Good wine comes when you wait for that perfect moment. In technical terms, this is when grapes are at their peak phenolic ripeness, to maximise the quality of the wine, without compromising on the colour and taste. Sounds like a precise moment, right? Well, it is!
In India, the real journey of the wine grapes begin at this time of the year. If you drive by a vineyard, you can see lush canopies bearing down with rich clusters of juicy, plump grapes. They are just ripe and ready to be plucked. (Psst…this is also the perfect time to visit a vineyard.) Unlike Europe and the US, the harvest season in India starts in February and extends till April.
The vineyards we source our grapes from, in Nashik and Ramnagar, fall under the tropical climate band where temperature rises to 45 °C in summer and can fall to 8 °C in winter. Here, the vineyards are typically located at a higher altitude, along the picturesque slopes of the hills. This way, the grapes stay protected from winds, and it also allows them to breathe in the cooler air.
While we are on the topic of wine making and harvesting, there are a few more factors that make Indian wine so special.
One, is the terroir. As you know, the quality of wine is dependant on the terroir, a set of environmental factors that affect a crop’s character. The soil and climate in Nashik and Ramnagar are just ideal for grapes to thrive and reach their fullest goodness.
Two, wine is the labour of love in India. Literally. While globally, grapes are plucked by hand only in the finest vineyards (the mass-produced ones are highly mechanised), in India grapes are largely hand-picked.
Three, in India, vines grow throughout the year. Colder countries experience a naptime in winters. But we have to prune the grapes twice – after and before the harvest. Thus, more effort goes into making wines in India than in other countries.
Four – and this is the reason Big Banyan wines are different and extra special – they are prepared under the watchful eye of our Italian vintner, Lucio Matricardi. Now you know the secret behind the magical taste!
All this talk about harvesting is making us yearn for some wine. We’ll go unbottle our season’s best, and you do the same.
Summer is a state of mind. The overcast skies of Bangalore sometimes make us long for warm sunshine. To cheer our spirits, we captured that elusive sunshine in a glass – with our citrusy, zesty white wine cocktail. It’s quick and (ridiculously) easy to make (like all our other drinks). You will find all the … Continue reading A citrusy affair
The name says it all. ‘Dessert’ wine. This is a sweet wine that’s typically served as dessert. Or with a dessert.These wines are typically made from grapes like Muscat, Riesling, Pinot Gris, etc., and are left of the vines till the grapes extend beyond the standard stage of ripeness.
When you read a wine label, you encounter poetic descriptions about the aroma of wine. It may be made of grapes, but the smell includes a whole host of other elements. They conjure images of fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, wood and even the most intangible, esoteric ideas.
Put it down to our childhood, or just the scorching heat, summers leave us longing for a nice, long holiday. This week, we had the perfect opportunity to take that break. We came over to Goa for the Grape Escapade. For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the Grape Escapade is a … Continue reading Let’s go on a Grape Escapade!
Summer’s here, and it’s official. The languid afternoons call for drinks that are cool, fruity and refreshing. Our absolute favourites for this season are Sangrias. These wine-based cocktails originated in Spain. But today, they are loved the world over. Traditionally,a Sangria was a punch made with red wine, chopped fruit, fruit juice, and other alcohol … Continue reading Strawberry Orange White Wine Sangria
It is just the beginning of summer but the temperatures are already spiking. Cool, inviting pools are a regular feature of our daydreams. Wide brimmed hats, sunscreen and sunglasses are part of our daily garb. But most importantly, we long for ice filled drinks with all kinds of fruity little bits, laced with alcohol. Hydration … Continue reading 3 wine cocktails for Indian summers
Today, we go back to the basics, and master the art of cooking with wine. We introduce you to terms you may have read in cookbooks, and even perhaps, tried practicing at home. This blog will elevate your home cooking experience, and turn your dishes into culinary masterpieces. To aid us in our efforts, we … Continue reading Cooking with wine: Your guide to cooking with red and white wine
It’s the season of merry making. The last week of December is one endless stream of parties. Wine is almost the natural choice of drink during this season. Serving it up in interesting ways can pose quite a challenge. To keep it pocket friendly, specially when you’d like to pair it with cheese, can seem … Continue reading How to make the Ultimate Wine and Cheese Board on a budget
This seems like an obvious thing, right? The pairing choice is so natural that you’d not think twice about it. Be it at home, or your favourite Italian restaurant, your choice of drink with pasta is inevitably wine. But do you know what wine works well with the pastas on the menu? If the restaurant … Continue reading Pairing your pasta and wine
There’s a nip in the air, and the first signs of winter are everywhere. We love the darker, full-bodied reds for this season, as they are so hearty. Today, we’re going to introduce you to Shiraz, a red wine with a distinct, robust personality. Regions with warmer temperatures, like Australia and India, are perfect for … Continue reading Know your wine: Shiraz