Mercure Hyderabad, one of the several new AccorHotels properties that opened its doors this year, is offering a tempting ensemble of a wine and food to its patrons. On offer are three exquisite Indian wines from Fratelli’s vineyards at Sholapur, accompanied by a delectable three-course set menu prepared by Executive Chef Vinay Talagadadevi.
I was invited to a media preview held earlier in the week. The wine dinner is being held at Ceyanne, the all-day dining restaurant at Mercure. The appetizers featured a couple of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The Peanut Paneer Tikka was beautifully marinated and had a hint of cardamom that elevated the dish. The Hara Gobi ki Tikki with a broccoli, potato, and spring onion stuffing was decent, although not particularly noteworthy. The non-vegetarian starters on offer were Gilafi Reshmi and Haryali Machhi, and both of them turned out to be fabulous. The distinctive flavour of the red snapper was beautifully showcased and allowed to take centre stage in the Haryali Macchi, while the Chicken Gilafi deftly balanced the cheese with a hint of heat from pepper. Our entrees were paired with Chardonnay, one of the most popular and well-known varieties of white wines. The Fratelli Chardonnay has dominant citrus notes with a hint of smokiness that pairs nicely with mildly spiced Indian food like the kebabs that we were served.
For the main course, we were served Indian breads with Duvari Murgh Tikka Masala and Nizami Shank. The Murgh Tikka had an intense smokey flavour that might be a bit too overpowering for some, but worked well with the Fratelli Sangiovese that was offered for the main course. Sangiovese is a popular Italian grape that has made its way into an astounding number of wines. In fact, it is virtually synonymous with the red wines of Tuscany. Fratelli was the first vineyard to succeesfully grow this grape in India, and offers a couple of different wines prepared only from Sangiovese. The Fratelli Sangiovese has a sharp acidic character with an extended fruity, berry-like finish. This depth of flavour and extended finish makes this wine a good companion for rich Indian main courses. It proved to be the perfect foil for the dish that arrived next – Nizami Shank. A slow cooked, tender lamb shank served in a rich, creamy, and spicy gravy with aromatic freshly ground spices. The shank proved to be the star of the dinner – luxurious in appearance and divine in taste.
The final course was a creative fusion dessert that presented a deconstructed version of Poornallu along with Poached Orange pear. The sweet Bengal Gram and Jaggery stuffing of the Poornallu was presented like a cake and the deep-fried spheres were used as toppings. The entire composition was adeptly balanced. Poached Pear is a classic that’s all but impossible to hate, but the sharp acidic flavour of the poached pear worked quite well with the rich and greasy Poornalu. The wine picked for the desserts was Sauvignon Blanc. This isn’t a typical dessert wine, but the mild acidity and the fruity character made it quite acceptable.
The Food and Wine ensemble at Mercure will continue continue until 15th December. Priced at Rs. 1799 (all inclusive) this exquisite wine pairing dinner is a marvellous way to indulge in the finer things in life.