Indian wine whine


Wine with Indian food? Even seasoned food writers seem to think you can’t eat anything spicy – let’s call it curry – without an ice cold glass of lager. Certainly normal punters think it’s laughable. Last year in my mum’s Indian local, out of 150 curry munchers only myself and a blond hairdresser were spotted with a glass of wine, white dare I say.
The problem in India is that wine is expensive. Actually that’s not the only problem – the industry is 20 years behind Australia and the local taste is in the dark ages preferring sweet wine and glitz.
Now there’s no way I’m going to pay over $200 a bottle for Australian wine in Indian an over-priced hotel bar. I’m talking about Gold White, a blend of chardonnay, viognier and gewurztraminer with 24 carat gold flakes. I’m guessing part of the appeal is a snow dome type effect when you shake the bottle.
Instead I chose a wine from a top local producer Grover Vineyards, a viognier clairette from the Nandi Hills with a manufacturing date of 11th February 2008. Being made in consultation with a Bordeaux oenologist Michel Rolland I thought the wine could be reasonable.
But it was bloody awful. For a start it was the colour of a golden retriever (or quite possibly its pee). And the only reason to drink it with spicy food – some spicy kebabs – was the hide the taste.
Jak refused to drink it but I, in desperation for an alcohol hit, drank it.
In Kerala, however, I was introduced to Sula Vineyards’ chenin blanc. And I drank it again with spicy seafood in Mumbai.
It is on the sweet side and fruity but that is what matches spicy foods best. It certainly wasn’t musty, as this writer found. But full of vibrancy.

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