Bengaluru is the city of pubs, the heart of the microbrewery culture where crafts flow like water. It’s vineyards have a niche audience too, although it’s the beer that keeps the social pulse beating. There’s isn’t quite as much for the more discerning tippler, no quiet corner where he can find the choicest spirit and understand the story behind it. Until Food Lovers’ MD and founder Kripal Amanna conceptualised a first-of-its-kind venture, the Wine & Fine Spirits Salon, a day-long experience that will unfurl barrel upon barrel of heady delights for the connoisseur. In India, where whiskey walks and vineyard trails aren’t really a cultural norm, the consumer has very little idea of what a particular beverage is about, reckons Amanna.
The choicest wines and spirits will be brought together under one roof, along with brand ambassadors and consumers, in a day filled with masterclasses, workshops and appreciation sessions, in an atmosphere of learning. Premium brands like Diageo, wines like Fratelli, Sula and other big names like Agave India, Paul John Single Malt, Johnnie Walker, Glenlivet, Campari, Aspri, Wine Park, SDU Winery and Big Banyan will be available too. Inspired by the whiskey walks in Scotland, distillery masterclasses and winery grape escapes, experts will guide participants through the nuances of the process. Be warned, though, it’s not for the novice – each reservation entitles the guest to nine tasting pours – that’s quite a bit of spirit! They are paired with a menu, however, courtesy the quaint cafe at the venue, The Leela Palace.
The brainchild of Kripal Amanna, Salon is the space to explore a vast array of wines and spirits with some tasting experiences, “Typically, it’s very difficult for the Indian consumer to understand what each beverage is all about (as there are so many). We are hoping that with the Food Lovers’ Wine & Fine Spirits Salon which we plan to have once every quarter, it will help wine and spirit companies showcase interesting brands, and allow the consumer to have a tasting experience. It is being curated as an intimate tasting trail and will runs from 11 am to 9 pm as we want people walk in and sip on the potions we have on offer.”
From the Belgian craft brewery Hopper or the Early Dark wine house that brings top quality wines from France, it is a chance to have a slurp of the exclusive liquer from Agave India made with Mahua flowers. Add the large bounty of Indian wines made with top class production techniques like Fratelli, SDU, Sula, etc, it promises to be a heady affair. “You can have a very decent wine from `600 to `700. In terms of imported wines, there is a tremendous range available too. The Indian consumer is evolving. People are travelling, I think people are more accepting of wines, and are appreciating it and enjoying,” says Amanna
Noted wine writer Alok Chandra is thrilled at this bespoke showcase, “I think it is a terrific opportunity to reach both consumers and trade. It gets consumers to sample wines or spirits in a great setting. I look forward to more of such events.”
For the wine and spirit seekers, there are masterclasses by brand ambassadors to know the intimate details of their chosen drink. “We have masterclasses conducted by Diageo’s Paul John, Aspri/ Campari, Hopper and Pernod Ricard,” explains Amanna.
A platform that will see a coming together of tasting experiences and sampling, Kripal feels, “I think it create an invaluable experience and value for a consumer to know more about what is happening in the world of wines and spirits. “Well-curated events like the food lovers wine and spirits salon help us showcase our portfolio to a discerning consumer and build our brand through tastings and experiences. We are excited to showcase Hopper, our authentic Belgian craft beer on Saturday,” said Madhulika Dhall, founder director La Cave Enterprises.
The gamut of explorations will include great domestic wines from different terroirs, elaborating further, he says, “Wines come from Maharashtra and certain wines from Karnataka. There’s also a range of imported wines, both from the old world and new, and also some truly special single malts and spirits.” Don’t just say cheers, raise a toast instead.
When: February 16
Where: The Leela Palace
Entry restricted only to guests over 21 years of age.
Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Registration Fee: ?799 + tax
For bookings, log on to www.foodlovers.in <http://www.foodlovers.in/>