Today is India Wine Day (IWD). This event was celebrated for the first time last year on the 16th November 2017, with dinners at The LaLiT Hotels in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Chandigarh and that most Indian of cities, London. At each location Indian cuisine was paired with Indian wines and Indian music was played during the banquet, which was served by staff dressed up in traditional Indian robes.
Whilst India has a population comparable with that of China, Indians consume very little wine due to crippling government taxes and a complicated system which the whisky-backing government uses to stymie the push towards wine by the younger generation. This government covert anti-wine stance not only hurts wine imports, but also alas, the local wine industry, which despite these adversities produces some pretty good wines.
The IWD event is the brain child of my friend and Indian wine guru, Cav. Subhash Arora, who is the president of the Indian Wine Academy, an international wine judge and founder of the Delhi Wine Club (founded in 2002 to promote wine culture and wine awareness through education). www.indianwineacademy.com
The concept of IWD is to promote Indian wines with Indian cuisine as a unique gastronomical experience, in a similar fashion that the Italians promote Italian wine with Italian food. Maybe it is a concept that we should embrace on the global stage – Aussie wines with Aussie food.
The Indian wineries involved in the 2017 IWD were:
► Grover Zampa Vineyards: www.groverzampa.in
► Sula Vineyards: www.sulawines.com
► Fratelli Vineyards: www.fratelliwines.in
► York Winery: www.yorkwinery.com
► Charosa Vineyards: www.charosavineyards.com
► Chandon: www.chandon.co.in
► KRSMA Estates: www.krsmaestates.com
As it turned out when I was in Hong Kong last week for the Hong Kong International Wine Fair, I had the opportunity to taste many of the wines in the GROVER ZAMPA range, including:
ZAMPA SOIREE BRUT ROSÉ 2016: Light, bright pink in colour with soft yeasty apple aromas and a great mousse. The flavours are smooth, soft and gentle leading to a crisp, refreshing finish. A GREAT APERITIF WINE.
GROVER “LA RESERVE” BLANC 2017 (90% Viognier/10% Sauvignon Blanc): Very appealing delicate aromas on the bouquet, stacks of flavour with a nice tight yet refreshing finish. VERY MOREISH!
VJ ARMITAGE RESERVE COLLECTION VIOGNIER 2017: This excellent wine has lively Viognier aromas and a big, tight, restrained palate bursting with flavour. Keep it a while or enjoy with less spicy dishes. DELIGHTFUL!
GROVER CHENIN BLANC ART COLLECTION 2018: Lovely hints of sweetness on the aromatic bouquet, with restrained sweetness on the front palate coupled with masses of fruit flavours which lead to a dry, refreshing finish that makes this wine a brilliant Chenin Blanc. WORLD-CLASS!
VJ ARMITAGE RED 2016 (Cabernet/Shiraz/Viognier): Twelve months in oak before the bottle maturation prior to release. Alluring aromas of plums, berries and perhaps just a hint of Viognier. This is a very smooth, rich, luscious wine which has a deliciously tight and lingering finish. SUPERB WITH FOOD.
GROVER “LA RESERVE” RED 2016 (60% Cabernet/40% Shiraz): Divine colour, aromas of red berries and vanillin oak, a glorious mouthful of elegant flavours and a silky-smooth, divine finish. VERY CLASSY!
I would quite happily enjoy any of these wines at a local Indian restaurant, with all but the hottest of dishes.
So, I would suggest to you that when the opportunity arises, you try an Indian wine, as they have come a long way since I was there back in 2004.
Happy Indian Wine Day to you. Cheers!