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The onslaught of winter in India also ushers in a festive mood – albeit a bit different. ‘Tis the season of wine festivals all over the country and what’s better than meeting some talented winemakers over bottles of their best creations!
The Fine Food India Expo is is exactly the kind of fair where adults feel like they are in a carnival. Let’s face it, we never really grow up we just acquire better taste! This three-day extravaganza of food and wine held at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 5th Dec to 7th Dec, 2011 brought together the best in the industry to the foodies and wine lovers of the capital city. We loved being in the middle of it all and are now bringing the experience to you, our fellow vinophiles!
As you entered the grounds, the first thing you noticed was the French Pavillion by Sopexa & UBI France. For the very first time in India, Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines from 6 estates were showcased - Domaine de Nalys, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Durieu, Domaine du Père Caboche, Domaine La Mereuille and Domaine de la Charbonnièr. Established in 1933, Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever “Appellation Contrôlée” established in France. More wine is produced in Châteauneuf-du-Pape than the whole of northern Rhône put together. While this region is known for world class blends, the Grenache is characteristic of Châteauneuf-du-Pape making some of the vintages among the most expensive and coveted.
The wine makers and representatives from Châteauneuf-du-Pape had a chance to meet with importers from the Indian subcontinent. “This is a great opportunity for us to network and get a real sense of the Indian wine market first hand,” said Caroline from Domaine de la Charbonniere. “It’s been a great experience and India is such a rich country with a burgeoning wine industry. There’s so much scope and yet so many challenges,” Vincent DURIEU from the same region, chimed in. In speaking to their Indian counterparts, they felt the Indian wineries had some similar challenges on growing the number of wine lovers in India. Being cheerfully optimistic about the future, Adeline MOUTIER from VIGNERONS CATALANS, said “But the major barrier for us is the high taxation on wines produced in France. We can’t wait for our governments to hash out a trade agreement over a bottle of wine!”
Some of the other wines whose lingering taste lasted beyond the night’s hangover…
Rioja Bordon Bodegas Franco-Espanolas Reserva 2004 - Awarded a Gold Medal in The Decanter Magazine World Wine Awards for 2010. This blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo is toasted in American oak casks aged in bottle over 2 years. Aromatic nose with fruity notes, a bit of spicy tone, deep berry flavours and some hint of terroir. Overall nice expression of the region.
Palpedrigo Campodelsole, which means “field of sun”, a blend of Sangiovese+Cabernet+Merlot has just as rich and delicious of a taste as that of its history. The vineyards have been farmed and inhabited since before the Roman times. On a recent replanting of one vineyards, the workers had to stop numerous times to pick the Roman pottery and amphoras out of the field!
Colvendra Spumante Brut DOCG - A very delicate Italian prosecco with flowery aroma, zesty taste of fresh apple and pear and just the right amount of acidity. A sparkler that would do very well for the Indian palate!
Over 50 wineries, both old world and new world, from various parts of the world were featured – France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, California, Oregon etc.
All the wines present had a common thread beyond just the best in quality. Every winery represented a long lineage and rich history of wine-making that goes back a few generations. Such is the expertise that we require in India to help in the furthering of our taste in this heavenly beverage by making more of the best wines accessible to every Indian wine lover.
While only two wineries from India were presented at the expo – Sula Wines & Fratelli Wines, the organizers and the wine industry are working to change that in the very near future. And we are more than happy to contribute with one simple philosophy- follow you Instincts, trust your palate, and enjoy your wine!