'I am leading a fine life'

French connect

'I am leading a fine life'

When Anna Murray decided to leave Europe and explore the world, she never thought India would be the place she would be coming to. And what made her choose this path, you ask? As the saying goes, wine is always the answer.

The sommelier has been living in New Delhi for the past one month and is working as the marketing manager, media and communication, in the international division for ‘Brindco’. She’s in the city for ‘The Fine Wine Affair’ at The Oberoi Bengaluru.

About her background, she says, “I am originally from Britain and I studied and worked in Paris. I majored in food and wine. My first job was in the chocolate business but I’ve always been passionate about wine as well. So I started experimenting and pairing the two together.”

This eventually led her to becoming a wine bar manager; a profile where she got to meet several wine producers from different parts of Europe. She learned from experience, experimented a lot and finally came to India for a visit.

“I realised that there’s a good potential for wines here. The ones already available are great and I wanted to learn more about them. When I came to Bengaluru during my visit and saw a vineyard, I made up my mind that I will find a way to come back. Thankfully, I was given an
opportunity to work here and here I am!”

Based on her extensive  knowledge about the beverage and the large number of people she has met in this field, Anna says she can easily tell the true wine aficionados from others.

“Whenever there is a wine event, two sets of people comprise the audience. One is the type who have a knowledge about the drink and are passionate about it. The other group just comes to show off. You can easily tell them apart because the genuine ones truly appreciate authenticity. But then again, taste is very subjective. So I make sure I ask people what they like about it, how long the flavour lasts for them and the aromas they get out of it.”

Surrounded with a mind-boggling variety of wines, she says that one cannot become a sommelier unless they experiment.

“There is a course that one can take to get a degree but it’s just a piece of paper if you don’t try different things. It takes time for your palate to get accustomed. Talk to a lot of wine producers. Understand how wine is made and compare the different types of grapes. I truly believe the more you taste, the more you learn,” she adds.

Having lived in the country for a month now, she says that it’s a great place to be. She says, “I love the culture, religious beliefs and architecture here. I haven’t ever felt scared or thought about going back. My other expatriate friends also tell me that they are happy to be living here.”

And when she’s not drinking or thinking wine, Anna likes to be around music. “I play the piano and I love dancing. I have a lot of musician friends here, and I love hanging out with them. With my favourite things combined, it almost feels like I am leading a fine life,” she exclaims.

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