600 words to cover our wine journey, that’s a tragedy, LOL. For a detailed version of the article, stroll below.
WSET: How did your passion for cooking blossom into a love for wine?
Primlani Kitchen: From tantalizing aromas, lip-smacking flavours, viscerally thrilling textures, too soulful stories and unforgettable memories, both food and wine evoke mirror responses. Driven with the principle “strive to be better today than you were yesterday”, steered me in the direction of wine, especially since wine is a natural succession to food, and both unequivocally belong on the table.
WSET: What spurred you to progress that love with formal wine qualifications?
Primlani Kitchen: Raised in a developing country (India), since childhood it was embedded in us that education is the key to life and success. As Nelson Mandela aptly stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Personally, for me it was a no brainer, if I desired an intimate immersion into the world of wine. Formal wine qualifications and guided classes were the gateway to all things encompassing wine. Not to mention a personal challenge, especially considering I had no restaurant experience nor any regular access to wines to hone my blind tasting skills.
WSET: With qualifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers and Vin Italy International Academy under your belt, what added value are you finding by studying the WSET Diploma?
Primlani Kitchen: While CMS jump-started my wine education, acquiring the Italian Wine Ambassadorship via Vin Italy not only reinforced my respect and admiration for all things Italian, it triggered an insatiable quest for knowledge based on the simple realisation that wine is so much more than just alcohol, bragging rights for identifying wines, or focused on a handful of commercially successful producers. Wine should be revered as liquid art, created by tenacious tireless warriors, in pursuit of their lifelong passion.
While both CMS and Vin Italy are self-study programs, WSET’s comprehensive study guides, online-resources, and cerebral professors have provided me with an invaluable opportunity, where learning is limited only by one’s imagination, in turn, nurturing this obsession into a successful wine career. In-depth research in the fields of viticulture, vinification, industry insights, marketing, business, and global perspective of not only wine, but also spirits, enables me to divulge into the dizzying array of diversity, heritage, history, and future of wine (especially since I came from a culture of no wine).
WSET: Why did you decide to start your blog and what do you hope readers take away from it?
Primlani Kitchen: One constant through my culinary experiences, regardless of the cuisine was either people loved spices or were completely intimidated by it. My culinary crusade (blog) included demonstrating dishes don’t require palate numbing, lip burning heat, just enough spice to create incredibly satisfying dishes, full of flavours, yet light on it’s feet and healthy. Keeping up with the motto “variety is the spice of life”, the blog aimed to introduce readers to the health benefits of cooking with spices and creating memorable meals from simple ingredients, regardless of the cuisine.
And today I extend the same philosophy for enlightening and educating readers about this magical elixir we humble mortals call wine. Wine is not intimidating, and one doesn’t need to be born in the culture to appreciate it. Yes, it is an acquired taste. One that can be mastered with dedication and perseverance, or should I say life-long obsession.
The beauty of wine is that it is timeless, with no holds barred, irrespective of any price, country of origin, colour of grape, or age, and there are plenty of good to great wines to please any palate.
WSET: Having been raised around the culinary flavours of India, what is it about Italian food and wine that captures you above other cuisines?
Primlani Kitchen: Italy is an enchanting land of endless discoveries, dreams, & vino. Like India, Italy is one country where regionality is not only accepted, it is encouraged, revered, and passionately pursued. What makes Italy particularly alluring is unlike the yuppies of the west, who voluntarily surrendered tradition for consumerism; Italians, including the champions of change, the younger generation, confidently and with great pride wear their cultural identity as a comfortable cloak or second skin, while crusading their local region onto contemporary stature.
Be it gastronomical quickies or spell-binding and exhilarating culinary experiences, Italy offers a gamut of mouth-watering, food-friendly, wallet-savvy, outstanding wines, waiting to be appreciated. And the VIA program is a riveting portal to unfolding the mysteries of Italian wine, spearheaded by the leading lady of Italian Wine – Ms. Stevie Kim (MD of VinItaly International Academy) and the one and only tireless champion, I endearingly call “walking wine encyclopaedia” Dr. Ian D’Agata.
WSET: If you had to choose one, what would be your favourite food and wine pairing?
Primlani Kitchen: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, well in our case it’s all things sparkling. From a shimmering sip of the renowned Bollinger Special Cuvee Champagne that holds it’s ground with nutty nuances of aged cheese such as king of cheeses – Parmesan. A dry Cremant de Loire (Chenin Blanc) that shines with sushi. The super-value dry Lambrusco Salamino from Italy, fabricated to enjoy the simple pleasures of bubbles, that marries well with fatty foods such as charcuterie or a crisp Pizza Margarita in hand. Spain’s budget-friendly Cava made via traditional method – think warm, buttery biscuits tickled with herbs. Boozy brunches with peach kissed Prosecco or food-friendly Franciacorta. A new world sparkling Pinot Noir dominant rose or an off dry sparkling Riesling beautifully balances the heat of spicy cuisines such as Indian or Mexican, to the splurge-worthy seamlessly crafted bottle of Prestige Cuvee – Krug to cap off the evening, there is a bottle of bubbly waiting with your name on it to add some sparkle in your life and dish. Cheers!
Whether you are pondering elevating your wine career or are simply smitten by wine – here are our recommendations for immersion into wine:
- Philly Wine All WSET levels including Diploma.
- Slate Wine Academy for WSET Levels 1-3.
- Tim’s Wine Market Orlando for regionally focused wine seminars.
- VinItaly International Academy encompassing all things Italian.
- TexSomm and Guild Somm for Wine Professionals.
Until next time, have a delicious day!!