An evening with Ash Rajan at the Colonial, Bangalore

clip_image006a.jpgThe restaurant was called Colonial, but the accent of the evening was definitely modern European. The evening of 1st April saw an unusual wine tasting initiated by old Bangalore boy Ash Rajan, back home on a trip from his high-powered job with Merril Lynch in the US, writes Ruma Singh. This was also an opportunity for him to indulge in his latest passion — talking about wine.

At the sold-out evening, the restaurant had wine aficionados, newbie wine drinkers and curious foodies, alike, gathered together that evening. The wines were a selection from top Burgundy-based French negociant, Bouchard Aine et Fils, imported to India by United Vintners. The food was a carefully put-together selection by Chef Paolo of Colonial.
But the centre of attention was Ash Rajan. Sporting a medallion-shaped silver tasting chalice around his neck, the wine enthusiast and collector opened the proceedings with a talk on his passion – the “mystery and magic” of wine.
It is important to get right into the DNA of the wines you drink in order to understand their pairing with food, he said, a topic that had been debated for years. He walked the guests through wine making processes, how to select the perfect wine goblet to enhance that wine-drinking experience, and of ‘retro-nasal profiling’, even as the courses were being served.
The food and wines too received much appreciation. The ginger-scented grouper creviche married perfectly with the Bouchard Chablis, crisp, tart and dry. The goat’s cheese souffle and shrimp ravioli was served with the Bouchard Beaujolais Les Coteaux AOC, a light, undemanding red, while the Canadian duck breast was declared a hit when paired with the Bouchard Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC, the robust wine handling the flavours with ease. Finally came a sinful trio of desserts – chocolate mousse, chocolate brownie and a strawberry and balsamic salad – just perfect with the Bouvet Ladubay Coteaux du Layon AOC.

Chef Paolo Nonino’s special four-course menu along with premium UB wines from France was priced at Rs.1900 net per person, including a cocktail reception on arrival.

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