L’Art de la Table – so fine, so French

fwmdinner1a.jpgIt was a special evening to remember for lovers of French wine. Finewinesnmore, the Mumbai-based wine import company presented French champagnes from the house of Canard-Duchene and a selection of wines from French winemaker M Chapoutier to wine lovers of Bangalore over a sumptuous sit-down dinner at the Grand Ballroom of the Leela Palace, Bangalore on Friday 29th May. By Ruma Singh.
Pictured above are Priyanka Mehra, FineWinesnMore, Ruma Singh of Sommelier India and President, Bangalore Wine Club, and Craig Wedge, Sr VP FineWinesnMore.

The dinner was preceded by a formal champagne reception, where guests enjoyed chilled flutes of Champagne Canard Duchene Brut with hors d’oeuvres, and had the opportunity to converse with the very genial Alexis Petit-Gats, global brand ambassador, Champagne Canard-Duchene, who spoke passionately about his family’s long-standing association with champagne. This was followed by a five course sit-down dinner, pairing a fascinating range of luxe foods with the champagnes and wines.
Interestingly, the food had an Indian twist, an unusual combination to have with classic French wines.To begin with, there was tandoori-spiced scallops on saffron cucumber aspic with herb salad with the M Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Belleruche, which stood up surprisingly well to the spices. This was followed by coconut-scented lobster, quenelle of soft semolina with tobiko and cilantro oil for the non-vegetarians, with a cottage cheese variant for the vegetarians. This was served with the lovely and delicately balanced Canard Duchene Grande Cuvee Charles VII, a rosé champagne. This champagne was declared the hit of the evening by several guests present.
Global Brand ambassador of Champagne Canard-Duchene, Alexis Petit Gats and Dharti Desai, Founder & CEO, FineWinesnMore.
The main courses followed: masala braised duck with tamarind red wine reduction and lentil risotto, and morel-stuffed egg plants for the vegetarians, along with the
M Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Belleruche, and the curried lamb shank/curried lotus stem with cumin mash and tandoori vegetables served with two reds: the M Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers and the M Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Bernadine. The dessert, Valrhona Chocolate and exotic mixed nut Kulfi wound up the evening.
Craig W Wedge, international wine consultant, Finewinesnmore, was busy table-hopping, chatting with the guests and discussing the wines. “This evening is about conviviality,’ he said, explaining the the concept behind the theme for the evening, L’Art de la Table, or the art of the table.
The concept was introduced at the beginning of World War II by wine producers in Burgundy, who wanted to put their precious wines, all going to waste against the background of war, to good use. So they got together over evenings of good food combined with their own excellent wines, and there began a tradition of wonderful evenings spent on great food, wine and conversations. This particular evening in Bangalore was one such too, as topics of conversation ranged from politics, to food, to — but naturally – wine.
The pièce de resistance and surprise at the end of the evening was a complimentary 350ml bottle of Champagne Canard Duchene Brut presented to all guests. For those present who enjoyed the long, leisurely evening, good wine and good food, Craig’s words continued to echo: “A votre sante!”

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