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'The Scots are whisky-making legends, I'm a fan' Part 2 of my interview with master distiller Michael D’Souza, maker of Kanya by Paul John, the Indian whisky recently named Asian Whisky of the Year 2018 by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible During Michael’s three-week tour of the US in September-October 2017, he held tastings across the towns he travelled to, from New York to Houston and Austin, Tx. At his masterclasses, he would introduce a ‘mystery dram’ among the other Paul John expressions. It was Kanya by Paul John, not released and quite unknown to the world. Michael says he wanted to see spontaneous reactions to this new single malt whisky. “People went gaga over it,” he said, “They wanted to know what it was before its release… and buy it!” A month later, Jim Murray commended it in the Whisky Bible as Asian Whisky of the Year 2018. If you have not heard very much about Kanya by Paul John, read up. Meanwhile, continuing our chat….. Honestly speaking, Ruma, every day is a new day for me.

How much time do you have for winemaking now? Best Wine Brands in India Online | Ruma Singh. Two things had a major impact on the Grover story – the merger with Maharashtra-based wine producer Vallée de Vin in 2012 made it India’s second biggest wine producer. Shortly before that came the entry of young Karishma Grover as assistant winemaker, qualified in viticulture and oenology from UC Davis and fresh from working in the Napa Valley. She brought along with her new ideas and a new commitment to making quality wine in India.

Today, Grover Zampa Vineyards is notching up new achievements and marking new milestones Karishma Grover with Vijay Amritraj at the VA Reserve Collection launch I’m intrigued by young people who decide to go into their family business; it is getting rare these days. ‘A switch flipped somewhere inside…’ During our chat at the winery I ask her about her debut into the wine world. Karishma agreed to give it a try though she was still far from convinced. This openness has defined her management style, she says. Karishma offline Karishma Grover in the GZV cellars. Kanya by Paul John is the Whisky Bible's Asian Whisky of the Year 2018. …So I catch up for a congratulatory chat with @indianwhiskyguy, aka Michael D’Souza, the master distiller who made it and the other award-winning Paul John Single malt whiskies The man behind the malt whisky: Master distiller Michael D’Souza The Indian whisky brigade is on a high.

Rapidly gaining admirers and fans for its elegant and expressive single malts over the last decade or so, it’s now quite ready to take on the world. So it seems quite well-timed when globetrotting whisky expert Jim Murray, he of the acerbic wit and golden palate, chose another single malt whisky from India as Asian Whisky of the year 2018, in his latest Whisky Bible released in October this year. The whisky in question was Kanya by Paul John, a new expression from John Distilleries, maker of Paul John single malts. This achievement was no easy job, considering Kanya came up against the best whiskies from Japan, Korea and other star whisky-producing countries. Excerpts from our chat: Congratulations, Michael. Yes. We were inspired by wine museums in Rioja, Barolo. Sylvie Cazes, president, Cité du Vin, Bordeaux. The wine museum is in the background. Cité du Vin is the world’s most famous museum of wine, it is based in Bordeaux. Meet Sylvie Cazes, the powerhouse woman who runs it The Bordeaux wine industry is made up of many dynamic men and women, but there is one lady who stands out for her passion and determination, a prominent figure for this prestigious wine region – Sylvie Cazes.

For nearly 30 years now, Sylvie has been an active ambassador for Bordeaux wines through the various positions she has occupied in the past (such as president of the Union des Grands Crus, communications director of Axa-Millésimes and the JM Cazes family estates). Today, not only is she president of Bordeaux’s famous new museum of wine, Cité du Vin, but also owns Bordeaux Saveurs a high-end wine tourism agency, Le Chapon Fin a fine-dining restaurant in the city-centre and Château Chauvin, a St Emilion Grand Cru estate purchased in 2013.

The Opera is worth a visit. Grover #25 Part 2:  Karishma, the comeback kid - Ruma Singh. Two things had a major impact on the Grover story – the merger with Maharashtra-based wine producer Vallée de Vin in 2012 made it India’s second biggest wine producer. Shortly before that came the entry of young Karishma Grover as assistant winemaker, qualified in viticulture and oenology from UC Davis and fresh from working in the Napa Valley. She brought along with her new ideas and a new commitment to quality winemaking. Today, as winemaker Karishma has become a major force within the company as GZV notches up new achievements and marks new milestones. Karishma Grover with Vijay Amritraj at the VA Reserve Collection launch I’m intrigued by young people who decide to go into their family business; it is getting rare these days.

But Karishma Grover is no typical young person and winemaking is no common family business. ‘A switch flipped somewhere inside…’ During our chat at the winery I ask her about her debut into the wine world. This openness has defined her management style, she says. Fine Dine, and Drinking Wine. There are many ways to promote the culture of wine in India. One of them is via high-end wine dinners, where food is paired with wine over several courses. Is this format the one that works best? A recent wine dinner I attended made me stop and wonder… The Polo Club’s Artisanal Burrata paired with Montes Reserva Chardonnay, 2015. Photo: Food Lovers. It rained in Bangalore last Friday night. Scratch that. Rim Naam’s Thai chicken dumplings with the Henri Bourgeois Pouilly Fume 2015. Of course, The Oberoi has, over 25 years, arguably set the gold standard in terms of culinary excellence coupled with refined service. The answer, I believe, lies in its enduring allure to the senses.

