I was pretty glad when I read that a place named “The Wine Company” had opened up in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, because even though wine has been picking up gradually and consistently in India through the last decade, it has never been treated as the main event of alcohol (except at very few high-end restaurants). Wine has always been an add-on to the mainstream restaurants' menus- something some odd-ball patron might lean on occasionally, which is why, even though a host of restaurants have a two-to-three page wine list, they generally only stock their house wines and a couple of others for variety’s sake (much to the embarrassment of their servers). So I, for one, thought that if I were ever in the mood for wine and a cheese platter, what better place to go to than wine’s own namesake.
On a hot summer afternoon, the kind when just looking at the dust through the windows of an air-conditioned car chafes your lips, I decided I was up for some Prosecco.
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine, generally dry, which I hadn’t chanced upon on any of the menus in Delhi and its suburbs. However, I was pretty certain that a restaurant which was named “The Wine Company” was sure to have it in its selection.
On arriving at The Wine Company, I was pretty excited about how they’d done up the place. The outdoor seating was well laid out, and looked right out of a scene from one of those restaurants in Paris overlooking the Seine- white table cloth on wooden tables with wine glasses; the indoor seating had an overall earthy ambience, the glass facade let in lots of sunlight, barrels were used as props, the seating was comfortable, and the bar used a yellow light which also went with the whole theme- so far so good.
On being handed the menu, it was a pleasant surprise to see a couple varieties of Proseccos listed, and my friend and I quickly turned to the server for some advice. Now, I understand that in-depth knowledge of wine is the job of a sommelier- but the look of total horror on our server’s face when we politely offered for him to help us choose was a bit too much. That being said, he was kind enough to call the sommelier, who arrived and told us that they had only two of the options available in their cellar and recommended one of them to us. So much for their expansive wine menu - an approx 50% availability rate isn’t something to be proud of, in my opinion.
The wine arrived and was served the way it should be - wine chiller et al, which was commendable. But we were headed for a whole host of different disappointments. There was no cheese platter or cold cut platter on the menu! At a wine bar! Also, they were out of the first five items we chose from their regular menu! Five! (Buffalo wings, the veg pizza slice, the non-veg pizza slice, whiskey meatballs, and chorizo pizza). On a Saturday afternoon! I think that’s atrocious! The skewered chicken that we did manage to get our hands on was pretty good, though just a tad bit on the overcooked side (overlook-able). That’s pretty much all we ate there, because we didn’t want to call the server again and be told what is not available.
Essentially, I’d recommend The Wine Company to you if you like wines- but are flexible with the one you’d like to drink; if you like that they have a sommelier and wine chillers, which will lend to a more authentic experience; if you’re okay with the fact that they don’t have a smoking zone (as advertised on Zomato), and you have to walk all the way to the parking lot- and you don’t get to take your drink along; if you’re okay with the fact that no one knows the password to their WiFi network (WiFi available also advertised on Zomato), and if you’re okay with eating just about anything that they have available and not being picky or realistic about that either.
I know that that’s a lot of “if"s, but the wine and food were decently priced, and I have a bias toward Prosecco. Are there realistically better places out there? Sure there are! Is it possible that The Wine Company was just having a bad day? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Visit once, and give it a chance. I think I will, too, even if it’s only for the love of Prosecco!
(Approx 3k for a bottle of Prosecco and an order of the skewered chicken, inclusive of taxes, service charge, and tips)