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The art of choosing the right wine

Sharath S. Srivatsa
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Madalena Moreira is a trained sommelier who gives expert advice to wine enthusiasts

Expert talk:Madalena Moreira (standing), a wine sommelier at Alpine Wineries, interacting with visitors at the recently concluded International Wine Festival in Bangalore.
Expert talk:Madalena Moreira (standing), a wine sommelier at Alpine Wineries, interacting with visitors at the recently concluded International Wine Festival in Bangalore.

A motley crowd waited patiently for their turn to be ushered into a ‘classroom' where a young Portuguese woman was explaining about the nuances of wine industry.

Once inside the ‘room', these ‘pupils' sat around a glass table with inquisitive ears.

As Madalena Moreira taught the general public about the different aspects of wine at the recently concluded International Wine Festival on Palace Grounds here, listeners got a bird's eye view of the industry.

From basic details about wine to wine tasting, the art of wine services and pairing food with wine, Ms. Moreira, a trained sommelier, gave short, but informative 30-minute classes at the festival venue.

A sommelier's contribution to a restaurant or a winery comes in the areas of selection, procurement and storage of wine, besides providing expert advice to consumers. Sommeliers are also actively involved in pairing food with wine at restaurants.

“With a rich culture and a variety of food styles, India has a promising future for wine pairing. It is interesting to pair wine with Indian spicy food,” she told The Hindu . Ms. Moreira, who has a postgraduate degree in wine culture, is currently trying to pair Indian food with wine at Alpine Wineries, Karnataka's newest vineyard and winery.

“It's a huge challenge to pair Indian food with wine,” she says, adding that the Indian culinary has an advantage over other Asian culinary styles such as Thai and Chinese when it comes to wine pairing.

“It's because India is the first country to be recognised as a wine country in Asia and the wine industry here is on the path of growth.”

“The best compounds in wine should go together with the best compounds of food. Both should be together and in harmony and not kill one another. Wine connoisseurs should enjoy both the food and the wine, and that is a challenge for us,” she said.

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