Rajeev Samant, founder of Indian winery Sula Vineyards, has opened his first wine and tapas bar – Vinoteca by Sula – in Mumbai. Inspired by Spain’s neighbourhood wine bars, Spanish chef Silvia Grimaldo will serve a selection of authentic tapas and pintxos, alongside the full range of Sula wines. Decked out with Burgundy walls and wooden flooring, the 50-seater bar in Mumbai’s Worli district features an outside seating area and a quirky light installation made from empty Sula Riesling bottles and candle bulbs.
Picking up on the international trend for sharing plates, Samant decided to focus on tapas and pintxos made from fresh seasonal produce and organic ingredients sourced from Sula’s gardens. Menu highlights include calamari in aïoli, grilled kingfish in a garlic and tomato salsa, quinoa salad with walnuts, feta and figs, patatas bravas and berenjena rellena – grilled aubergine filled with minced lamb. Each tapa comes with a suggested Sula wine pairing.
Desserts include chocolate truffles with wine-laced cream centres and wine-infused sorbets and ice creams, including lemon sorbet spiked with Sula Sauvignon Blanc. In addition to Sula’s entire range, the wine list features labels from Spain and Italy, and Champagnes such as Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cicquot and Piper-Heidsieck. Signature drinks include a sparkling sangria made from Grimaldo’s family recipe, and a dry martini-infused hot chocolate spiced with chilli.
Both wines by the glass and dishes start at 200 rupees. “We have made an effort and kept our menu moderately priced for the quality,” said Grimaldo. Sula Vineyards in Nashik – India’s largest grape growing region 180km northeast of Mumbai, was founded by Rajeev Samant in 1999. It was the first estate to introduce international varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Riesling to India.