How to Buy Wines at Indian Wine Shops
More often than not, you will be at a wine shop grappling with indecision and confusion, trying to make up your mind on what wine to finally choose. Keep in mind these three basic thumb rules and your next wine buying experience should be confusion free.
Wines in India are quite expensive, both Indian and imported. Make sure that you know how much you want to spend on your purchase. If you have recently been introduced to wines, we wouldn’t suggest investing in more than Rs 2000 on a bottle of wine.
If you are worried about the quality, don’t be. Expensive wines doesn’t always guarantee quality. If you want to try out international wines, keep a lookout for new world wines from Chile and some from South Africa, which very often fall within the Rs 2000 price point.
Depending on how much experience you have with wines there are different approaches to this. In India, where wines and their longevity is often suspect, start with safe choices and brands especially if you are new wines. Established brands of wines will never surprise you and that as a newbie is a good thing. This will help you establish a benchmark for quality and consistency.
As your wine drinking experience evolves, pay attention to the varietal or blend you are drinking for future reference. If you liked a Shiraz for instance, you might want to experiment with newer brands, regions and blends in using the grape varietal.
Are you picking up a bottle of wine for an occasion – a date, celebration or casual dinner? Do you want to drink red or white wine? Answer these questions before you make a choice. If you are looking for something refreshing and light then whites are good choice. If you are looking for something with more depth and richness look for a red wine. A sparkling is always a great gifting option.
Stores like Godrej Nature’s Basket and Living Liquidz are modern retail formats where you can browse through their aisles, see if something catches your attention. Go through the label carefully to check the vintage, choose newer vintages over old ones. (You can always use the Hipcask app to find out more about the wine.)
Are you buying wine to pair with food? Then check the food which is being served before you purchase a bottle. Keep a few basic rules in mind, if you are pairing with European fare then opt for red wine if the dishes are rich and heavy, irrespective of what protein you are having. If it is light, stir fry, salad and seafood dish go for white wines.
Steer away from red wines when looking for pairing with Indian food, it needs high acidity wines which is mostly a white wine’s prerogative. The rich and spice laden gravies are no match for red wines, where the tannin will put your palate on fire; a white wine on the other hand has the ability to cleanse the palate, leaving it refreshed.
Asian cuisines, like Thai or Vietnamese also follow similar rules as Indian food. However, Japanese and some regional Chinese variation can be dealt similarly to European cuisines paired with wines.
For smart tips to remember while shopping for wine, check out our post on Wine Buying Tips.