One question I often come across during training or consumer interactions is “Which is the best Indian wine to start with if you’re new to wine?” Takes me back to a time when I first started and wished I wasn’t introduced to a few wines that I now appreciate having acquired the taste for it over time.
For a new wine drinker you want to introduce them to something simple and fruit-forward, and then move them up to a complex wine which otherwise could be intimidating. Here is a list of my six starter wines for new wine drinkers.
Sula Chenin Blanc 2019 (Rs 695 for 750 ml)
This is a refreshing off dry wine with tropical fruit flavours of mango and pineapple, and green fruits like pears and green apple. A perfect wine for a hot Sunday afternoon, paired with Thai and Gujarati cuisines – both of which have a hint of sugar and spice.
Charosa Sauvignon Blanc (Rs 950 for 750 ml)
This is a complete underdog in the Indian wine industry and makes you wonder why you did not stumble upon it any sooner. The Charosa Sauvignon Blanc has intense flavours of gooseberry and orange, with grassy mineral freshness and well-balanced acidity, adding to a great mouth feel. It pairs well with sea food, dishes and salads.
Vallone Rosé (Rs 870 for 750 ml)
Your search for a good Rosé wine ends here. The Vallone Rosé is a delicate and refreshing with flavours of plums, cherries and melons. It is a versatile wine that pairs with salads and appetizers, and mildly flavoured pastas and pulaos.
Reveilo Merlot 2019 (Rs 675 for 750 ml)
This Merlot is often called a good starter grape varietal and Reveilo does a very good and consistent job of making a wine that has become a favourite for a lot of consumers.
The wine is ruby coloured and medium bodied, with mouth-filling flavours of plums, red cherries and red currants. The soft tannins and balanced acidity provide a remarkable structure to the wine.
The next time you’re serving grilled meat or mushroom dishes this is the wine you want to pair it with.
KRSMA Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Rs 2,000 for 750 ml)
You could be surprised to see a Cabernet Sauvignon on the list, but the KRSMA Estates Cabernet Sauvignon makes it on here, and deservedly so. The wine is fruit-forward with flavours of prune and hints of dark chocolate. The lingering spice finish pairs well with kebabs, Indian curries, steaks and barbequed meat.
The wine is matured in oak barrels for 12 months, which helps structure its tannins.
Zampa Soirée Brut (Rs 1,200 for 750 ml)
This is an elegant wine for celebrations or your weekend tipple. The consistent bubbles, along with the floral and fruity notes, are sure to make you coming back for more. Notes of dried apricots and brioche stay on your palate long after you’ve had a sip. It pairs well with mildly spiced Japanese, Thai or Indian cuisine.