It’s not hard to see why Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives keep winning Travellers Choice awards for luxury hotels
My shoes were collected and stowed away the moment I stepped into the luxurious speed boat that came to pick me up at the airport. Gili Lankanfushi has a ‘No News No Shoes,’ policy. They were returned to me only when I left the resort for my flight back to India!
As much as I love music, I hate concerts. It’s just such a messy affair with sweaty people jumping and dancing in open pavilions. I would rather walk, go running, or sit in the back seat of a car listening to my favourite bands than see them in concert. And that’s the reason I passed on the opportunity to be a part of Sula Fest for the last couple of years.
However I made an exception this year and thank god I did! Cause it wasn’t just a heady mix of music…but also wine, gourmet food, fashion and more…
After a four hour bus ride from Mumbai and a quick shower we headed straight to the fest and to the job – wine tasting. Yes I know the age-old rule about drinking (one that everyone knows and most people have broken) always fill up on food before filling up on alcohol. But food surfaced just before the second round of tastings. I particularly enjoyed the Brut Tropicale in an attractive digital psychedelic bottle covered in riotous paisleys. Made with premium black grapes including PinotNoir the sparkling wine is fresh, fruity and very palatable. The Riesling, limited edition Rasa Shiraz and Rasa Cabernet were all washed down with the very delish goat cheese made by chef Morgan Rainforth of the popular SOLEIL by La Plage.
There were loads of special tours and tastings for all the wine enthusiasts. Hardys, Asahi Super Dry Beer, Cointreau, Grant’s Whiskey, Jägermeister, Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 Tennessee Whiskey and Stolichnaya Vodka ensure no one went thirsty!
What piqued my interest the most was the wine and ice-cream pairing. Adaptability is a positive quality, so I said – let’s break some rules. According to dessert and wine pairing guidelines, the wine should be sweeter than the dessert, or else the wine may come across as flat. The other element to consider is acidity. Most wines are inherently acidic. London Dairy paired five of their ice-creams with some sula best sellers. While I am not sure if the pairing worked for ME but the mango sorbet from London Dairy is just divine.
Fun activities like foot massages, tarot reading, grape stomping, etc added to the fest-feel. There was glamour too – Narendra Kumar, Mona Juneja, Yash Birla, Ishita Arun, Arjun Khanna, Kim Sharma, Malini Aggarwal, Malavika Sangghvi, Devieka Bhojwani, Aparna Badlani, Sameer Daddy Malhotra…
The music line-up included The Cat Empire from Australia who made their India debut with songs from their soon to be released album ‘Rising with the Sun’! Sunday saw Kailash Kher perform two songs from his soon to be released album – Kailasa Ishq Anokha. The Atmasphere stage in the midst of the vineyard had DJs spinning some incredible underground music.
Fast fashion brand VERO MODA launched its spring summer collection 2016 at the fest. Anushka Manchanda gave the audience an fashionable performance as a showstopper.
Any wine festivals you have attended? What was your experience?
I believe there’s always an occasion fit for wine.
It’s a Wednesday and that pizza takeaway tastes so much better with a Zinfandel. Or a friend drops in unexpectedly and you crack open a crisp Cava. The leftovers of a horrible workday can be salvaged with tapas and a glass of wine. Or it’s your anniversary and it’s time to break out that champagne you have been saving for a candlelit dinner. You see a simple glass of bubbly transforms any evening into an impromptu celebration.