Shayne D’souza attends the three-week long annual Celebrate Bandra Festival, starting with the Bandra Wine Tasting Festival. He picks a few must-attend events that aptly reflect the culture of the Queen of Suburbs.

A celebration of wine, the third annual Bandra Wine Tasting Festival was held at D’Monte Park Recreational Club. This year’s edition, gave wine lovers and enthusiasts an opportunity to sample 40 different Indian and international wines.

At the entrance, each visitor was presented with tasting coupons and a wine glass, after which you could amble around the grounds of the well-decorated D’Monte Park Recreational Club and interact with representatives of the wineries. It did not matter whether you were an amateur wine drinker or a professional as the representatives took it upon themselves to educate visitors on the subject. They informed guests about the differences between wines, the various grapes used and also gave tips on what food to pair them with.


There was a good blend of sparkling, red and white wines available for sampling including the Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The eleven wineries that participated were Pause Wines, Seagrams Nine Hills, York Wineries, Zampa Wines, Good Earth Winery, Fratelli Wines, Four Seasons, Mokssh, Vinsura Vineyards, Vallonne Vineyards and Reveilo.  A few of the wineries had exclusive wines on sale but were not available for sampling.


Like it is customary with any other wine festival, the Bandra Wine Tasting Festival too had its fair share of celebrity appearances. Farhan Akthar, Gary Richardson and Ayesha Deol were some of the celebrities who graced the occasion.


One of the festival highlights was the Art Hub that had on display artwork, ceramic tea pots, bone china bowls, oil and canvas paintings by Bhavana Palrecha, Nandita Desai, Shubha Nafrey and Nandita Desai. This section was away from all the hustle and bustle of the wine-tasting activity. There were also restaurant tents that offered a variety of cuisines ranging from fast food items to sushi, pizza, tapas and tempura.

There were contests, a chocolate and wine pairing session, and a wine appreciation session by Ajit Balgi, wine trainer at Bangalore’s Tulleeho Bartending Academy. To top off the evening there was a jazz session performed by The Jazzmates Duo (an Indo-Canadian jazz duo).

Upcoming events
If you’ve missed out on this, make sure that you attend other events that are part of the annual celebration of Bandra’s rich culture and heritage. On from November 12-27, the three weeks will offer a host of things to do, whether it is music, dance or literature. Take your pick:

Percussion ensemble by Satish Krishnamoorthy

Mumbai-based percussionist Satish Krishnamoorthy will soothe your soul

Mile Sur Mile Tumhara
Enjoy an evening of traditional folk music live at the Bandra Bandstand Promenade

Karaoke Championship
Bring out the singer in you at the Karaoke Championship; it’s your one chance to show the world your singing prowess

Celebrate Bandra Food Festival
Bandra is considered to be a major hub for foodies with some of the best eateries in town.  The Celebrate Bandra Food Festival gives you the chance to sample a variety of cuisines.

Heritage Walk
Enroll yourself for this heritage walk.  It starts from Bandra Fort and will cover iconic structures in the suburb like St Andrew’s Church, the Mount Mary’s Basilica and St Stephen’s Church.  Along the way, learn about the Portuguese influences on the early settlers.

A session on Bandra stories
Listen to tales of Bandra from the days gone by. Senior Bandraites will fill you in on how the suburb has developed.

Film & Theatre
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
Watch this two-act play directed by Herman Wouk and adapted from his novel, The Caine Mutiny

By George!
Directed by Naseeruddin Shah, this play is based on the writings of the legendary George Bernard Shaw


An Evening of Dance
Enjoy a variety of dance entertainment. There will be traditional Odissi dancing by Nirguna, free-style dancing by the Freak’n ‘ Bboying Crew and Anisha Shah will perform a jazz dance

Dance like Never Before
There will be two dance performances at this event. Expressions Modern Dance Company, founded by choreographer Sumeet Nagdev presents ‘Anna Ka Sun Na’ and ‘Sufi Perwaane’. There will also be a traditional Odissi dance performance by Nakshyatra Gurukul.

For a complete list of events, visit Celebrate Bandra site.