Vijay Amritraj serves perfect Match of Wines

Vijay Amritraj serves perfect Match of Wines---Grover Zampa Vineyards

The Leela Palace, New Delhi.......21st October, 2014 (Wine Launch Party)

How can we forget the 1983 Bond movie “Octopussy” in which MI6 Agent Vijay played by our Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj was a big blockbuster…. ‘Game, set and match’  were the words he delivered in the movie coz  in real life he could easily relate to those ; more in his real life arena than anywhere else. He was also the part of Star Trek series. There was a time when the name Amritraj spelled superstar in the world of tennis, he was the Best Asian tennis player for 14 years and having achieved a personal best world ranking of 16, Vijay Amritraj had been welcomed and accepted very well in Hollywood too. A man who had beaten the likes of Jimmy Connors (5 times) and McEnroe, kept the Indian flag flying high in the tennis arena.

California-based now, he was in India for a different cause, it being the endeavor to take Indian wines to the world………… Cheers !!!

In a soiree on 21st October, 2014, at the supremely luxurious, The Leela Palace, New Delhi. Mr.Kapil Grover (Owner of Grover Zampa Vineyards ) and Mr. Vijay Amritraj , the man himself  announced the launch of “Vijay Amritraj (VA) Reserve Collection “ wines . 
Thanks to Mr. Malay Rout (Bus.Head. North and East) Grover Zampa Vineyards and Mr. Sumedh Singh Mandla (CEO) for inviting our Team, The Writers Collective-India (TWCI) and giving us the opportunity to be part of such grand evening…… 

It is fairly not very difficult to meet a celebrity these days as they are everywhere. But it’s rare to meet one who has been an icon in his time, and who is still a legend, decades after stepping out of the spotlight. Like we met one yesterday, and he is Mr.Vijay Amritraj…………This man has that X –factor in him, which has kept him going till now and remain warm and connected to his fans.

At The Leela Palace’s starry launch party, Vijay was surrounded by the high-profile crowd, all waiting to chat with him or take a shot with him…….Oh my my, it was an awesome evening yesterday , filled with lots of celebrity encounters and long chats with the old and some newly made friends………..The Bloggers , Writers, Journos and many high profile guests, the list goes on………The ambiance on "The Terrace" was lovely, cool breeze, starlit sky, soft music from the live band and aroma of wine in the air……… What more can one ask for ???

Coming to the wines, I tasted all of them. But loved the sparkling and the white one with peach and floral notes, more as they are a little easy on our Indian Pallette…….. The red one was good too, with a fruity taste and great finish. As per me the white was a little less acidic, but I have recently started developing love for wines so cannot comment with a sommeliers tongue and nose attached…………...

According to Mr.Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO of Grover Zampa Vineyards,” The collection includes Vijay Amritraj Reserve Red and White Wines. The red reserve is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Viognier.”

Besides, the White reserve is a barrel fermented and barrique aged viognier. The collection of wines will be distributed in India and key international markets like UK, USA and Europe." This brand will provide Indian wines an enviable international platform that can only lift its reputation across the world,” Amritraj said, "the wines made with absolute perfection bring together the element of passion and sophistication."

As per our dear friend, Ms. Lavina Kharkwal a WSET certified wine geek who loves learning, talking and writing about wine.……”The White Reserve is delicately perfumed and lacks a little in acidity, but then Viognier traditionally has low acidity. It is a little high in alcohol at 13.5%abv so her advice is to pair it with food and she sees it doing well with delicately spiced chicken dishes, mushrooms, and mildly spiced Asian dishes. The Red Reserve Pairs well with medium spicy Asian cuisine, good cuts of red meat, game and strong cheese”.

Both the VA Collection Red and the White Reserve are available in Delhi, Gurgaon, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. They  are priced at Rs 1200 which is very decent I must say.

The Leela Palace served up some exquisite Hors d’oeuvres and which we couldn’t stop eating , they were good. But anyways, our focus was not on food. 

It was a lucky day, I must say. Got a chance to meet the celebrity chef  Saransh Goila of “Roti Rasta aur India” fame. It was a food travelogue TV show, in which he travelled more than 20,000 km in India by road in 100 days (Record as per Limca book). Have been a fan of his simplistic and rustic style of cooking since those days. He is such an easy guy to stand with. Nice and humble, no stardom running into his head. We all got pics clicked with him and yes not to forget with star of the evening Vijay Amritraj too……….

As the evening progressed, I was struck with this thought again on how easy and warm, Vijay was with everyone. 

To sum it up I must say, awesome wines, lovely ambiance and great company……It will be a proud day for the Indian wine scene if the wines follow this legend’s footsteps and  are liked and relished by the world……which i know will happen for sure………….

Cheers !!! 

By: Vickrham Vicky

Featured in the November ,2014 Issue of Delhi Now Magazine

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