Folks I’m going to keep this simple. Wine isn’t rocket science, in fact nothing is rocket science except of course rocket science itself.
To begin your path to vinous discovery you must taste in order to choose wines effectively. Sounds like fun? It is. Feel free; take a sip from the glass of the fellow on the next table if you must. The more you taste the better. Build a memory bank of wine flavours. The more you taste the more you will understand the differences between grape varieties, regions and most importantly the style of wine that you like and don’t like.
To make it easy some restaurant wine lists have the tasting notes of the wine mentioned below the wine, if it sounds appealing to you, go for it. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for some advise, this however I must caution you only works in select places, like the ones I consult for example. The tasting note on the back of a bottle will give you a lot of information as well incase your buying from a retail store.
Sure you’ll pick a few duds in the process but it will only make you enjoy the good ones more and I predict if you give yourself enough time you’ll be picking winners every time, making you the pride of your family and joy of your town.
Wine and food when paired correctly is a match made in heaven. But don’t get too wrapped up in the technicality of it all, just have fun with it. Keep in mind the weight, texture and flavours including sweetness and acidity of the food and find a wine with characteristics that matches them or in some cases you could also try contrasting them.
Experiment, you’ll get it in no time. In fact, because there are just so many styles of wine you could find a style of wine for pretty much any kind of food out there.
Ever tried a Vada Pao with that deadly red masala with a Chardonnay aged in American oak? No ? Well neither have I but it could be fun to try!
Indian wine can offer more value than an imported counter part but all in all it’s still relatively expensive to drink wine in India. It’s expensive because the duties on wine are very high, some of the highest in the world. Expensive because of high margins applied by hotels and restaurants and ridiculous demands from retail outlets. Also sometimes because importers and producers think they can charge a higher value and get away with it. Last but not least the truestest reason for high prices is because there is more demand than the producers and importers of wine in India can supply……..well not really but even Sommeliers have dreams !
Nikhil Agarwal- Sommelier and Director at All Things Nice – www.allthingnice.in