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Event: Wine Bazaar at Out of the Blue

Out of the blue hosted a wine gala, which certainly sent the wine admirers into a wine heaven. Some refreshing and soulful live jazz music playing and an array of wines from across the globe made the evening truly enjoyable. The wine bazaar displayed a number of top wine brands and sellers like The Wine kart, Reveilo, Grover Zampa, Berkmann, Wine Park, York and more. The tasting was interesting with friendly interactions with the representatives of the brands.

Reveilo Wines at the Wine Bazaar
Reveilo Wines at the Wine Bazaar

We tasted a number of wines teamed with some olives and cheese. Starting with the York Chenin Blanc, which was quite a winner. Then, we went ahead to try a couple of varieties from The Wine Park, which included Rosso, NV and their MAN Family Wines, Pinotage, 2012, refreshing, fruity and flavourful notes, we are definitely ordering in from here. After a couple of rounds around the venue, we hopped to the Grover Zampa wines stall to try their Zampa Rosé. Served chilled with confusing notes, this one didn’t quite impress us so we gave the other Zampa wines a miss!

wine tasting at out of the blueFrom here, we headed straight to try the Mannara Merlot by Berkmann which had a beautiful purple tinge with aromas of vanilla and chocolate and a chocolate-y after taste. We were in some vino heaven only to drool over some Bibi Graetz Casamatta, a beautiful Tuscany wine by The Wine Kart.

We saved the best for the last, our last stop was the Revelio wine counter. Their Late Harvest Chenin Blanc was the only dessert wine at the tasting and was certainly the perfect end to out wine trail.

You can buy all these wines and many more from The Wine Kart, Lets Buy Drink and WineOnlineIndia.


Entry to Wine Bazaar costed Rs. 500, inclusive of taxes, per person.

Hot out of Punjab!

Punjabi food is exciting if you have an uncompromised appetite. There is no denying that it is one of the heavier cuisines – rich, flavourful and spicy and most of us love it that way. We’ve savored good Punjabi food – sarso da saag, choley puri and daal makhani at many many restaurants in Mumbai. And yet there comes a time when one meal takes your breath away. Without exaggeration, that happened to us when we dined at The Square – Novotel at their Punjabi food festival ‘Zaika Punjab Da’.
What separates good food from excellent food is an abstract concept. Like Po’s father said in Kung Fu Panda, “The secret of my secret ingredient soup is – nothing.” We met a gifted chef who shared the same philosophy. Many years ago Chef Ranveer Brar, executive chef of Novotel Mumbai discovered Sweety Singh, a simple self-taught cook in Punjab, and decided that his food deserved more takers. Singh has been travelling the world ever since, cooking for top hotels and doing personalized menus for celebrities. He sure must be something, we imagined.
Singh conceptualized the menu for Zaika Punjab Da but more importantly, shared his secret recipes with Novotel. “I have no problem sharing my recipes. It is no secret. Even if I gave you the exact recipe you wouldn’t be able to reproduce my food,” he said with inadvertent pride, “that’s because the masalas are specially made in Punjab and you wouldn’t find them here.”
bhatti da murg
We could hardly wait to try the Punjabi food cooked in desi ghee. The buffet was split into two sections, multi-cuisine global fare and pure Punjabi fare. We obviously saved our hunger for the latter. Singh piled our plates with bhatti da murg, chikkad choley, maa ki daal, baingan bharta and mutton curry. Piping hot rotis arrived at the table. The murg and mutton were cooked to melt in the mouth, the choley had a sharp zing without being overly spicy and the rich creamy daal filled our tummies yet kept us asking for more. “But there is no cream, no cashewnut paste in my gravies. What you taste is pure Punjabi food,” he said. We took several helpings of the baingan bharta…doused in a layer of desi ghee, cooked without onion and garlic and yet so full of flavour. “Leave room for dessert,” he said, and served a traditional sweet dish of gaund (edible gum) and jaggery. We forgot its name – but the meal was unforgettable.

By guest blogger Diti Shah

Zaika Punjab Da was on from 13th to 28th April at The Square, Hotel Novotel, Juhu, Mumbai. 

"You Know Who I Am?"

Mumbai, they say the city is extremely safe at any time of the day. I believed so, until last night when a couple of my friends, on their way back from Malad, almost got shot.

“On June 24, 12.40 AM, when five of us were driving through Link Road, a maroon Skoda Superb suddenly overtook our car sharply and aggravated one of us to show Mr. Schumacher the finger. Guess it hit the ego of the other, he blocked us by parking right in front of our car outside Lotus Petrol Pump, Andheri and asked us to get out of the car immediately. Knowing we were not at fault, we got out and were ready to face the consequence. On stepping out of our car, we got the shock of our lives when the guy removed a pistol from his pocket and pointed it at us and uttered the clichéd dialogue, “You know who I am? Do you know what this is?” No, this isn’t a scene out of some random Bollywood movie, it DID happen to us. We were dumbstruck for the first five seconds and thought apologizing and getting away would be the safest. We weren’t wrong, we didn’t overtake them, we didn’t do anything, but we had to apologize. And why, cause we have no political influence guarding us, we could’ve been killed and the guy would still come out clean and no, we didn’t want to repeat history.” As narrated it by Piyush Khanna (name changed on request).

The least we can do is share this story with our fellow Mumbaikars, trying to change the system is far from impossible. This happened with my friends, it could happen with you or me too. And remember, everyone is not as lucky to get out of it alive, it would simply take them a microsecond to press the trigger and take someones life.