February 9th, 2014. Sun kissed the tip of my nose and warmed my glass of wine. I retreated to a more cooler corner of the breezy cabanas. You could watch airplanes all day from this rooftop lounge at Swissôtel Kolkata. I took a sip of the incredible Macabeo Chardonnay (de la casa de Torre Oria). One of the best whites I’ve had, this bright yellow delight had been flown in from Valencian soils rich in limestone.
I always believe that a good wine is similar to a warm hug, only from the inside. A light caress for the taste buds, a gentle nudge for the spirits to sour. To go with the wine, there was of course the specialty, Queso Manchego (Manchego cheese). Made in the La Mancha region of Spain, it’s a cheese that leaves a piquant aftertaste of sheep’s milk. A delicacy no doubt but I’m a fan.
There at Viva España, a Spanish wine brunch (by Advertising Club Calcutta and the Calcutta Malt and Spirits Club) there was enough fare to take the average Bengali on a Provencal adventure. I decided not to be shy and dug into a generous serving of Paella de Mariscos (Seafood Paella). For those who are wondering what that is, Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish originated in Valencia. It’s what a robust mother in the east coast serves when the family gets together at the table for lunch. Flavorful, spicy and vigorously continental. A milder cousin of the Paella would be our Bengali Khichuri, though I wonder if we would ever see land snails, oysters and clams go into the cauldron.
A mellow afternoon well spent.