One of California’s most respected wine labels is showcased with gourmet cuisine at the Leela Palace Chennai
International Wine expert Steven Spurrier can take some of the credit for putting ‘New World’ wines on the map. His famous Judgement of Paris (in 1976) , when he assembled eleven of the finest wine tasters in France and asked them to rank a selection of wines. He did not reveal the identity of the wines nor did the aficionados realise that among the French wines were some emerging Californian wines. The results – 2 Californian wines were ranked the best, stunned the French and challenged the French pre-eminence in the World of Wine. Cakebread Cellars began wine production in 1973, before the Judgement of Paris and has emerged as one of the most respected Napa Valley wineries.
Cakebread’s Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are among the labels that helped this brand acquire its halo and were under the spotlight at the Leela Palace Chennai. Cakebread is one of the first Californian wines that has found its way to Chennai. The city’s wine drinkers have often struggled to find fine wines through the local distribution channels. But thankfully that’s changing and brands like Cakebread are part of that change. Our favourite Cakebread wine – the Sauvignon Blanc (2015) made an early appearance with a fresh and crunchy salad that included pickled lotus root and dehydrated cherry tomatoes.
The mushroom ravioli (with parmesan foam) and the pot roasted pork belly were probably the pick of the menu. Aside from the fine wine and the outstanding food (that more than kept up), it was Bruce Cakebread (who has been instrumental in taking this label all over the world) who kept the wine stories coming. Each wine has a story to tell. If you can’t get as far as Napa Valley you can at least buy a bottle in Chennai and let the wine transport you to California. A hangover is certainly better than jet lag.
Cakebread Cellars’ wines are available at the Leela Palace Chennai.