Drinking wine in Kalyani – Problem 1 of 3.
The easy part for my brother, brother-in-law and myself was to decide to have a glass of wine (or two) without going to our usual smoke-filled restaurant.
Problem #1 was How to secure a bottle of wine. My BIL who lives here was of no help whatsoever. So, we went around asking people. Some kept beer and scotch (by far the most popular drinks in India) but nobody had wine. Finally we managed to find out a guy who was reputed to have the most varied stock of alcohol.
Once we reached there, his shop looked far less like a shop and far more than one of those prison grills that you get to talk to a prisoner through. There was exactly one small opening in the grill and a whole lot of Indians surrounding it without any sense of queue discipline. “Crowd sourcing” took a very different meaning in this context 🙂
Eventually my brother got sick and tired of my manners, ruthlessly elbowed a few folks around and literally burrowed his way to the front. The three of us heaved a collective sigh of relief when the rather rotund and profusely sweating shopkeeper behind the grill affirmed that he indeed had red wine.
Then he went inside for a few minutes to retrieve something which has not evidently sold for years. By the way, while he was gone, none of the folks in the back of the crowd had any idea that he was gone. Nonetheless, they kept yelling their orders 🙂 I have no idea to what good.
Eventually, he brought out something that looked somewhat like a wine bottle duly covered with a layer of dust that would do any pollen-ridden car on a Atlanta spring day very proud. However, problem #1 was solved. And it was a 2011 Ruffino Chianti. Who was I to complain? 🙂