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Less Talk, More Do: Nine Hills’ Road Show Promotes Cooking with Wine
If the first wave of popularizing wine culture was wine tasting and pairing and the endless talk around it, the second is cooking with it. Since, wine continues to be a buzzy, distant terrain for Indians – more terminology than actual rolling around your tongue – cooking with wine may well hit a ‘note’ closer home because it is about doing it yourself in the unaffected comfort of your kitchen.
But that's not exactly why Pernod Ricard’s Nine Hills Wines hit upon the idea of popularizing cooking with wine.
The brand believes Indian consumers now have a fair idea of what good wine is. It was, in fact, after winning two gold medals at the ‘Wines of India’ competition instituted by Starwood Hotels Group, that Nine Hills tied up with Westin Hotels, one of the Starwood properties, and with Le Cordon Bleu Chef Michael Swamy to start ‘Wine in Food’, a 7-day, 7-city road show that took off in Mumbai on Nov 29 and ended Dec 10.
“We've always thought about ‘wine as wine’, and we wanted to go beyond that. Wine is about an experience. It’s about the food you eat, the people you drink it with, the surrounding. Every bottle of wine is different. It tastes different in different situations. So we thought what better experience than to bring a great bunch of people together with some great wine and food, and show people how to cook with it,” Adrian Luis Pinto, Senior Manager, Wines at Pernod Ricard India Ltd., said. He added that the last 13 years have been significant for the industry and the next 5 will be even more so because following the 2007 recession shake-up, “people know that if they have to be in the wine business, they have to make quality wine because Indian consumers now know what good wine is.”
At the Mumbai event, Chef Michael Swamy, who is keenly interested in pairing wines with Indian food, showed the audience how to cook up a quick three-course meal with wine. “Pairing food with wine is simple,” he says, “You either like it or don’t. It’s trial and error. Wine is living, it’s natural. You just have to go on tasting and figure out what combinations you like.”
Click here for recipes of White Wine Vinegar, Mulled Ried Wine Dressing and Tips on cooking with wine shared by Chef Michael Swamy.