#Grover25 Part 1: A Walk in the Vineyards - Ruma Singh. Karnataka’s Grover Vineyards has long been a beloved, familiar wine destination for Indian wine lovers. On the occasion of their 25th anniversary, I recently re-visited the winery and spent a morning tasting their wines and chatting with Karishma Grover. Before that, a stroll through their lush KRA vineyards set the mood for my day at the winery. The KRA vineyards It was a sunny October morning as I took the long road to Doddaballapur, the home of Grover Vineyards for over 25 years. Over the years, as a member of the Bangalore Wine Club (another venerable Indian wine institution), I have often visited the winery and spent memorable times there – winery visits, picnics, strolls through the vineyards and tastings. This special anniversary certainly warranted a re-visit and a walk down nostalgia lane. The walk in the vineyards Over the course of its existence, GZV has undergone many changes.

Karishma Grover walked out to greet us. A vineyard crawl and some pink bubbles I love vineyards. Q & A: What is black and red and the pride of Australia? - Ruma Singh. Easy answer: Penfolds of Australia, the world’s third most admired wine brand A week long visit to India by Sam Stephens, winemaking ambassador of Penfolds, the emblematic wine brand of Australia, turned the spotlight onto the noted Australian wine producer and its wines. In a series of high octane, glamour laden series of black tie wine dinners in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, the range of Penfolds wines was reintroduced to the Indian wine lover, from the entry level red wine to the iconic Grange. Penfolds, which features in the world’s top three most admired wine brands (it was #1 in 2016) and certainly commands respect in barrel fulls, is a New World wine with an Old World soul.

There is both terroir and structure in these varietal-driven wines, especially their higher-value red wines. The founder of Penfolds, a physican named Dr Christopher Penfold, started making fortified wine to help treat his patients’ ailments in 1844. But then that’s his job. Risotto, reservas… and a winemaker’s selection - Ruma Singh. The boutique SDU Winery in Karnataka’s Nandi Valley is all set to amplify its presence with its coming-of-age Winemaker’s Selection wine. And this one has Italy stamped all over it….

It was in 2014 when people first sat up and noticed Karnataka’s SDU Winery. Mere months after its launch, with little fuss or fanfare, the boutique winery beat India’s biggest wine producers in a blind tasting competition held in Mumbai, Top 25 Finest Wines in India, to claim top spot with its SDU Reserva Syrah 2012 as the best wine in India (read about it here). To add to its stash, three other SDU wines – the Reserva Chardonnay 2012 placed 7th and two of their entry-level Deva range (Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay) also placed at the same competition. As the shock waves receded around the wine industry, SDU retreated to its home nestled in the luxuriant greenery that is Karnataka’s Nandi Valley and life went on.

Tasting the Winemaker’s Selection 2014 with winemaker Andrea Valentinuzzi Tasting Notes: It's raining awards for Grover Zampa Vineyards - Ruma Singh. With 82 international awards and 42 domestic awards under its belt, Grover Zampa is India’s most awarded wine producer by a distance As the monsoons begin to ebb around India, the deluge of awards seems to be continuing for Grover Zampa Vineyards. One of its oldest wines La Réserve, arguably India’s first ever created premium wine when it was launched in 1998, won a gold medal at the recent Spiritz awards held in New Delhi. GZV won a total of 6 awards: 2 gold and 4 silvers making it the most awarded of all Indian wine producing companies. Shalini Kumar, editor of Spiritz, explained that there were 18 categories this year, spread over three segments – hospitality, alcobev and alcobev travel retail. The jury of 12 was selected from experienced and qualified professionals within the alcobev and hospitality industry, (“Connoisseurs and professionals,”) who tasted all the bottles blind over a full day of judging.

I caught up with Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO, Grover Zampa. Taste of Food and Wine Archives - Ruma Singh. The 4-day Ferrari whirl winds up with a fascinating and instructive comparative tasting of top champagnes and sparkling wines… and then there’s the food it’s paired with…. Dinner at Locanda Margon: Roasted green celery, smoked eel, tomato, Ulidea Olive dressing, Tosazu vinegar (left); Home-made ravioli, Amatrice style (right) On the last day, the team at the winery had put together a very special comparative tasting of champagnes and sparkling wines of the world. Undoubtedly, this was the high point of the trip for most as it underlined in very simple terms that Ferrari’s assertions of making world class wines were not just slick verbiage. In fact, this was a smart move to get everyone to put their palates to work and affirm the Ferrari quality, benchmarking their wines against famous sparkling wines.

