I must start this write up with a disclaimer that I am not an expert in wine. But I recently read an article that a research was conducted where the participants had to taste wines of varying price ranges and rate them as per their taste. It may come as a surprise that the wines that were rated the highest turned out to be the cheapest ones. Really, we must end the snobbery around wines and start enjoying it. Taste is a subjective matter and we must understand that when it comes to enjoying wines, high price wouldn’t necessarily ensure a better taste. After all you are the best judge of the taste you enjoy more. Another kind of ignorance is when we opt for an international wine thinking that Indian Wine, being reasonably priced, might be inferior.
I think Indian wine industry, though already doing great wonders, still needs a bigger push. With this intention in mind the first ever Indian Wine Day was celebrated and was hosted by The Lalit hotel group in association with Indian Wine Academy and Delhi Wine Club. Mr. Subhash Arora, being the head of Indian Wine Academy and Delhi Wine Club is the one who took the initiative to kickstart the event marking the first ever Indian Wine Day that was celebrated in 6 Lalit hotels on 16th November. Starting 16th Nov 2017, for 3 consecutive days all Lalit Hotels served Indian wines at 50% discount.
The finest Indian wines were handpicked by the Lalit’s corporate sommelier Donnadieu Charles and paired with a variety of Indian delicacies from their restaurant Baluchi. He told me that contrary to popular belief it is easy to pair wines with Indian food as the spice levels in dishes is quite distinguishable.
Brut Tropicale, the sparkling wine from Sula, with its passion fruit and peachy aromas and red berry tones on the palate went perfectly well with Mutton Seekh Kebab and Paneer Tikka. York Cuvee Brut, another sparkling variety, refreshing and zingy, made from 100% Chenin Blanc was paired with Gucchi aur Safed Mushroom ki Galauti. The vegetarian starters, consisting of Dahi and Sing Daney ke Kebab, Aloo Nazakat and Pheni Paratha were paired with Grovers Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc which I found a bit too acidic.
The main course consisting of Lamb Nihari, Murgh Makhnwala, Kathal Biryani, Dal Baluchi and Gilafi Kulcha was paired together with two red wines Fratelli Sangiovese and Charossa Reserve Tempranillo. Now Charossa is one wine which to is produced in Nasik but it’s way ahead of its competitors. This was one of the most well balanced red wines I’ve ever tasted and can be definitely compared to some of the really good French and Italian wines. Needless to say, Fratelli fell flat in comparison.
We enjoyed a variety of desserts at the Lalit’s lounge bar Kitty Su which was served with a large variety of other wines from Sula, Grover, and Fratelli. The one that stood out for me was Sula Riesling.
I have always loved and enjoyed Indian wines and I think it’s high time the Indian wine industry gets its due recognition in the International arena. This visionary and noble idea is aimed at making that possible and I’m sure Indian Wine Day will get bigger and better every year.