Glenlivet, the way to live it
TGIF! It was yet another one of
those Fridays where I got a surprise to herald that impending weekend. Thank
Goodness It’s Friday.

A special invite from Glenlivet for
an immersive evening to pay tributes to their founder George Smith, at the unveiling
of the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, was what made my day, Friday, 6th
of November, 2015 and the location was the Regal Room at The Trident, Nariman
Point.

Glenlivet, the world’s no.2 Premium
Malt Whisky, was founded way back in 1824 in the remote Livet Valley, at the
heart of Scotland’s Speyside region. It has its distillery situated near
Ballindalloch in Moray, United Kingdom producing this single malt Scotch
whisky. The oldest legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet, the identity of
this brand is “the single malt that started it all”.

George Smith started off his career as
a farmer used to having illicit stills. Founding the first legal distillery in
the parish in 1824, George Smith legalised the already famous illicit whisky
from Scotland and eventually went on to establish the brand as the best whisky
in the market.
Obtaining the exclusive right to be
called the Glenlivet in 1884 by a court ruling, George Smith’s single malt whisky
became the favourite whisky for enthusiasts throughout the British Empire by
the start of the 20th Century, and eventually becoming America’s
no.1 single malt, from the time of the end of the Prohibition in the United
States.

The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
whisky was launched to pay tributes to George Smith. The exceptional character
of this spirit is apparent even before the cask ageing process begins, which is
the result of the unique lantern shaped pot stills used.
The skillful selection of the casks
enhances the fruity flavours of the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve with
traditional oak casks being contemplated by selective use of American
first-fill casks which gives it a hint of creamy sweetness, thus creating that exceptionally
well balanced and smooth malt.

The amazingly well balanced and
exceptionally smooth malt whisky is pale in colour, with delicate aromas of
citrus fruit, notably sweet orange. Having a finish feeling of long, creamy and
smooth, it leaves a sweet taste on the palate, with fruit notes of zesty
oranges and pears, with a hint of candy and toffee apples.

Starting off with the malt of the night,
the evening began on an entertaining note with Alex Robertson, global brand
ambassador for Glenlivet, introducing the new expression from the Glenlivet collection
as the ultimate tribute to George Smith’s original vision.

Pairing up with Alex, was the renowned
author Vikram Seth who enthralled the audience present by his witty anecdotes
and readings from his poems, all relating to whisky, much to  the amusement of the connoisseurs of the single
malt who split into laughter at each of his words.

The artistically and appealingly
done-up location added allure to the evening with the Josie’s Well and a magnificent
art gallery set up with pictures which symbolise and exemplify the brand’s rich
heritage.
The dinner menu that accompanied the
legacy tasting was as aesthetically crafted as the Founder’s choice and
appealed to our palate and appetite equally well.

Several other whisky from the
Glenlivet portfolio was on offer too as we aficionados were treated with the
Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak Reserve and the most elegant one, the Glenlivet 18 year old as well.

Our taste buds were being tested
well harmonised with the whisky on offer, starting off with Amuse guelle of
double cooked parmigiana regianno polenta, with balsamic candied fig, mixed in
Glenlivet nage paired with the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve.

As the Glenlivet 15YO was offered,
the food to be paired with it was the Salad of red beet, chevre center, with
caramalized walnut, avocado, cress greens in ligurian walnut oil.

The Glenlivet 18YO was paired with
the main course on offer to satisfy the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians
alike with a choice of Slow roast Castilla Y Leon valley Lamb in confit garlic
mash, Serrano chio, champsac and espelette nage or the Crisp skin grouper
served with spring vegetables in soy butter noisette and confit heirloom tomato
or the Trilogy of wild mushrooms, yellow foot chanterelles with mascarpone
risotto and boletus foam.

The dessert to end the evening was
equally amazing, the Pistachio dacquoise, gold pallet, with chestnut chiboust,
fresh strawberries and morello blueberry granite.

Not to forget the Kalamansi and
Glenlivet granite drink on offer between the starters and the main course.

With the Glenlivet Founder’s
Reserve, the Glenlivet’s perfectly balanced and fruity house style is skilfully
complimented with a creaminess and smoothness from the addition of first fill
American oak casks.

The bottling too is artistically
done to draw attention to the quality of the spirit inside, with the classic
and contemporary Georgian Blue carton packing featuring George Smith’s
signature.

As if demonstrating Glenlivet’s rich
provenance as “the single malt that started it all”, the Glenlivet signifier,
featuring the Packhorse Bridge the crosses the River Livet, appearing on the
bottle cartouche and the lid of the carton. 

This gives us the feeling of being in
Scotland as we sip in to the smoothness of the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve.

Images in this blog post, courtesy Monish Chandan and +Dharmesh Khatri 

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More Wine, Less Whine
Monday
Morning you look so fine….
Friday I got
travellin’ on my mind…
I’ll be
there if you want to… No one else that could ever to…..
Got to get
some peace in my mind.
My Monday
mornings are never as melodious as the lyrics of this Fleetwood Mac song. A
hectic beginning to five and a half days of grind, off from bed early after a
relaxed weekend, rushing through the morning chores, and braving the morning
traffic to reach office just in time, I just wait for the calendar to declare
the Friday for the week.
It’ Friday,
Friday.. Gotta get down on Friday…
Everybody’s
lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend…
Friday,
Friday… Getting’ down on Friday…
Everybody’s
lookin’ forward to the weekend…
RebeccaBlack sounds more music to my ears and this Friday was as usual the same.
T.G.I.F., I said to myself as I opened my inbox to check for the mails
that heralded the last tranche of work for the week.
The first
mail itself stuck my attention which said “If it’s Wine, It’s just Fine”. It
was an invite as a blogger for a wine tasting event later that evening. As if
tonic to my body, the day went through like cheese and before I realised, I had
called it a day and off I was for an exciting evening of wine tasting by Pause Wines.

