Behind the Scenes: Wine & Dine at The LaLiT New Delhi Courtesy Star Sommelier Charles

“Where there is no wine, there is no love!” – Euripedes

To know how right the ancient Greek tragedian was with his adage, you only need to embrace the The LaLiT New Delhi’s culinary experiences that pair the most savoury delicacies with sensational wines sourced both locally and globally.

One might think that, as one of the finest five star hotels in Delhi, The LaLiT New Delhi is only doing what is expected of it. But it is the magic of star sommelier Charles Donnadieu that truly transcends their fine dine offerings into the territory of the Gods.

Meet Charles Donnadieu

After graduating from Vatel Institute in 2005, Charles honed his skills in the art of wine serving, pairing and storage with French Sommelier Lycee Professionnel Etincelle in Nimes. Thereafter, his journey led him to great vineyards and many globally renowned hotels before he planted his feet at the erstwhile Grand Intercontinental Hotel (now The LaLiT New Delhi) in 2007.


As the Chief Sommelier, Charles ensures that his wine tasting sessions leave an indelible imprint upon the customers. His philosophy of introducing wine to more and more people manifests in his charming talks where he describes ‘the drinking art’ to the patrons. This is where his outstanding wine and food pairing recommendations, such as the revolutionary naanery concept where naan and wine are served together, turn dining into a unique novelty for the customers.


Behind the scenes, Charles Donnadieu is also tasked with maintaining The LaLiT New Delhi’s exquisite wine cellars which offer some rare French and international wines sourced directly from the producer. Every wine variety is carefully selected after a meticulous staff tasting session. This is where Charles has excelled as is evident in the exemplary wine list of The LaLiT New Delhi which balances for key points: popular wines that are requested often; rare wines that lead to the discovery of new tastes; producer and pricing; and pairing compatibility with the food served.

In the end, it is an almost intuitive ability to listen to the customer, find out his taste by asking simple questions and recommend a wine according to it that makes Charles a sommelier par excellence. And whether you are a wine aficionado or not, it is an experience you must not miss.

Romancing with wine at Baluchi and The Grill Room

When it comes to the finest restaurants in Delhi, the name of Baluchi, a pan-Indian extravaganza, and The Grill Room, a montage of global cuisines looked after by Michelin Star Chef Ollie Dabbous, always appears on the top.

And since The LaLiT was one of the first Indian hotel chains to construct wine cellars, wine is a part and parcel of all the magnificent offerings of The LaLiT New Delhi’s restaurants.

While at Baluchi, Charles usually provides wines such as Bibi Graetz Bianco from Tuscany, South African MAN Family Cabernet Sauvignon and Fratelli Vitae by the glass, the guests mostly appreciate Indian wines paired with pan-India dishes. As a sommelier, this is what gives Charles utmost satisfaction as he always strives to bring excellent Indian wines such as York, Fratelli, Sula, Grover Zampa and Krsma to the forefront. At the Grill Room, it is the international wines such as the AOC Chabblis Domaine Christian Moreau and AOC Ventoux Les Sables Domaine Lapigeade that rule the roost.

To conclude, if you are enticed by the notion of wine and food pairing, then Charles recommends you to keep your curiosity levels high. After all, it’s the discovery of new wine flavours that makes it a truly worthwhile gastronomic adventure.

Get your glass of fancy at The LaLiT New Delhi.

Leave a comment