Indian wines star in UK press

Pernand VergelessesVictoria Moore, writing in the Daily Telegraph, takes on the issue of vintages and tells her readers that “It looks like 2012 is going to be a bad year for wine; but the good news is that there is always something else out there.”

Moore adds that she approaches “claret from 2002 and 2007, not great vintages, with trepidation – the former tends to taste fuzzy, the latter too often dull. The years 2001 and 2004, on the other hand, are infinitely more assured.”

For Moore, one of her picks for this week is Pernand-Vergelesses Les Combottes Blanc 2010, which she describes as “a white Burgundy from a good vintage and an under-rated region equals good value all round — yes, even at this price. This Chardonnay rings as clear as a bell: bright and crunchy, with about 30% new oak (you can taste it, in a good way) and a sort of lemony acidity that pulses through your mouth.”

One Response to “Indian wines star in UK press”

  1. Ian Hutton says:

    The two factors that are holding back Indian wine are poor storage conditions after leaving the winery, which affects the white wines particularly, and high cost relative to other alcoholic beverages. Many local retail outlets have no experience in storing wine (as opposed to spirits or beer) and lack climate controlled storage facilities. Needless to say a typical Sauvignon blanc isn’t going to survive too well stored at an ambient temperature of 30 C for six months or more. This means that a lot of wine served in restaurants in India or purchased for home consumption is oxidized so the inexperienced drinker will never appreciate what the fresh product should taste like. A tip here from someone who spends six months a year in India – check the ‘manufacturing date’ on the back label, it will tell you when the wine was bottled at the winery, so you can minimize the effects of poor storage. Indian reds tend to be fairly robust and storage isn’t such a major issue.

    The second factor that impacts on the success of Indian wine in India is it’s relatively high cost. The typical retail cost of a bottle of wine from a major producer is Rs 500 to Rs 800, in pounds sterling that is £7 to £10 a bottle, which is considerable more than the average per bottle spend on wine in the UK. In comparison, a bottle of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (eg Bacardi rum or Smirnoff vodka) is around Rs 350 and a local spirit brand around Rs 160. Although bar markups tend to be lower in India, you could reckon on paying Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000 for a quality Indian wine in a restaurant.

    In the twenty years or so that I have been sampling Indian wine I can say that the quality has gone up immeasurably, and all of the top varietal wines are ‘correct’, however they can’t yet compete with European or New world wines in the same price category. However, given the rules of supply and demand it is unlikely that prices will come down and in fact most producers have increased then by as much as 50% in the past year.

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