied flavors”; and Sabu Balagopal’s 2006 Chateau Teyssier, Bordeaux’ Château Teyssier being referred to as “a rising star in St-Emilion – one of two right bank ‘stellar cellars’“ according to Williamson & Moore’s Wine Behind the Label.

Wine of the evening? Most likely the 2005 Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet, aged for 16 months in French and American oak – and made with 100 per cent Napa Valley grapes, which kept to the spirit of the movie. Whine of the evening – the plaintive “But why don’t we do this more often?”

-Parvathi Nayar

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