Vinoteca by Sula: Wine Lover’s Paradise

Let me start by setting the record straight; I’m not a wine connoisseur. What I am is a wine lover. And of course there’s a difference. My palate isn’t as trained and sensitive as a wine connoisseur’s. But nevertheless, I love wine. So you can believe it when I say, Vinoteca by Sula is a wine lovers paradise in Mumbai.

The big black signboard is helpful to locate the wine and tapas bar which serves no other alcohol. To take it one step further, the wine on call is solely from the gardens and cellars of Sula and international imports by Sula. But no one is complaining.

The decor is fairly simple, wood furnishing with red walls, till eye level, that reflect the red wine in your glass, and the white walls and ceiling if you are a fan of white wines. The seating arrangement covers a lounge area of couches, small four-capacity tables both indoors and outdoors as well as bar seating which extends both indoors and outdoors. The seating allows a capacity of upto 50 which can be quite crowded, and evidently noisy, which can be a problem. The music too is a tad bit loud, but with rock n roll and blues playing on the speakers we had no complains.

The food menu is all Spanish. From the set tapas menu to the daily changing pintxo (pincho) menu; everything is inherently Spanish. And to expect otherwise would of course be foolish. The Tuna and Spanish Capers and the Mediterrano, the vegetarian alternative, were both delicious and from the pintxo menu. The tuna with capers had a balance between a sweet sauce and the tangy capers, while the Mediterrano was a tasty dish garnished with figs. Another pick from the pintxo menu was the Lamb Burgers which were well cooked and tasted brilliant with pickles. Moving on to the everyday tapas menu; the Salteado de setas y Esparragos was an asparagus salad, served with mushrooms, walnuts and cheese, and the Ensalada de Queso de Cabra was a leafy salad served with tomatoes, walnuts and cheese. The combination of walnuts and cheese in the vegetarian was an iffy choice for me, but it may be an acquired taste for some. All the same, it is quite clear that the vegetarian dishes aren’t the trump card of their menu. The non-vegetarian dishes however were a delight. The Pollo al Chilindron was a delicious chicken dish served in a delicious sauce with a basket of toast to go along. And although the Gambas al Ajillo was a simple dish of shrimp cooked in a few spices, it was quite a tasty dish for anyone who enjoys seafood.

The wine is most obviously the highlight of Vinoteca by Sula. With a selection of over 70 wines to choose from, you cannot go wrong with your choice, even if you close your eyes and pick a glass at random. Each dish on the food menu has a recommended wine which goes along with it, and going along with the recommendation is a good choice. It was something we learned when we picked the Bosca Anniversary which was recommended with the Assorted Truffles dessert. The Bosca Anniversary was a sweet bubbly which was enjoyed at the end of the night. It was preceded by choices of Sula Brut N.V, Dindori Reserve Shiraz and others. A dry red wine or a white flat or a bubbly, whatever your fancy, it is all there and as brilliant as expected. Also worth mentioning is the only cocktail on the menu, the Silvia Sparkling Sula Sangria, generally served by the pitcher, which has a blast of citrus to go with your wine.

As stated previously, Vinoteca by Sula is a go-to spot for wine lovers. For others, it’s at least worth a visit once, every month.

A meal for two would amount to about Rs. 2,500 with alcohol.

- Sean Sequeira

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