Sampan at Crowne Plaza (#6/86) (contd.)

The real disappointment was with the Pinot. I had to try hard to take the second sip; third was impossible. I wonder how the heroes would have reacted in ‘Sideways' if they had the opportunity of drinking this wine. My confidence in my palate was almost shaken up till I realized that most people had left their glasses untouched or had taken barely a few sips. I feel the W.E. judges did not taste this wine or the vintage we were subjected to.

It all brings us back to our stated objective. We provide a platform and an opportunity to experiment with different wines. You drink what you like. But try all, you must. I am sure some people must have been concerned with the usual ‘acidity' of the champagne and others liked the fruitiness of the Pinot Noir and found it well rounded and elegant. I would raise a toast to all!

The hotel staff usually puts in their heart for such dinners. When they bare their souls too, the evening turns out to be exceptional. When Mr. Greesh Bindra, General Manager of Crowne Plaza and Ms. Shalini Kochhar, the Communications manager were as excited about organising a wine dinner for us at Sampan as we were, I knew we had a rollicking evening ahead; where wine might not be the Prima Donna but an important player, all the same. Though we could organise the event three months after the initial conceptualization, it was well worth the wait. Meticulous planning by their F & B Manager, Sumant Jaidka and the Restaurant Manager, Manendra Sharma ensured a glitch free evening. Neeraj, the new addition to the hotel is well known to many of us from the Park Hotel days and his exuberance and feeling as a friend of the Delhi Wine Club ensured that the staff gave an excellent service and people left asking for an ‘encore'.

The restaurant is having the Chinese Food Festival from March 4-19. Chefs have been specially invited from Beijing. In fact, they were gracious enough to prepare a couple of dishes for us from our Menu. Those of you, who could not make it to the evening because of your pre-occupation with Prez Bush's visit or the wedding of your cousin or niece, should try to make a visit during this festival. You'd be glad you did. But don't forget to write me a ‘Thank you' mail afterwards.


Subash Arora

March 3, 2006

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