Indian Wines have come a long way from their humble beginning in the later part of the 20th century. Wine back then was a niche drink, meant to be consumed by the elite section of the society and somehow this notion has still got some foot in today’s time. The wine scenario has changed drastically for good though, as more wineries are opening their doors, giving us more understanding and options to savor wine.
Indian wines serve the purpose towards having a fair introduction to wine. Here’s a list of perfectly curated 6 Indian white wines, for the novice and passionate alike. White wine is generally perceived as sweet tasting, less alcoholic (than the red wine), fruity and perhaps easy to drink. Technically speaking this is not always the case; as many white wines are dry (meaning that wine is not at all sweet).
The wines mentioned below follow no particular order and every wine is good and unique in its own manner.
Specialist Tip Always try and buy the latest vintage (2016), especially for white wine.
York, Chenin Blanc
York winery is a newcomer but has carved itself a promising name in the Indian wine Industry. Chenin Blanc briefly is a white grape variety native to France and produces floral and fruit driven wines. It’s also widely used in making sparkling wines especially in India.
Chenin Blanc from York is semi dry, thus one can taste a little sweetness in the wine. The wine on the nose offers ripe oranges, fresh apricots, hint of pineapple and subtle vanilla. The palate is fruity, showcasing apples, honey dew melon, guava alongside a creamy feel. Oak used during production process adds body and more character to the wine.
Food and Wine pairing: This versatile wine can be paired alongside a creamy pasta dish, paneer tikka or sushi.
Price: INR 570 (Delhi Retail Price)
Grover Art Collection, Sauvignon Blanc
Grover Zampa is one of the oldest Indian wineries, offering a huge and myriad range of wines catering to every segment of the market. Currently they released the most expensive Indian red wine: – Insignia. Art Collection by Grover is a range of mostly varietal wines (single grape variety wines), distinguished by beautiful label art done by Indian artists. The famous Indian colorist Rini Dhumal has crafted the label of the Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc briefly is a white grape variety from France, known for classical herbaceous and grassy profile. This Sauvignon Blanc is full of zesty citrus, pears, hint of peach with characteristic herbaceous grassy tones. The palate is refreshing, with lemon, apple and gooseberries making it an ideal thirst quencher.
Food and Wine pairing: The wine pairs perfectly with summer salads, seafood preparations and soft and creamy cheese.
Price: INR 750 (Delhi Retail price)
Grover La Réserve Blanc
La Réserve was first produced in 1998 as a red wine in collaboration with the world famous oenologist Michel Rolland, who has been extending his professional help to Grover Vineyards since 1995. La Réserve has also bagged many international wine awards and is a hit in international market too. La Réserve Blanc was first produced in 2014 from Viognier and minute proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. Viognier briefly is an aromatic white grape variety native to France with nice fruit concentration, and can be made into a complex and serious wine, for those who prefer bold white wines. La Réserve Blanc is special in the way it’s crafted, from hand harvested grapes, from best vineyard sites and finally the usage of French oak barrels during fermentation and ageing.
The aroma is fragrant, showcasing orange blossoms, grapefruits, ripe apples, peach, hints of exotic fruits and vanilla. The palate comprises of pomelo, quince, guava, passion fruit with a touch of sweet spice from oak ageing. An amazing white wine with great aromatic intensity and enriching flavors.
Food and Wine pairing: This wine is a food wine that goes well with white meat dishes, hearty seafood dishes and blue cheese like Gorgonzola and Danish Blue. Spaghetti Carbonara can be an ideal food pairing.
Price: INR 1050 (Delhi Retail Price)
Sula is the most widely known and recognized Indian wine brand, and in fact was the first winery to start it’s wine making journey in the Nashik region in 1999, currently the wine making hub of India. Sula Riesling requires mention in this list, not just because of the brand power, but the fact that it is India’s first ever Riesling. Riesling briefly is white grape variety of German origin, and can be made into different styles ranging from luscious sweet nectar to bone dry wines.
This Riesling has aromas of lemon zest, white flowers, apples, apricots and a touch of ripe pineapple. The palate is fresh and juicy reminiscent of assorted fruit basket, with pears, honeydew melons, some guava with some sweetness to it. This wine can give novice an idea of what to expect in Riesling grown in Germany and elsewhere.
Food and Wine pairing: A versatile wine when it comes to pairing with food. Summer fruit based salads, spicy food preparations and Asian cuisine pair well with this wine.
Price: INR 890 (Delhi Retail Price)
Krsma is a boutique winery, based in Hampi Hills in Karnataka. The winery production is limited as compared to other brands, making availability difficult. Bangalore currently is the only city where one can lay hands on them. New York is another international city where you can find these exclusive wines. An interesting fact about KRSMA is that, they focus on only four varietal wines: Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese in the red wine category and Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the white wine category. Chardonnay briefly is white wine, native to France and is grown in almost every wine making region worldwide.
This Chardonnay expresses notes of white flowers, sweet lime, orange peel, apple and peach. The palate has some creaminess, nectarines, mango, and vanilla bean. The wine is delectably fruity and balanced with subtle oak in the background.
Food and Wine pairing: Mild Indian curries, seafood preparations like prawns in garlic butter sauce, Chicken Caesar salad will pair excellently with this wine.
Price: INR 1200 (Bangalore Retail price)
Fratelli, Sangiovese Bianco
Fratelli is an Indo Italian venture, based in Akluj in Maharashtra. The winery has expanded its wine label, thus exposing Indian consumers to new styles of wine exclusively produced by them. Interestingly and surprisingly Sangiovese Bianco is a white wine, made from Sangiovese (An Italian red grape variety). This wine is a work of fine craftsmanship and sheer passion. The famous red wines of Chianti from Tuscany, Italy are all Sangiovese based, thus making it the most known Italian red grape variety.
The Sangiovese Bianco has delicate aromas of acacia blossoms, citrus zest and green apple with hints of ripe peach flesh. The palate has nuances of vanilla, grapefruit and some ripe banana. This light bodied wine is an excellent aperitif and must try if one is looking to stray from the known classic white grape varieties.
Food and Wine pairing: Kebab preparations like Chicken malai tikka, Thai cuisine, grilled seafood can pair well with this wine.
Price: INR 880 (Delhi Retail price)
Most of us would after a long and a hard day at work return home, put our feet up and want to relax for the rest of the evening. The way I see it is that a good glass of wine can never go wrong with a meal or otherwise and if this fits nicely into our pockets and budgets then this could be a life long affair to remember rather than a one night stand!