Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wine Time: Grover's Sante Shiraz

Selling and making wine is seen as a growth industry in India. All you have to do is to pick up just about any issue of a magazine or a newspaper's lifestyle section to be confronted with claims that more and more wine is being guzzled like crazy.

The reality is completely different. Wine can hardly help being a growth industry since there's so little of it drunk. As the Outlook article below states, "per capita consumption [of wine] is a mere six ml, compared to China's 300 ml." It's not just that a tiny proportion of the population drinks wine. It's that the tiny proportion of the population that can 1) afford such luxuries and 2) cares to drink actually drinks wine. Imported wine remains very expensive, primarily because of duties (although they are going down somewhat), and the wineries in India are still by and large quite new, with all the growing pains that that implies.

But all that being said, there are more and more domestic wines being bottled every day. As our humble service to you, we thought it would be fun to review all the Indian bottles that come through our door.

First up is a wine from Grover Vineyards, whose winvery is right here in Bangalore. We had their 2006 Santé Shiraz, priced at Rs. 275 (about $7) and bottled in 2006. The label actually listed a price of Rs. 225, but the clerk told us that it had mysteriously gone up. We didn't protest too much, but we hadn't tasted it at that point.

This is not good wine -- too sour. The label claims that there are those wine clichés of "black pepper and blackberries" inside, but if there were, the sourness keeps them well hidden. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 4. Do not drink, except in an emergency situation.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you ought to try Grover 'La reserve' which is touted as the best wine in India. I havent tried it myself, but would appreciate an opinion on it.

John said...

We have had La Reserve several times. I think that's a good choice for Wine Time #2 . . .