Minnie Menon is the new President of Terroir - Madras Wine Club, and she's got big plans
Jewellery designer, socialite, philanthropist and now President of Terroir — The Madras Wine Club — Minnie Menon juggles many hats, and with flair. Her latest project with Terroir (established in 2009) has had her overflowing with ideas for a two-year tenure ahead. We find out what is in store:
Congratulations on being made President of Terroir. What’s in store for patrons on your first event this Sunday?
Our first event in the new decade will be in a magical setting under the stars. It will be an evening of camaraderie… at Aqua,The Park Chennai.We will be served a five-course meal paired with some wonderful Italian wines, sparkling, white and reds — a perfect start to the Terroir calendar of 2020. The Park team is going that extra mile and sourcing some exotic winter vegetables from Delhi. It is limited to seating for 24 people coming together with a mutual appreciation of wine and food pairing. This event will be exciting and brimming over with learning on wine varietals, which is the underlying essence of the club.
Is there a calendar laid out for plans in 2020?
Traditionally Terroir holds six events a year — wine-paired sit down dinners with learnings on wines and viticulture, wine-centric films and short educational trips to vineyards. I am excited that we have already firmed up our second event for the latter half of March. But I am not spilling the beans before Sunday night!
What changes or innovation do you have in mind to promote the appreciation of wine in Chennai? The new committee and I are gung-ho and I would begin with selectively enhancing the membership base to cut across age groups. Terroir, essentially, is meant to be a sanctuary for serious wine enthusiasts and I would look at building on that base.
Given that Sula wines recently launched in Tamil Nadu, it seems like a ripe time to get more folks interested in wine.
The government move to permit Sula wines to be available in TASMAC stores in Tamil Nadu is a welcome one. It will make wine more accessible to people in the city in terms of availability and price. I attended the Sula launch event and their six wine varietals were very impressive. I read that Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru constitute 75 per cent of the wine consumption in our country. I believe that these statistics could change slowly now. Some of the younger generation look at wine more favourably than hard liquor. They’re also well travelled and exposed to wine and foods across cultures.
How do you see wine drinking culture growing in Chennai? And how would you compare it to that of artisanal beer in other cities.
Beer is probably the largest consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. Artisanal beer is fast finding a near cult status in cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai. Micro breweries and pubs selling craft beer have carved out a loyal and growing band of fans among the younger set of both sexes. Wine, on the other hand, is more expensive to begin with, owing to high levels of taxation. Relaxation of rules to encourage wine bars and lower taxes will help spur wine appreciation and consumption.
Membership is by invitation.
For your Valentine
The Minnie Menon Valentine collection is out as well — a fusion of semi-precious stones in a veritable rainbow of colours. Expect handpicked new age stones like muscovite and fossilised coral pink mookaite designed with sterling silver. Price: INR 4,000 to INR 38,000. Available at Mehta Jewellery, CP Ramaswamy Road, Abhiramapuram till February 15. 11 am to 7 pm.