It's the journey, not the destination: And what a journey it is at these wine appreciation gatherings, hosted at least one Sunday each month by Prakash Ragavan in his own home.
Step inside Prakash's Bukit Damansara sanctuary for a three-hour session that'll fly by effortlessly, tailored for anyone with a healthy curiosity about wine & a desire to better understand how to derive maximum satisfaction from imbibing. It's not a conclave of wine snobs but a community of wine lovers that's being nurtured here.
Our spelunking starts underground: Prakash has constructed his own cellar beneath this house & built an enviably bedazzling collection of wines from across the globe.
All this from a man whose torrid affair with wine only blossomed in his late 20s, after he developed an allergy to beer & was struck by an epiphany fueled by a fortuitous Margaret River meal that deliciously partnered rabbit stew with some Merlot.
Prakash holds a diploma in wine from South Africa's Cape Wine Academy; that should serve as encouragement, not deterrence, for folks who might feel intimidated about heading here. He's the perfect man to guide those of us who have little idea what the difference between Shiraz & Syrah could be (is there even a difference? hmmmmm).
And even for wine enthusiasts who already know a lot, there's still plenty of knowledge to absorb & share in the first half of these sessions, when we sit & talk about everything from the history of wine to the various types of wine to the etiquette of consuming wine. Not as somber as it seems; the teacher's gentle & good-humored, generous with smiles & eager to laugh.
The hall's chilly; in a testament to his passion, Prakash keeps the thermostat at 22 degrees Celsius, a suitable room temperature for savoring an open glass of wine.
The fun escalates when participants (typically kept to a maximum of 12 people) begin a blind tasting of wines that transforms into a spirited guessing game about what we're sipping & what characteristics these eight-or-so bottles might feature.
The time spent here is intoxicating in every sense of the word. But the hope is that by the end, everyone leaves with a clearer sense of which kinds of wine they like best & how to enjoy them.
These "i-1-wine" classes cost RM150 per person, with the next session slated for Sept. 15. Prakash also sometimes stages dinners that pair, say, Spanish wine with Spanish cuisine for "tutored tastings." Follow him on https://www.facebook.com/WineDaddy for updates.
Many thanks to Yeenli, Prakash's associate in the Wine Daddy enterprise, for the invitation to this session of an endeavor that harbors the tantalizing promise of genuine delight & discovery.
Wine Daddy's Journeys Through Wine