The popular drink and food combinations have become a history with the changing food norms. Though people are really willing to experiment, some ingredients or dishes have to be taken special care of when pairing or combining, or else the bitter taste leaves an unpleasant experience. Wine is one such drink, and people are always confused about which wine goes well with which food.
With an increasing number of wine lovers in India, (and not willing to let go of the local cuisine ), K & K ( the famous Kebabs and Kurries restaurant ) at WelcomHotel Dwarka has come up with an innovative festival of “Wine and Dine” which is ongoing till August 31st. “The motive behind this festival is to promote the idea of relishing authentic Indian recipes with best of wines, thus educating people about the not-so-popular pairing”, says Karanbir Singh Gulati, the Assistant food and Beverage Manager at ITC Hotel who himself is a sommelier.
We were greeted to a nice comfortable seating and known for their hospitality, the servers had smile on their face throughout. No matter how many times I asked about a particular dish or ingredient for the lack of my good memory, they always answered with much efficiency and politeness. Starting with a nice pink coloured welcome drink, we were told that pink resembles happiness, and the drink so to say, “They were happy to have us”. The ambiance, the dim lights, and the decor added to the mood and a nice long chat continued with Karanbir and Ritika (Public Relations, ITC) over food and wine, wherein we got to know that most of the wines were chosen according to their acidic level and so to maintain a balance with the Indian food. Our food being mostly creamy, buttery, spicy (and fatty J), they need either an acidic or high alcohol wine to cut the fat. If the wine has less acidity than food, then the wine will taste flat.   

We were so engrossed in the conversation that we didn’t realise the first set of the 3 course menu was already on the table. For the starters, the Kendal Jackson Chardonnay was served with Pudina Paneer Tikka and Tala Gosht, The Mounton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc served with Sabut Tandoori aloo and Machli tikka, and the Fratelli Chenin Classic with Tarkari Bhuni and Murgh Angaar. For me (being a vegetarian), the Sabut Tandoori Aloo was lip smacking. Tandoor baked potatoes filled with raisins had lovely texture and went so well with the mild, smooth and a little fruity Cadet Sauvignon Blanc. My partner being a die hard non vegetarian loved the Murgh Angaar, though he liked to pair it with Cadet Sauvignon Blanc instead of the Fratelli Chenin Blanc served. 
The main course came on the table with 2 classic red wines – Bodega Norton Malbec and Fratelli Classic Shiraz. The deep red coloured rich fruity wine from Argentina was very smooth and supple and went well with the Makhana Qorma (Puffed lotus seeds and green peas in yogurt flavoured with spices). The Paneer from the Paneer Sirohi, as told to us, is handcrafted. The flavours bursted in my mouth when I tried the much talked about (which I really wanted to taste at K & K) Dal Bukhara. Such buttery, creamy daal which is cooked overnight, for almost 18 hours to be precise, and well monitored when to add the spices, tomatoes and other ingredients. The secret to the taste is the lentils ( which don’t get mashed even after being cooked for so long), which they procure from a guy who produces it only for ITC. My partner savoured the Burrhani Gosht over the Murgh Handi Qorma. The lamb cooked in onion and garlic yogurt gravy complimented so well with the earthy Classic Shiraz, that I had to bring him back to K & K from his food trance.

Must mention are also the sideys – the garlic chutney in hung yogurt and the raw papaya slices with fennel, onion seeds and raisins. And we were surprised when there was a wine pairing even with the dessert. The classic Chandon Rose was perfect to end the dinner, with it’s rich fruity flavour and the dramatic pink colour. Served a portion of both the desserts offered, we loved the mini gulab-jamuns served with Rabdi more than the Kulfi served in a falooda style.
This invite for the festival definitely got me back home with tons of knowledge about wine! And the quest to know more continues…
So this weekend, you know where to “Wine and Dine”…🙂
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