Is wine your favorite beverage? Are you planning to start with wine or are a wine enthusiast looking to experiment with new brands and flavours within your budget? Look no further.
In the world of wine, there are the very well made, well made, and then the mass made wines known as “lake wines.” The good and bad of it all comes down to taste. You may judge the wine based on techniques of production and flavour but no one can really tell you what to enjoy. What tickles your fancy is based on the taste and the only way to know what you enjoy is by tasting or simply drinking that glass of wine. If you are a new wine drinker, it’s a good thing to start with something more affordable so you can drink more and learn as you go, which is the case with most things new in life.
So here we have for you a list of wines that you can purchase for 2000 INR from one of my favorite purveyors of fine wine and spirits in India – Sonary Fine Wines. Their list is available online and they offer many ways to collect the bottles in major cities of India at wonderfully managed stores.
1. CECILIA BERETTA SPUMANTE BIANCO N/V – ₹1,990
Grapes: Chardonnay, Glera, Pinot Nero
The word “Spumante” translates to sparkling in Italian language and means it has undergone secondary fermentation to be carbonated. The Glera grape is famous for the production of Prosecco, an Italian Sparkling wine that is popular, easy to drink with floral aromas. This wine has an addition of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero that gives it a richer body, more complexity, and a longer finish. The wine has delicate fruity aromas and notes of sweet almond. The mouth is fresh, crisp, and pleasantly sparkling. Cecilia Beretta is owned by the Pasqua family
2. LA VIEILLE FERME BLANC 2018 – ₹999
Grape Variety: Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc, Ugni blanc, Vermentino
This delicious, food friendly, and approachable wine is made by the historic Perrin Family. Rhone family legends earned their name by making Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine that made the entire region famous for quality wines and strict production rules. A fruity, crisp, dry wine made from Rhône varietals — Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Vermentino, and Ugni Blanc. Light bodied with floral and spice on the palate with green apple, peach, and citrus, I enjoyed this pale-yellow beauty on a farm lunch with friends, paired with light pesto pasta and a warm and cold salad.
“The World’s Greatest Value for Money Wine!” is how Robert Parker once proclaimed this wine and its white wine.
3. CAPE ELEPHANT CHENIN BLANC 2019 – ₹1,500
Grape Variety: 100% Chenin Blanc
Simple and approachable, not a risky wine at all, a dry wine, easy drinker!
Fresh, crisp, and vibrant, this Chenin Blanc is a delicious concoction of apples, pears, and a hint of guava. The elegant crisp lime finish makes this a fantastic wine for all occasions, be it sharing with friends or served with meals. I enjoyed this wine at a sunny lunch in Goa where my friend, Chef Avinash, grilled some Mackerel simply flavoured with salt, lime, and green chili. This region was famous for Elephant habitat hence the label art. Try with spicy Asian cuisine and fish dishes. Best served chilled.
4. PASQUA PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE 2016 – ₹1,990
Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Grigio
A grape that is famous for a candied fruit aroma and hints of sweetness but still very well balanced, pairs well with most foods and a great wine to sip by itself. A pleasant, fruity wine with notes of pear and apricot and floral hints. Fresh, harmonious, and well balanced. Ideal with starters, delicate first course dishes, fish, and white meat. I really enjoyed this wine with a lovely Portuguese dish made by my friends, The Figueredo Family. Best served at 10-12 degrees Celsius. Pasqua is one of the historic and prominent wine making families of the Veneto region of Italy.
5. LA VIEILLE FERME ROUGE 2018 – ₹999
Grape Variety: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan
Another approachable, food friendly, and quality wine made by the Perrin family, also owners of the famous Château de Beaucastel is LA VIEILLE FERME ROUGE 2018. Unpretentious, this is the archetypal pleasure wine; authentic, genuine and tasty. Made in Rhone in- South of France, the Perrin family selects Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault, vinifying in a manner reflecting their Châteauneuf tradition, of high quality and strict production rules. This is a rich fruity and supple wine, ruby-purple colored with aromas of cassis and herbs and flavors of plum and blackberry on the palate. You can expect it to pair extremely well with meats and meat curries but also as a fun wine to open and sip by itself without the need for ceremony.
“The World’s Greatest Value for Money Wine!” is how Robert Parker once proclaimed this wine and its red wine.
6. PASQUA MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2016 – ₹1,899
Grape: Montepulciano 100%
A legendary grape with a great price, something to really sink your teeth into to understand what tannins and acidity means in wine. Made in sunny parts of Italy, you can expect ripe juicy fruit. A full-bodied red with gentle tannins and an average level of alcohol which displays hints of ripe fruits such as blackberries and morello cherries as well as spicy notes.The Pasqua family is based in the east of Italy in the town of Verona, the romantic setting of Shakespeare’s plays, the Merchant of Venice and Romeo & Juliet, and carry a range of other wines which demonstrate their innovative ability to deliver great quality at approachable prices.
7. CAPE ELEPHANT PINOTAGE 2018 – ₹1,500
Grape Variety: 100% Pinotage
Pinotage is the South African version of Pinot Noir. Soft and juicy tannins make this raspberry, plum, and blackberry rich wine a real delight. Complimented with a hint of Christmas spice, this wine is perfect for Indian cuisine, pizzas, and tomato-based pastas. This is the largest producer of wine from the Western Cape. Their main business is selling large volumes of bulk wine made from grapes sourced from several farmers spread over hundreds of acres.
8. PASQUA MERLOT DELLE VENEZIE 2016 – ₹1,770
Grape Variety: 100% Merlot
Deep ruby red, with lovely aromas of red berries and hints of herbs. A soft, supple wine, with prominent fruit and smooth, velvety tannins. An easy drinking wine to enjoy with savoury pasta dishes or meat and roasted chicken. Pasqua is one of the historic and prominent wine making families of the Veneto region of Italy. They receive a lot of acclaim for their Amarone wine, a very interesting wine made in an intricate way well worth reading up on and eventually tasting! Best served at 18 degrees Celsius.
9. PASQUA SANGIOVESE DI PUGLIA 2016 – ₹1,800
Grape – Sangiovese 100%
A grape synonymous with Italy, very historic and a classic grape! Another food friendly beauty, very valuable for the price and a good start to learn about this grape and its flavour. Intense ruby red colour, a full-bodied wine with intense fruity perfumes, with soft, supple tannins and a long finish. Excellent with typical Mediterranean specialities such as rich pasta dishes and grilled red meat. Best served at 16-18 degrees Celsius.
Aditya is a voracious eater, alcohol enthusiast, sommelier and risk taker, AKA The Palate Trekker. To learn more about Aditya’s professional journey, click here.