The Telegraph
Friday , November 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Marta Delfa Mediavillas holds up a Sangre Di Torres at Souk, Taj Bengal. Picture by Rashbehari Das

Youth, complexity and value for money are the three reasons why you must try the Torres wine at Taj Bengal. Brand ambassador and wine enthusiast Marta Delfa Mediavillas took t2 through a wine pairing with Mediterranean bites at Souk on Tuesday.

Mezze was paired with a young and floral white wine — Vina Esmeralda. “Vina Esmeralda is a young aromatic wine, made of 85 per cent moscatel and 15 per cent Gewurztraminer,” explained the 29-year-old wine enthusiast, who is training for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) exam. First up was the flavoured pita bread and hummus (chickpea puree with Tahina, lemon juice and olive oil). “The light acidity of the wine cuts the creamy, fatty texture of the hummus,” explained Marta.

You wouldn’t think of pairing lamb and white wine, but the Hummus Bil Lahm, or just simple hummus topped with fried bits of lamb also pairs well with the Esmeralda, the chunky lamb bits adding texture. Rubian Hara, or crispy prawn in spicy Lebanese sauce, went well with the white on two counts. The wine not only helped cut the oil but the light spiciness of the sauce offset the hints of spice in the wine. “Gewurz means spice, so it’s only natural that light spicy dishes pair well with this grape,” said Marta.

Her personal favourite? Salty crumbly goat’s cheese on Melba toast with the wine. “It’s something we have at home a lot. And the saltiness of the cheese is very refreshing with the wine as it has some sweetness too,” she said.

For the main course, a more complex red was chosen. The Gran Coronas, Sangre Di Torres, is the Torres house’s tribute to the god of wine — Bacchus. Sangre means blood, and the wine is supposed to be the blood of Bacchus! The red was paired with a tender lamb stew, Lahm Bamia. Sheesh Taouk or chargrilled chicken cubes flavoured with garlic sauce was chosen with the red wine to offset the garlic.

Our favourite? The Vina Esmeralda. “It’s natural to start with younger, crispy wines. But no matter how much your palate develops, there are some wines you keep coming back to. The Vina Esmeralda is one such wine. You can have it by yourself after a hard day’s work or while going out with the girls. You can have it with food or just as a drink. It’s a wine that’s most suited to every mood,” said Marta.

Both Vina Esmeralda (Rs 1,585) and Sangre Di Torres (Rs 2,036) are available in select shops across Calcutta (including Spencer’s and Solace on Prince Anwar Shah Road). At Taj Bengal, you can order a bottle for Rs 3,000-plus.