Non-Vintage Cuvées Ca’ del Bosco, Cuvée Prestige, Franciacorta Ferrari Brut NV, Trentodoc Letrari NV, Trentodoc Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV, Champagne Non-Vintage Rosés Ferrari Rosé, Trentodoc. Best Wine Brands in India Online | Ruma Singh. Risotto, reservas… and a winemaker’s selection - Ruma Singh.

Risotto, reservas… and a winemaker’s selection - Ruma Singh. 'Ninety per cent of Bordeaux's Grand Cru châteaux are open for visits and tastings' - Ruma Singh. The Grands Crus Classés of Bordeaux include some of the most powerful names in the wine world: think of the top classified growths of Bordeaux, unparalleled in reputation and quality. The role of the Conseil des Grands Crus Classés 1855 is to provide legal protection and support to the many famous-name chateaux which come under its umbrella.

To learn a little about the GCC 1855 as it is known, here is an interview from Bordeaux with Philippe Castéja, President of the Conseil des Grands Crus Classés 1855. Can you briefly explain the role of the Conseil des GCC 1855 today? The 1855 Classification was created upon the request of the French Emperor Napoleon III to present the most famous Bordeaux wines at the Paris Universal Exhibition. Today, the Conseil GCC 1855 has the key role of protecting the 1855 classification and its members. We build educational programmes to explain the 1855 GCC wines to future decision makers and all people interested in great wines.

Château Prieuré Lichine. 'Ninety per cent of Bordeaux's Grand Cru châteaux are open for visits and tastings' - Ruma Singh. Best Wine Brands in India Online | Ruma Singh. Brazilian Butt Lift in Miami, Chicago, Houston, New York. Some say the craze began with Jennifer Lopez. Others credit Beyonce or Kim Kardashian. But all these modern-day beauty icons can be credited with popularizing large, perky, shapely butts. Yes, the “big booty” is “in” and in a big way. Now that derrieres are no longer something to “work off” or hide, many women want more than they’ve got. So what can you do if you want a larger, rounder butt but can’t get it on your own? The Brazilian Butt Lift sculpts the buttocks and adds volume using the patient’s own fat from other areas of the body. Besides creating fuller, more shapely buttocks, the procedure has an added benefit: removing unwanted fat from areas like the tummy.

Brazilian Butt Lift Consultation Before you undergo a Brazilian butt lift, you will consult with one of our expert plastic surgeons to find out if the procedure is right for you and your goals. Ideal Candidates Procedure Recovery Choosing the Right Surgeon As Medical Director of mia Aesthetics, Dr. FAQs Yes you will. Taste of Food and Wine Archives - Ruma Singh.

News & Views Archives - Ruma Singh. The Institute of the Masters of Wine Riesling master class at Vinexpo 2017 One of the instructional highlights of Vinexpo 2017 was the Greatest Rieslings from Around the World master class presented by the Institute of the Institute of the Masters of Wine on 20 June 2017, first session of Riesling Day at Vinexpo. Guillaume Deglise, CEO Vinexpo, introduces the panel of MWs at the Vinexpo masterclass on Riesling Day In terms of sheer accumulated knowledge and experience the six MWs on the dais were hard to beat. They included some eminent names: Gerard Basset MW (with more letters after his name than the Oxford dictionary), Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, Roman Horvath MW, Markus del Monego MW and Mathew Deller MW, moderated by Debra Meiburg MW. Each had picked the bests Rieslings from a single country of their choice: Austria, Alsace, Germany, North America, Australia.

The class was broken into 3 sections for tasting: the Dry Flight, the Open Flight, and the Off-dry to Sweet Flight. The Dry Flight: Q & A: What is black and red and the pride of Australia? - Ruma Singh. Best Wine Brands in India Online | Ruma Singh. News & Views Archives - Ruma Singh. Wine of Thrones: HBO launches Game of Thrones wines - Ruma Singh.

Will they appeal to the series’ legions of fans? Dear wine lover, here is a question for you. Would you buy a wine launched in the name of your favourite television show? Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones biggest wine aficionado In a brand new merchandising blitz, HBO is doing just that: cashing in on the massive popularity of Game of Thrones, by licensing the release of a portfolio of three wines – two red wines and one white. But the biggest question today is (now that we know Jon Snow’s parentage): would you buy these wines? Cersei is queen of all she surveys – wine in hand Let me begin by saying that I’m not an apologist for celebrity wines, aka wines made and marketed with celebrity names behind them. What is especially intriguing is the fact that these new Game of Thrones wines have been made by a reputable winemaker.

The reviews of the wines are coming in. None are cheap. The Game of Thrones wines GoT wine fan #1: Tyrion is GoT’s biggest wine drinker, bar none. Bordeaux meets Ukraine on the 45th parallel - Ruma Singh. India’s York Winery: in the pink | Ruma Singh. Ruma Singh | Between the wines by Ruma Singh.