Nika Island Resort experiments with wine, coral pairing

Nika Island Resort and Spa has hosted an original experiment, pairing an array of native corals with wine.

Titled “Metafore” and held with the technical support of leading winer supplier Grape Expectations, the event witnessed white, red and black corals being paired with a special selection of wines according to their colour, pattern and biological peculiarities. The experiment allowed Nika not only to offer its guests a curious selection of wines, but also to bridge the art of wine making with coral, a typical Maldivian thing of beauty.

Edoardo Caccin, External Director at Nika explains: “a metaphor is a literary figure of speech used to describe a subject by comparing it to something else. The comparison gives the qualities of one thing to another that is usually unrelated. We asked ourselves: if coral could be wine, which wine would it be?”

Dora Dzurjak, Grape Expectations’ sommelier and wine educator, guided Nika’s guests through witty and ambitious associations.

The beautiful and sophisticated pattern of Brain Coral was paired with the white wine Weinhaus Ress Rheingau Riesling Trocken.

As far as red wine was involved, Dora made a match between Sileni estates The Plateau Pinot Noir and the Organ Pipe Coral. The sommelier’s inspiration came from its unique hard skeleton of calcium carbonate containing many organ pipe-like tubes.

The marvellous Black Coral closed the show.

Black Coral is among the oldest living organisms on the planet, around 4,265 years old. They show that the growth rates are as low as four to 35 micro-metres per year and that the longevity of this coral is on the order of thousands of years.

Emiliana ‘Novas’ Carmenére-Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect match for this coral, complete with an entertaining story. The sommelier managed to create a bridge between two very dark-skinned and tannic varietals, which blended together beautifully to the distinctive dark brown colour of the skeleton of black coral.

“It’s clear that heritage, culture and creativity are the pillars underpinning all the projects that Nika Island is currently promoting,” Edoardo said.

Edoardo Caccin, External Director at Nika, with Dora Dzurjak, Grape Expectations’ sommelier and wine educator. PHOTO/ NIKA

The event was part of a recently launched series called “Nostalgia: the Maldives that used to be”, which aims to promote local culture and heritage.

Located in North Ari Atoll, Nika is a milestone of the Maldives hospitality industry.

The deserted island of Kudafolhudhu turned into a resort back in 1983. Since its inception, the philosophy and values that shaped this unique boutique resort are the same: privacy, natural sophistication and local heritage.

All of its 43 villas have been built according to the traditional Maldivian architectural style. Being one of the first resorts built in the country, everything on the island has been built using coral blocks, coconut palm trunks and palm leaves. A collection of antiques and unique Maldivian pieces of art decorate the interiors of all the villas.

Nika is a perfect example of a boutique hotel that breaks the dynamics of big international brands that are reshaping the Maldivian hospitality industry. Nika is a heady mix of Italian lifestyle and Maldivian traditions; a unique platform where heritage and natural beauty meet together.

Photos: Ahmed Razeen

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