Beer is made by men, wine by God.’ ― Martin Luther.

Wine, an exceptionally divine beverage, when paired with food can play an important role changing its taste, enhancing it to new levels. We’ve all heard of pairing wine with cheese or with some dark chocolate and it does add so much flavor to the food we eat.

I was at Soma, The Grand Hyatt, Santacruz, Mumbai recently for a wine and dinner pairing curated by Fratelli wines. India, being a country with various climates, was never really seen as a wine destination. Whenever we think of wine we think of Italy or France. With the growing urban population and the growing demand for wine, exposure to western culture and new cuisines has led to a wine revolution. People are more open to trying out new wines, grown on Indian soil. Fratelli wines, made in Maharashtra, India can match any wine of its caliber.

Each course and dish were perfectly paired with the right choice of beautiful wine. Mr. Craig the Brand manager for Fratelli wines, was kind enough to enlighten us on each of their unique wines and how they complemented the food.
We started off with a glass of Fratelli Gran Cuvée Brut Zero Dosage which is a lovely golden sparkling wine, made from Chenin blanc grapes, that has a tinge of citrus flavor to it. Light and refreshing.

The talented chefs at Soma, Hyatt had made beautifully curated menu to go with the wines. The first course consisted of Beetroot Gujia, Wheat cress and avocado koshimbir. The strong red color and delicate shape of the beetroot looked stunning with the fresh green avocado! This with the Fratelli Gran Cuvée Brut was a lovely start to our meal.

The second course had a pairing of the Fratelli Vitae Single Vineyard ‘Tre’ with some stuffed, pan seared radishes. This wine, white in colour, mild but slightly sour in flavor, made with 3 kinds of grapes complimented the spicy radishes beautifully. Cooked with a slight char at the edges, stuffed with aloo posto, tomato caviar and topped with kasundi cream, this dish made for a ravishing appetizer.

I took a moment to admire the ambience around me. The clink of glasses, laughter in the air, flowing conversation, subtle lights, a beautiful open kitchen, smiling faces and the smell of divine food! What a perfect evening!

The first main course dish was Pan crusted Bharwaan mirch served with fresh mint Greek yoghurt and micro greens quinoa. The slight spice of the chilli, coupled with the mild quinoa and fresh yogurt created a medley of flavors with each bite. Crispy, soft and tender, it had all these amazing textures to it.

We paired this up with the Fratelli Vitae Single Vineyard Chardonnay. A vintage wine, grown in regulated temperatures, this white, slightly bitter wine with lemon and orange flavors goes well with spicy food.

The second main course was this enchanting Organic white and wild rice pilaf made with a dum on it served with saffron scented ricotta filled Kashmiri morels on some fresh blanched spinach. Break into the naan on top and let the smell of the freshly made Pilaf (Pulav) enchant your tastebuds. The Morels (brinjal) stuffed with mild ricotta with a tinge of saffron topped with caramelized walnuts were so absolutely delicious.

We paired this up with some Sangiovese. With the recipe from Tuscany, this silky wine made with Sangiovese grapes was slightly sweet but still bitter, making it a perfect accompaniment to our delicious morels.

The best wine of the day, was the Fratelli ‘Limited Release’ Santo which is a sinful dessert wine. Sweet and beautiful, this wine glides over your tastebuds like silk, making you crave for more of this sweet delight. This is a limited release wine, with only 2,000 bottles of it produced, making us lucky to try it! The grapes are aged over time, in low humidity, so that they shrivel and get this sweet flavour.

Best paired with some dessert, it was my favorite wine of the evening. We ended our meal with some chocolate brownie, soufflé, panacotta and some badam barfi.

I had an amazing experience at the Soma wine trail. The food, ambience, service and wine of course were delightful.

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