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From Napa To Lacava
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Now, after Lacava at The Grand and Threesixty degrees at the Oberoi, Le Meridien this week opened a walk-in wine cellar for guests to look and order, if not sniff, directly from the bottle. Located in Monsoon, its new Mex-Med restaurant, it stocks some 170 brands of wine and champagne. And it helps that the cellar is integrated within the restaurant, so that a guest can simply arrive and check out their collection. Also, each bottle on display here is merely a representation of their stock.
Done up in wood, and with the mandatory temperature controller in place, the cellar stocks old world wines, and also has Napa Valley wines from California, wines from Australia, Portugal, New Zealand, and of course, India. They also stock some15 world class champagne.
‘‘We were really looking for a place for wine display,’’ says Puran Miya, manager of Eau and Monsoon. Miya agrees that the customer today is much more discerning and educated about wine. So the hotel — which is in the process of a major revamp in all quarters — has extensively trained their staff to help guests with their wine selection. ‘‘Our job is also to help our guests marry the wine with their food,’’ says Miya, who also has guests walking in from the other restaurants in the hotel to choose the right wine to complement their food.
While The Grand at Vasant Kunj, was one of the first hotels to add a cellar to their hotel—their Lacava opened in 2000— another city hotel which recently added a wine room is The Oberoi. Called the enoteca, the cellar at the Oberoi is positioned between their world cuisine restaurant Threesixty degrees and the fine dining Italian restaurant Travertino. With glazed glass replacing the conventional wooden panels, enoteca can stock a mammoth 1,200 bottles and has approximately 70 brands of wine.
Oberoi’s wine room also has a ‘tasting table’ where you can sample the wine before ordering. Lacava, on the other hand, has a private dining area within but which is lent out only on advance booking. ‘‘We then prepare a menu depending on the preferences of our guests,’’ informs M K Khan, manager of Brix and Lacava.