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Let's drink to a culture

Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

If you are planning a wine party, all you have to do is call Not Just Wine & Cheese and sit back as they take care of the rest.

HUGH JOHNSON once said of wine: "The scope of the subject of wine is never ending (as indeed), so many other subjects lie within its boundaries. Without geography and topography, it is incomprehensible, without history, it is colourless, without taste it is meaningless, without travel it remains unreal. It embraces botany, chemistry, agriculture, carpentry, economics — any number of sciences whose names I do not even know."

The next time you want to impress your dinner hosts, tell them about Hugh Johnson and treat them to a bottle of wine. Not Just Wine & Cheese could be one charming place, a retail chain that arrived in the city two years ago, where you could pick up that bottle.

Shekar, Manager of the chain, who returned to India after working in the United States, says that the market for wine is huge today. "Times have changed. We have silk sari-clad women who pick up wines for friends and family." "Business is certainly good," reveals D.M. Purnesh, Managing Director-Classic Group, admitting that the presence of a huge expatriate population in the city makes a good deal of difference.

Not Just Wine & Cheese is also renowned for its great service. "We deliver if need be, even a single bottle of wine at your doorstep," says Purnesh.

From Indian wines, courtesy Sula Vineyards, Chateau Indage and Grover Vineyard, among others, to Champagne, the range is vast.

"Indians are very brand-conscious," states Shekar, pointing out to why many international brands have made a foray into the domestic market and into this store too. The latest entry happens to be the cognac.

The services they offer for parties deserve special mention. "More often than not, hosts are in a quandary about what they may need. You can place an order with us, which we will not only deliver, but even serve and take back the unused and unopened bottles," says Purnesh.

Besides wine, they have cheese, cigars, and imported chocolates. So, if you are planning a fondue party at home anytime, this is one place you can head. Classic Wine Mall is at Prestige Forum, Hosur Road, Koramangala. Ph: 22067653. Not Just Wine & Cheese is at The Pavilion Mall, Church Street. Ph: 51235642.

HARIPRIYA SRINIVASAN

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