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HOT and HEADY


"DRINKING WINE is catching on faster than you say cheers", so says the trend. And with wines now being a familiar feature on most Indian tables, the culture, it is believed, has seeped into society faster than ever before. So be it reds, whites or Rose, Indian wine makers and gourmet specialists are regaling in this new trend of-Wines!

So, with the craze picking momentum, the Avenue Regent Hotel has spiked their menu with an array of dishes to be washed down with a glass of wine at their `Wine and Sizzler festival'. With the availability of Indian made wines in Kochi limited to few brands like Grover, their chef has gone a step further and created reds and whites (termed `homemade wines') served in clear, long stemmed glasses. Although sweet and fruity, the wines have been created to suit the amateur palate which the organisers hope would be a good introduction to the world of wines. Thus, avoiding the range of medium dry and dry wines, the hotel offers a package deal with a soup for starters, main course and a dessert, with a glass of sweet wine.

Believing the monsoons are the best time to enjoy a hot sizzling sizzler, the menu includes items like the `Avenue Special' which includes a soup (of the day), a generous helping of a variety of grilled meats like liver, beef steaks, sausages, bacon and pork ribs served with a thick brown sauce. The `Titanic' offers grilled prawns in lemon butter sauce with a hint of parsley served with buttered rice. Other packages include `Eiffel Tower' and `Asti Spumante', the main course of which are pork chops and Chateaubriand respectively. For the ardent vegetarians the sizzler includes Paneer with Pulao and Dal butter fry. The food is vivid with delicate flavours of the grill, while being well garnished with a host of buttered vegetables.

The cheese soufflé, lightly tangy with hints of lemon rind to the fresh Mango tart are a treat, while the chef's special, Marble Mousse a blend of chocolate and vanilla mousse and the Silver Swan, a choux pastry with

custard and cream offer the final touch.

Thus, with the introduction of these wines and, of course, a bottle of Grover for those who prefer it (priced separately), the festival hopes to introduce more wine aficionados to the city. So swirl, sniff and savour to be a part of a much-favoured trend!

The festival is on from June 25 to July 11 and packages vary from Rs. 250 to Rs.375.

TANYA ABRAHAM

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