Sula wines recently presented all the alcohol under their umbrella in a roadshow recently.
As you can imagine, it was one massive exhibition with a huge number of brands showcasing their wines and liquors that they work with. Experts from all over the world – Brazil, Argentina, the south of France, all were there keen to explain to us what makes their wine different, and how they make it.
Wine and spirits showcased were Mud House from New Zealand, Hardys Australia, Trapiche Argentina, Cono Sur Chile, Kumala South Africa, Antica Sambuca, Remy Martin Cognac, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Ruffino Italy, Cointreau France, Don Alejandro Tequila Mexico, Drambuie France, JANUS Brandy, Mount Gay Rum Barbados, St Remy Brandy, Volare Italy, Pitu Cachaca Brazil, Bouchard Aine & Fils France, and Le Grand Noir France.
This roadshow was held at Yauatcha in 1 MG Road mall, a place I love for its fabulous food, but hate for the piss-poor lighting, which makes for awful photos.
So I was glad to know on arrival that the roadshow was not being held in the actual restaurant but in the open air on the terrace. The lighting could not have been better!
I spent a few moments strolling around, checking out the various displays, and picking out what drinks I was going to sample.
There was a plethora of wines and spirits to choose from, and I was quite puzzled at to where to start. There is only so much a gal can drink in an afternoon, after all, so I wanted to make the correct choices, and I was paralyzed with indecision. That is, until the bartender took pity on me and suggested that I could start with a cocktail. Stood for a few moments debating, almost decided on a contreautini, but eventually decided that the Mimosa looked prettier and so plumped for one 😉 .
In addition, seeing the variety of drinks available on hand, I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to try cocktails that I have never tried before. The mimosa mixed for me was a combination of Cointreau and a wine, and it was absolutely delicious and fruity. Just the perfect starter drink.
Mimosa in hand, I strolled around taking in all the sights and sounds around me.
I then walked around checking out all the wine displayed there. Like I mentioned earlier, there were wines from all over the world, and after listening to all the wine discussions, I decided to try a Prosecco – which is a sparkling white wine from the Veneto region of north-east Italy. Again it helped that the packaging of the Prosecco was so pretty. It really stood out among all the other wines on display.
So, the Prosecco was the second drink I sampled. Boy, was this drink heady!
This was the drink that had me walking around everywhere with a happy smile plastered onto my face. My tipsiness removed any hesitation I had in approaching the wine experts. I happily started conversations with others and found myself learning a lot about wine and photography.
I also put aside all reservations when it came to photography and cheerfully ordered people to pose for photos or get out-of-the-way of the photos (if I wanted to capture the drinks only).
I think this unnatural assertiveness on my part is actually a good thing to develop in myself, especially as a blogger – which requires some aggression to make sure you get the best photos and interviews. I was quite happy both with the photos and the interactions I had with the experts.
Meeting Maria Cavalcanti from Brazil was too much fun. I had only the foggiest idea of the product she was representing – a Pitu, which is a traditional cachaca (pronounced ca-sha-sa). Cachaca is made from fresh sugarcane juice that is fermented and distilled. It is usually used as a base for mixing caipirinhas, but you can use it for other cocktails as well.
I asked her a lot of questions and came back with some interesting cocktail recipe ideas. Let me know if you are interested in the comments, and I can share a couple of them on the blog.
Anyway, she mixed me a conventional caipirinha – with cachaca, lime, and plenty of sugar.
I sampled it, and it was quite different from the rest of the drinks we had that day. I think if you like strong drinks such as tequila shots, or whiskey and water, this is the drink for you. Because the only mix-ins are lime and sugar, you really need to like your alcohol raw, without any sweet add-ons.
The next drink I sampled was in direct contrast to the caipirinha. I got talking to Nick Rees who is the marketing manager for Remy Cointreau in India. He asked me what kind of wine I preferred, and I rather sheepishly answered (no wine lover will admit to this), that I really love the port wine from Porto, which is a rather sweet wine.
Thankfully, Nick didn’t laugh at my plebeian tastes, and instead introduced me to one of the best drinks I enjoyed that day – the Cointreau.
How do I describe this drink?
When he poured this out in a tumbler and urged me to drink it, I was a bit hesitant. I did a tentative sniff at the contents within, and I was hit by the warm, sweet smell of oranges hanging in the air. The smell convinced me and I simply lapped up the drink, and really felt that I was magically transported to France.
I loved this drink so much that I did some googling later on this, and found tons of delicious sounding cake and cocktail recipes, which I would love to try out someday. I know it can be used in Margaritas (one of my favorite cocktails), but never knew that it was so versatile and that I could do so much with it. Hopefully all my research is enough to convince the hubby that we definitely need to have this drink in our house.
After the sweetness of this drink, it was time for something different, and I found myself drifting around to the Argentinian stall where a Malbec from Trapiche vineyards was kindly urged on me.
The sweet guy (whose name I no longer remember), and frankly, it is an absolute miracle that I am remembering anything at this point, spoke in detail about the Trapiche vineyards, which are located on the Andes mountain ranges bordering Argentina and Chile, which explains the picture on the label – a Condor flying high above the Andes.
The wine was good, and I was pleasantly surprised by its taste. I always thought that good-quality Malbec could be only got in France, but this one was equally good, I thought.
After this, I took a short break to clear up my head a bit. I walked around the mall, did some amazing impulse shopping at the Hamley’s store downstairs. I can tell you the kids were surprised and thrilled to bits when I came home with gift-wrapped packages for them 😀 .
Anyway, back to the story at hand. I came back fresher, and all ready for the musical evening that was due to start. But there seemed to be some delay, and I ended up having a Margarita (again with Cointreau in it), and then someone asked me to try a Chilean wine, and still the music was yet to start.
By this time, I felt like I had enough. I had gone all around the different stalls, taken enough photos and more for the blog, drank more in a few hours than I normally drink in a month, and I was feeling pretty much done.
So, I said my thanks to the lovely PR people who organized this event, got handed a little goody bag with a small bottle of wine, and then headed out into the setting sun, and back home where I recounted the day’s events to an incredibly jealous K, who is normally a little snooty about the blog events I attend. Hah, it was fun to see him turn different shades of green while I babbled on about all the fun I had that day.
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