India has woken up to wines. Good wines. Even as many as ten years ago, most people in India did not have a palate for wines. So what if most liquor shops in India are called ‘Wine Shops’. All that these shops sold were Beer, Whisky, Vodka. Not Wine. Most people wouldn’t know the difference between a red and a white; forget matching wine with food. Until a handful of local vineyards and breweries came along and almost ‘introduced’ wine to the country. From then to now, India has turned into a wine-maker’s delight, what with its huge market potential and the booming middle class. We now have not only the wines made in India, but we also import from the best of the world’s wine producing countries. The latest entrant being the country that belongs to the ‘New World’ of wine makers, the country that is the largest importer (in value) and consumer of wine in the world, the country that is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world – USA.
The West Coast of USA is a dominant wine-making area, made famous by Napa County, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Oregon and Washington State. Known and loved for their Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs, Chardonays, Zinfandels, Merlots, Pinot Gris, brands such as Robert Mondavi, Kendall Jackson, Beringer Estates, OpusOne, Harlans Estate, Screaming Eagle have strongly etched their produce amongst wine connosieurs around the world.
It was only a matter of time then, that wine lovers in India too could get to drink the US wines. And the wait just got over. Stellar wines such as Napa Valley’s Honig Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast’s Patz and Hall Chardonay, Sonoma County’s Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir, Mendocino County’s Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Zinfandel, Oregon’s Erath Pinot Gris and Washington State’s Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot are here. Exquisite flavours and lingering after taste, be it the lighter whites or the strong and full-bodied reds, here are wines that go so well with gourmet food. Priced between INR 2000 to about INR 10,000, these are the wines that you’d love during a special occasion.
Currently available at the ITC Hotels in Mumbai, most of these and more will soon be available in the market.