I detest to call myself a glutton, but I love the sight of food and I make my presence felt everywhere there’s food. So it won’t come as a surprise that I spent last evening at day 1 of Grape Escapede – one of the best food and lifestyle festivals Goa has been hosting since 2005. Though it gets monotonous – we are so used to it being there year after year, we still love it.
Probably due to elections and code of conduct, the festival which is usually scheduled during the first or second week of February was postponed to the end of March. It kick-started yesterday and will go on till April 30. But since I am traveling tonight, I made it a point to visit on day 1… because, I suffer from #FOMO.
The number of wine brands one get to taste is indeed a great experience. They have every possible wine you can think of in the market – right from Sula to Fratelli. I did try eight wines from three different brands and though I hate to admit it, I was staggering by the end of it all.
Food and music is an integral part of the festival as well. The stage is always occupied by some band or performances. While I was busy sampling the wines, I couldn’t ignore the food either. So I took walks, stopping by stalls and trying out food and wine.
I stopped by at the Grover Zampa stall where Hardik took me through their exotic collection. I was told they are one of the oldest wine makers in India and have been in business since thirty years, winning several awards over the years. I started with their sparkling wine and went ahead to try more variants all whilst getting inputs which actually helped me understand my wine better.
I stopped by at Santanse Homemade Wines stall and had a glass of perfect smooth strawberry wine. They’re a local brand – whereby the wines are brewed in the backyard of the winemakers home. Unlike other brands, these wines are different – they are made in basic jars and storage drums and he uses everything from mushrooms to oranges, tomatoes, amla, tender coconut, jambul and ginger.
Let’s get to the food now? The festival had everything from live grills and Goan delicacies to Tex-Mex fare. Several brands and home chefs set up their stalls and live stations. I started the evening with the perfectly made Kingfish masala served with buttery kulcha and chicken biryani at Yellow Chilli. It’s the same Sanjeev Kapoor restaurant at Mall de Goa that serves scrumptious fusion-Indian fare. What I like about their food is the Indian flavour to even the seafood preparations.
Being a sucker for nachos, I couldn’t resist a plate of chicken nachos at Habanero. Though not the best ones I had, they were good enough. The tacos we got were delicious as well. Our next stop was Mughlai Munch whereby we tried their kababs and lollipops. We ended our evening with the perfect starberries dippied in chocolate at The Chocolate Man’s Production.