Bring me some (more) wine… Please!

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My proverbial cup has often runneth over in the past few months with interesting, unique and rare wines from all over the world…

There was the once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan Cruise with the very exclusive Ice Wine…

The naturally frosted grapes waiting for the quick harvesting to be pressed into Ice Wine…

There was the lazy drive around Napa Valley with some lovely Pinots under the sun, and well after it…

The postcard-perfect chateau that houses the Charles Krug Winery in the Napa Valley

Then there was the nostalgia-inducing terrace party for the launch of Taj Signature Label wines where a brilliant Bordeaux hit the spot… read the full story here!

Next was the bigger-n-better Sula Fest, followed closely by a very private V-day celebration with a surprisingly good local strawberry wine, (gifted by my Yoga teacher, who is the idol of encouragement for all things edible!)…

The light, sweet and fruity Strawberry Wine by Rhythm… and the perfect V-day gift from Yoga goddess Sonal Ahuja :)

And finally,  a clutch of exclusive wines at the preview of the Wine Week Dinner at Pizza Metro Pizza, paired unexpectedly well with some devilish METRE-LONG PIZZAS!

Here’s a little photo-story of what jumped out hot off the oven, when foodies got together to usher in the All Things NiceWine Week Celebration.

Delicious wines from near and far... paired perfectly with Pizzas!

Delicious wines from near and far… paired perfectly with Pizzas!

The charry, hot-out-of-the-oven pizzas, with delicious toppings... metre long feasts!

The charry, hot-out-of-the-oven pizzas, with delicious toppings… metre long feasts!

The robust flavours of Scialatieli Pesciosa filled the whole restaurant as it made its way to the our table!

The robust flavours of Scialatieli Pesciosa filled the whole restaurant as it made its way to the our table!

The irrepressible Riccardo is the only one who can hold a whole giant slab of Tiramisu with such flair!...with a smiling Nikhil Agarwal in tow!

The irrepressible Riccardo is the only one who can hold a whole giant slab of Tiramisu with such flair! … with a smiling Nikhil Agarwal in tow!

The party-rockers with Riccardo, the life of the party at Pizza Metro Pizza, Bandra

The party-rockers with Riccardo, the life of the party at Pizza Metro Pizza, Bandra

Riding off... to a wine-full sunset? ;)

Riding off… to a wine-full sunset? ;)

The Wine Week ends this weekend, so for those who need a bit of a push to go try out a bunch of new restaurants, a plethora of new dishes, and carefully crafted special menus paired with delicious wines, the incentive is 30% off on some of the best wines, both Indian and imported. One last chance to get your taste buds a-tingling, so go ahead and book yourself in, and let your own cup run over :)

For the Love of the Cup…

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The #ICCWorldCup2015 is well under way, with thrills, chills, spills and grills both on the lush green fields where the cricket matches are being played Down Under, and in every glued-to-the-TV-screen cricket fan’s home, in every corner of the world.

Few things affect, mould, fire-up and wring our emotions more than an India-Pakistan face off. That’s the way it has been for generations before. And that’s the way it’s likely to be for generations to come. I have a feeling that 100 years down the line, when cricket has become a 1-over game, with 2 players a side, people will still tune in to their holographic TV sets inserted in their palms, for 5 mins of pure adrenaline rush, before zooming off to the 10th planet of the Solar System in their sleek Octa-Core Apple S-Pods. And for those in the know, Gavaskar will still be complaining about India’s bowling, and Afridi will still be playing for Pakistan!

Gavaskar… 100 yrs later!

When I was in school, I would skip class on the pretext of using the toilet, sneak out of the school building, get close to the gatekeeper’s room, and listen to the radio through the window, just long enough to get the score from the match commentary, static and all. The teacher never punished me, even if I got caught… I had the SCORE, after all! And all’s forgiven for a win… :)

Remember these messengers of good news?

At the Eden Gardens Stadium, literally packed to the rafters with 100,000 screaming, whistling, chanting fans, if Pakistan lost a wicket when you stood up to stretch your legs, you could not sit down thereafter… You were the chosen mascot, willy-nilly, for the rest of the innings, voted by the few hundred zealous fans surrounding you in the galleries! Anyway, cramped legs is a small price to pay for a win, right?

Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the second largest cricket stadium in the world…

A few years ago, 5 people would have to be sitting on my bean bag, meant only for one, for India to win… they sat, we won! The beanbag is, of course, history!

Last Sunday, it was India-Pakistan facing off in the World Cup again. Histories, statistics, tempers, sentiments and emotions collided, ably egged on by a clever little piece of advertising by Star Sportswatch here, if you haven’t already. It was much of the old cricket-loving gang assembled at home… the ones perched on the bean bag, that is! The same cries of anguish rang through the air, the same whoops of joy.

But this time I don’t know what got us the win! Was it the Hot Dogs with home-made Relish, zingy Mustard and Chilli Tomato Sauce? Was it the Spicy Red and Fruity White Sangria doing the rounds with chilled beers from the ice-box? Was it the old, excited, familiar faces around the room, around the city, around the country? Or was it, for once, the actual players playing the game, a few thousand miles away? Nope, can’t be! We must find out WHAT WE DID to win. Because WE need to replicate that very same thing next time, and the time after, and so on…

Make-your-own-Hot-Dog... with home-made BBQ Relish and the works!

Make-your-own-Hot-Dog… with home-made BBQ Relish and the works!

Dog Day Afternoon it is!

Dog Day Afternoon it is!

Cricket fans... or, the bean-bag grabbers? Monish, Gaurav, Shalini, Rahul, Me, Pritam and Chugu, with Jyoti behind the lens...

Cricket fans… or, the bean-bag grabbers? Monish, Gaurav, Shalini, Rahul, Me, Pritam and Chugu, with Jyoti behind the lens…

Michele Ferrero – R. I. S.

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‘Who can take a sunrise,
Sprinkle it with dew,
Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?
The Candyman can, cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good’

A spoonful of Nutella… makes the Nutella go down ;)

Can you imagine a world without the gooey, creamy, heavenly goodness of Nutella? Imagine not being able to dig out a large spoon of the rich chocolate and hazelnut paste from the fat jar, plonking it into your mouth, rolling your tongue around, and then making sure that you lick the last little trace off the spoon…

Can you imagine not having the simple joy of popping a little ball of Ferrero Rocher into your mouth, slowly sinking your teeth into its crispy coat, through the soft chocolatey core to reach the whole large hazelnut nestling inside, and crunching into it?

The Ferrero Rocher… the tastiest rock in the world!

Or a world without the sheer magic, fun and surprise of the Kinder Joy – something that makes little kids go egg-static…

These are just some of the wonderful things that the big daddy of the chocolate world, Michele Ferrero, dreamed up, invented, and left back in plenty for us as his legacy, before passing on to sunnier climes. And as a true lover of Nutella, (and a true fan of his genius!) here’s my heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to the real-life Willy Wonkaa one-finger foodie salute, the same finger I use to clean up a jar of Nutella :)

The Nutella Finger...

The Nutella Finger…

... and the One-Finger Salute!

… and the One-Finger Salute!

Michele Ferrero – Rest. In. Sweet.

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