The first
impression itself was enough to give me the adrenaline rush at the
well-appointed wine tasting room at the Fine Wines & More Office at Linking Road, Andheri. As the bloggers trickled
in, some early, some a bit late, welcomed and greeted by Ms. Mala Sampat from
Fine Wines and Ms. Shweta Raman from Crisscross Communications, the PR agency for the brand, the session
started with some introduction of the history of wine by Mr. Ranjit Surve,
Chief Connoisseur and General Manager, Pause Wines ably assisted by Mr. Lokesh
Patil, Sr. Sales Executive and Cognoscenti, Pause Wines.

The initial
introductions over, we set out for more serious business for the evening, and
that was the official wine tasting. There were around five variants of wine,
two in the white wine category and three in the red wine, spread out to tickle
our taste buds with some inter-spread of bread and cheese.

We started
off with Chennin Blanc, which is a white wine variety from the Loire valley of
France. With its origin in France, the notable region where this variety of
grape is grown apart from the Loire Valley is South Africa, where it is more
popularly known as Steen.
The Chennin
offered to us was quit off dry, had a deep gold colouring and quite acidic in
texture and had distinct flavour of fruits and grass. The discussion revolved
around the food that could be paired with this wine and I was made to
understand that it pairs well with spicy food, mostly sea-food and poultry, and
so my choice of cuisine to go with this wine would be Japanese or even Indian
spicy curries.
Next on the
hit-list was Sauvignon Blanc, another white wine. It is another international
grape variety which originates in France, from the Bordeaux and the Loire
Valley, but now grown abundantly in New-Zealand too.
The term
Sauvignon means “wild white” and the wine we tasted had a distinct herbal and
grassy aroma.  The flavour of the wine
could not be easily identified with me feeling a wide range of it fruity like
lime and pineapple to more distinct ones like ball pepper and grass. I was told
that these wide flavours come from the aromatic compounds called pyrazines
which are the secret to its taste. This wine pairs well with seafood like
sardines as well as fresh veggies like asparagus, salads, tomatoes and fresh
herbs. That surely makes my choice of cuisine much wider with French, Japanese
and even Indian food.
As we moved
on to the red wine varieties, we started off with Tempranillo. It is best known
around the world as the dominant grape of the red rioja, which is Spain’s most
famous wine.  This variety of grape is
also grown in Portugal where it is more popularly known as Tinto Fino.
The wine we
tasted smelled quite distinctly oaky and we were explained that the ageing
process for extended period in oaks makes this wine easily take on the smell of
the barrel. The wine exhibited distinct flavours of plum and strawberries and
probably since it was grown in India, even that of Indian berries like
mulberry. This wine pairs well with spicy food, roast lamb or hamburgers and my
choice of cuisine would be Spanish food or perhaps the Middle Eastern cuisine.
We moved on
to Cabernet Sauvignon, which is one of the world’s most widely recognised red
wine grape varieties. With its origin in France, the notable regions where this
variety of grape is found are Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Tuscany and even in
Australia. Off late, this grape is produced among a diverse spectrum of
climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.
Distinctly
oaky in smell, this dark red variant of the wine, due to the higher tannin
content, that we were offered, had flavours of black currant and blackberry and
a tinge of tobacco too. These distinctive traits in this wine make it popular
to pair with fatty food like burgers and pizzas and perhaps roasted meat too
and so my choice of cuisine would be Italian.

The last
wine that we got the opportunity to taste for the night was Shiraz. As I was
still wondering whether it was named after a school mate of mine sharing the
exact name, I was told that it’s just spelt that way but actually pronounced as
Syrah worldwide but pronounced the way it is spelt in Australia. Shiraz is a
dark skinned grape variety having its origin in France at the Rhone wine
region. Apart from its place of origin, the other notable areas where this
variety of grape is grown are American Viticultural area, Barossa Valley, Hunter
Valley and the Colombia valley.
This last
variety of wine that was offered to us for tasting was a full bodied and long
lived wine. Its flavours and aroma included peppers, berries and currants and
at sometimes even a tint of chocolate. Amused why my taste buds are acting
funny, I was quite relieved when it was announced to us that Shiraz has some of
the strongest, most distinctive flavours and aromas of any red wine. The food
that would pair well with this wine would be steak, lamb and meat and so I
would surely go for an Italian or Spanish cuisine.
The taste
sessions over and with the socialising happening, we bloggers indulged
ourselves in our own choices of the wine on offer.
Pause, the
word suggests means a temporary stop in action. The word may mean differently
to each one of us. But whatever it means, we all would agree that in our busy
schedule, our daily grind, we need to take a pause, may be to relive memories
with old pals, may be to whisper and laugh aloud with the ones you love or
maybe just to be ourselves. 
Its time, we take a pit stop to refuel, to
rejuvenate before we get back into the race.
Pause Wines
gives an altogether different approach to these little breaks in life, making
us realise that stress is just a transient phase and it heralds a beautiful
life beyond it. With the tagline of “Life Can Wait”, it assures every moment to
be healthy and serene, with a glass of the best Indian wine.
With Pause
to give me company in every pit stop of mine, for me it is “More Wine Less
Whine”.

Pause Wines
is the brainchild of Mr. Rajesh Patil,
a real estate developer from Mumbai. An impulsive traveller and foodie, he
loves to seek new experiences with the world’s renowned wines and food and this
passion led him to venture into the wine world. You can check out more about
the Company, their brands and even understand more on wine on their website or visit their facebook page.
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