Tastin’ France in Mumbai

Sovna Puri enjoys a real life tasting of French wines in Mumbai.

These eight months have been as strange and surreal for you as for me, right? I mean, no outings with friends and family, working from home mostly, constant vigilance…. but the absolute worst? Virtual wine!! Sure, technology has been a wonderful means of communication and the virtual tastings have been great. But there’s nothing like actually sipping some Côtes du Rhône!

And then came this real tasting – like a sparkling wine on a summer morning… Oh that feeling when you go for an actual and not a virtual tasting after eight long months!! Thanks and merci beaucoup to Business France and the French Embassy for being brave and innovative enough to organise this event despite all the odds due to covid.

Producers from across France showcased their champagnes, wines and cognacs. Of the eight producers who were there, I particularly liked the Côtes du Rhône line-up from Château Juliette. Others showcasing their range included Champagne André Heucq with their Blanc de Meunier along with an NV Champagne, Domaine Edmond Rentz from Alsace with their perfumed Gewurztraminer, although I was a little underwhelmed by their Pinot Gris since it was not as expressive as one would expect this grape to be. There was Mas de Daumas Gassac and Terres des 2 Sources from Languedoc, Vignobles Boissonneau from Bordeaux and ABK6 for Cognac.

Generally, in India, it’s very rare to find rosés in tastings, so it came as a pleasant and very welcome surprise to see quite a few rosés being offered up for us to taste. The Château La Coste rosé from Provence especially stood out for me with its vibrant red fruit on the nose and palate.

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Although the producers could not be here in person, for obvious reasons, they were available for a tête-à-tête virtually! With tablets next to every counter. Talk about French panache! So we had a very real and a very safe tasting. Until we can actually meet and enjoy over good food, good company and a glass (or two!) of wine without getting frazzled.

Let’s raise a glass to those times… Cin Cin!