Wine dinners are fascinating and charming. An evening that is filled with laughter, discussions, swirling, smelling and sipping; a long breath and then feeling the taste that is always different – make such dinners very interesting. I love discussions around wine where we all share our varied experience and learn from each other. At times, I do not enjoy the dinners where I am not convinced with food pairing. Although it is, my personal experience and you might not agree, but just like food, wine & food pairing too is a personal choice. Over the years, I have developed my taste for most of the white grapes and sparkling. I have not been able to develop my taste for full-bodied, high tannin red wines, yet somehow prosecco has become my first choice.

Last week my friend Rohit, who is Marcom at JW Marriott, invited me for a wine dinner at Akira Back. I couldn’t say no. I always believe that wine pairing is not easy and especially when it comes to our own cuisine, it becomes all the more difficult. However, for western food, it is easy and manageable as they do not overcook their meats and don’t use the excess of spices. Akira Back is more Japanese fine dine that originated in the USA and is inspired by Korea. Akira is of Korean origin.

We started with Collavini IL Grigio Spumante, Fruili, Italy, a fresh and fruity bubbly from Italy, which I found little sweet to my taste. Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio grapes and tastes sweet while I prefer my bubbly to be dry. It is a great sparkling if you are new to wine.

Susana Balbo is a woman winemaker from Argentina and is making wines since 1991 and one of the largest producer in Argentina.  Torrontés, a white wine grape variety of Argentina origin is a fresh and aromatic wine. I quite liked this wine with my tuna pizza, which is one of the signature dishes of Akira Back.

Next, was The Chocolate Block, Western Cape, South Africa, which was paired with lamb chops. Interesting blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cab Sauv, Cinsault, and Viognier, a full-bodied aromatic wine. As I shared earlier, I am yet to develop the taste for full-bodied red wine but this one is quite good and an excellent wine, if you are a fan of bold and aromatic red wine.

Thunevin, Bad Boy St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France a great wine from the region of Bordeaux was paired with shrimp tempura, avocado, and truffle oil sushi roll and was quite an interesting combination. Made from 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc; it is an easy red wine and fruitier.

Next was Bibi Graetz, a super Tuscany paired with Edamame Risotto a medium bodied with a fresh finish and lively tannins. It’s for sure an excellent wine and I would love to try it again.

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