Check out this Interesting NY Times article about a 3600 year old wine cellar excavated in Israel. In the age of high technology, energy drinks and new fashions, this much one can say – wine will still be around thousands of years from now. Like water. This is a part of the beauty of wine – its near permanence as a fixture in human life. I should get hold of a bottle of Retsina! I have no clue what it tastes like. It’s available (very inexpensively) in my neighbourhood grocery store in Copenhagen. I’ve been meaning to buy a bottle. Connecting with the history of wine is good motivation to ignore the soft-drink type cap and finally go buy the bottle.
That wine is expensive in India is well known. But how expensive is it really? To figure this out, I compared retail prices of wine in Delhi to retail prices of the same wines in the US market. I used a sample of 42 widely available wines. Conclusion: Wine retail prices in Delhi are on average almost 3 times more expensive than retail prices of the same wines in the US Market. For individual wines, retail prices in Delhi vary from anywhere between 1.5 times to 6 times the retail prices in the US. Continue reading
Gaja is one of the iconic wineries of Italy, with estates in Piemonte and Tuscany. Gaja Wine Ambassador Michela Inghese was recently in New Delhi to promote Gaja wines in India, which are distributed through Brindco. I caught up with her in Le Cirque at the Leela Palace in Delhi. We tasted and discussed three wines: Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2006, Gaja Barbaresco 2008, and Gaja La’Marcanda Promis 2009. Showing very well at this point of time, and my favourite among the three, was the Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2006. Watch my videotaped conversation with Michela.
Brindisi airport is a dramatically situated entrée to Puglia, the heel of Italy. Airplanes descend over the Adriatic, offering tantalizing glimpses of the turquoise sea and sandy beaches, before flying over a beachhead and making a grand landing on a small air-strip. Grand though is not a description that would apply only to Puglia’s coastline. Puglia (Apulia in its Roman origins and now in English) is well-known for its scale in wine and food production. In addition to a significant amount of wine, most of Italy’s pasta and olive oil are produced here. Continue reading
There is at least one online liquor and wine shop in India. It is the online shop of Bangalore-based liquor chain Madhuloka, which has a dozen brick-and-mortar liquor stores in the Garden City. It appears that their free-delivery for online sales is restricted to Bangalore. Continue reading
Last night I attended a tasting featuring wines from one of India’s newest wineries – Fratelli. Fratelli is doing many things right. One of the main is that they use only estate-grown grapes – that is grapes grown in their own vineyards. This is a big plus point for quality. Sub-contracting grape-growing to outside farmers, which is very common in India, can result in variable quality. Continue reading
A conversation with Hugues Lechanoine, Managing Director of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, on April 4th, 2012 in New Delhi. The assessment in the introductory paragraphs below is my own. The transcript of the full-interview is below this summary.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPDR) is a company that straddles the two extreme ends of the wine business – the very top-end luxury category through its Bordeaux first-growth Château Mouton Rothschild, and the value-branded end of the business through Bordeaux brand Mouton Cadet, and Chilean brand Escudo Rojo. Occupying the middle are other super-premium wines such as Opus One (in partnership with Robert Mondavi) and Almaviva (in partnership with Concha y Toro). Continue reading