All Roses taste of strawberries (it’s a bit like a wine law) but not many have the honeysuckle and spice edge of this exotic Rose. It’s nothing like the ‘White Zinfandel’ of California, but drier and with a spiced, herbal element. It’s beautifully ripe and actually the most wonderful complement to a curry.
If this were an outfit it would be Elvis during the Vegas years. Big, glitzy and flash, it’s made in an expansive style with a long, lingering finish. Look for all sorts of spices like coffee and chocolate on the palate as well as ripe currants, cherry and blueberry. A shrinking violet it ain’t but if you like wines big, you’ll love this.
Grover produces this exotic, seductive white in the Nandi Hills in Bengaluru/Bangalore. Viognier is a warm-climate variety and producers look to bring out apricot fruit, luscious texture and a heady scent that can be a bit Marmite for some wine lovers. I am in the love category, pairing this with Thai spices.
This wine shows the ambition of a producer like Sula, making a more concentrated style of Shiraz, ageing it in oak and looking for depth and complexity. And achieving it. Look to match this to richer, weightier dishes and perhaps dishes with a lighter spice. This is more grilled, tandoori lamb or even cheeses.
One of my favourite dishes is Masala fish – the spice infused in the fish and then cooked in a tandoori oven. Here’s the perfect wine to match it. Bright and grassy with a New World vibrant gooseberry fruit. It’s almost South African in style although perhaps with a hint of spice. Or is that just because I know it comes from India?
Producers in India are keen to make wines that complement Indian food, so here you have the damson and cinnamon fruit and aromas of Zinfandel with a soft tannin that stays supple in the face of spicy heat. Perfect with lamb curries (or goat) it’s not quite in the same mould as the spiced Zins of California.
From the ‘Napa Valley of India’, this Zinfandel rosé comes from one of the fastest-growing and most exciting wine regions in the world. It has a sweet, inviting strawberry aroma that lures you in, but don’t expect a sickly taste; this is dry, fresh and finishes with a lovely hint of fresh-cracked pepper.