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Viaggio Con Vino e Cucina @Alto Vino, Marriott Whitefield

When India’s one and only Advance Master Sommelier pays a visit to Bangalore for an exclusive Wine-Pairing event, you simply can’t afford to miss it.

Viraj Sawant, the Brand Ambassador for Berkmann Wine Cellars hails from Pune and has under his kitty a few years of experience in Michelin Star restaurants in the UK. Marriott Whitefield is hosting him from August 22 through 30th for a special Italian Menu paired with Wines. I was lucky to be part of this super-exclusive event hosted at Alto Vino by the Marriott marketing team headed by Siddharth Verma and The-Practice PR Consulting.

As I entered the venue, the long table with distinct Wine glasses and Cast Iron pots caught my attention. We had a tete a tete with Viraj and Chef Marou, Head-Chef, Alto Vino before we took our seats. The dinner was attended by imminent personalities from the Media and it was an absolute delight to be in their company. After a round of introduction, Viraj explained to us the various Wines we were going to pair and their respective notes and relevance.

We started with a Prosecco from Zardetto, Extra Dry in texture to go with the Amuse Bouche-Chicken Bruschetta. The appetisers followed soon with Deep-Fried Baby Corn and Zucchini along with Eggplant Strudel. The latter was an absolute acquired taste and paired extremely well with the dry sparkling. Fritto Misto, a mix of Batter-Fried Prawns and Calamari followed with some Slow Cooked Chicken in Herbs. I tried the house Pesto served on the table with the Seafood and it was delicious to say the least.

It was time for the Antipasti to arrive with the Villa Antinori from Tuscany. The Insalata Sana comprising of Organic Greens with Asparagus, Goji Berry and Toasted Almonds in a Raspberry Vinaigrette was the right accompaniment with the Villa Antinori Blanco. Its fruity aftertaste reminded me of the Californian Chardonnay I usually drink at home.

The Secondi was a Zuppe- Acqua Di Pomodero, Green Asparagus Tortellini in a mildly flavoured Tomato Consommé. The subtle taste of this dish reminded me of the traditional Italian clear soup known specifically for its modest undertone.

The Secondi or the Mains arrived next and I had opted for the Herb Crusted Prime Lamb Rack with Couscous and Sautéed Vegetables in a Jus Reduction-Costoletta D’agnello . When paired with the medium-bodied-Santa Cristina, a Sangiovese from the house of Antinori, cherry red in colour the lamb just melt in your mouth. The fruity flavour of the wine complimented the succulence of the meat very well and I took the liberty of indulging in a couple of extra pours. The result-well, what can you expect? I tend to get chatty with the right Red and this was no exception.

Chef Marou cooked up a nice Vanilla Ice cream right in front of our eyes with Dry Ice and served it with the Dark Chocolate Flan on our table. The Tortino Al Cioccolato was the perfect sweet ending to this decadent voyage. As we left the hotel, I was extremely happy to participate in such an exclusive event showcasing myriad flavours that complimented each other so well. Heartfelt thanks to Siddarth Verma, Chef Marou and Viraj Sawant for this amazing experience in Fine Wine Pairing.

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