Tasting Chilean Wine at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai

“Chile is a feast for the senses. The land holds you with its culture and magic”, said Magandeep Singh, India’s first French qualified sommelier, wine connoisseur, wine writer and more, welcoming guests from the trade, hospitality industry and media, to a master class titled Taste Chile, the Wine Paradise, featuring a selection of Chilean wines, on September 27th, at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai, hosted by the ProChile Commercial Office-Embassy of Chile and Wines of Chile.

The soft glow of gold hues of the Golden Room and neatly set tables with wine glasses, list of wines being served, and a platter of cheeses and dry fruit offered an elegant setting for the intimate master class.

The session commenced with a welcome note by Carolina Vasquez M, Trade Commissioner, ProChile Commercial Office-Embassy of Chile. It was followed by an audio-visual presentation that introduced guests to different aspects of Chile- spanning its geography, sites of natural beauty, agricultural produce, wines and bounty of the sea -as Magandeep shared information about them. .

Of unusual dimensions extending 4,270 km from north to south and 350 kms at its widest (averaging about 177 km west to east), Chile appears like a slim ribbon edged by the ocean to the left and Andes to the right. Yet, Magandeep said, these physical features kept the land free from pests and diseases that attack fields and vineyards. He explained that the country has twenty-three climatic zones that yield a wonderful spectrum of wines –white, rosé and red- with nuances in their profiles reflective of their terrior and wine-making styles. Chile is the fourth largest exporter of wines in the world.

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During the course of the presentation guests were served Domaines Barons De Rothschild, Los Vascos, Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp wine with a refreshing palate (imported by Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd); Concha y Toro, Casillero Del Diablo, Chardonnay, a wine with tropical flavours and a slightly buttery character texture (imported by Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd); Apaltagua Reserva Carménère, Colchagua Valley, a red wine with peppery notes and a dash of spiciness (imported by Wine Park); Ventisquero, Carménère, a fruity and smooth wine (being imported by VBev); Cotton Mouth, Merlot a smooth wine with a peppery flavour (imported by Hema Connoisseur Collections Pvt Ltd) and Genesis, Cabernet Sauvignon, full of fruit flavours (imported by Two Friends)

Of these wines, Carménère was a new name. The world’s largest vineyards of Carménère grape variety, originally planted in Bordeaux, are in now Chile. The wine is distinguished by its deep red colour and aromas of red fruits, berries and spices, soft tannins and medium body.

The tasting session was followed by a buffet dinner of Indian, Thai and Continental preparations with a choice of wines -of those served for tasting as well as Apaltagua, Gran Verano, ChardonnayCotton Mouth, Sauvignon Blanc; Ventisquero, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Genesis, Merlot  -for tasting and pairing. Wrapping up the session Carolina said she hoped guests would enjoy Chile’s distinctive wines with their family and friends in the future, and discover a bit of the country as they did so!