Archive

Archive for November, 2011

Nine Hills Wine Going Places

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, we are all over the country now – from small towns to ethereal hill stations. And going by the initial reaction, people are lapping us up wherever we have laid feet.

We made this journey with four of our grandest wines – two from the cellars of whites (Nine Hills Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc) and two from the barrels of reds (Nine Hills Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon).

Let’s take you on a whirlwind tour of our latest invasions, practically from the east of the country to the west…..

  • Assam: Yeah. We have actually dared to enter the land of tea!! And no, the one-horned rhino did not stop us…

  • Meghalaya: Streets lined with beautiful cherry-blossoms greeted us when we reached this hill state. The capital city, Shillong, is by far one of the most stylishly dressed in the country.

 

  • Nagpur: This city in the centre of the country gave us a huge toast upon our arrival (and scolded us for not reaching earlier, despite being in the same state!!!)

  • Aurangabad: Know that Aurangabad is your destination when you want to see the famous caves, Ajanta and Ellora. When you go visiting now, you will no longer miss your favourite drink

  • Kolhapur: Why this city with one of the highest number of Mercs being driven around did not have access to the best wines is a mystery to us too. Well no longer though. The Kolhapuris can now sip our famous whites and reds……….

Cheers to all these new places in the Nine Hills Wine map!!!

Advertisements

Vine To Wine

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

In September, we had done a feature on the stages of grape-growing – Nine Hills Vineyard Cycle. With this feature, we take you on the journey of the grapes from being harvested to when it’s ready to be sipped as wine – the Vine to Wine journey.

  • Ripening & Plucking of Grapes:
    • When the grapes are ripe enough and reach the right brix level, our winemaker plucks a handful to find out if they taste just right, chews the seeds and measures the sugar content. Once satisfied that the time has come, he gets his team of vineyard workers to harvest the grapes.
    • As they set out to harvest their produce, vineyard workers aim to do it in the shortest possible time, early in the morning.
    • They collect all the grapes in large crates which are then rushed to the winery for crushing

  • Crushing of Grapes: No, in wineries, they do not crush the grapes with their feet. It is considered unhygienic — They use pneumatic presses. Red wines are produced by de-stemming and crushing the grapes into a tank and leaving the skins in contact with the juice throughout the fermentation. Most white wines are processed without de-stemming or crushing and are transferred from picking bins directly to the press.
  • Fermentation: The juice, skins, and seeds (not for white wines) are poured then into stainless steel fermenting tanks. Special wine, cultured yeast is added at this stage to this grape juice. Fermentation begins when the yeast begins to feed on the sugars present in the grape juice. Carbon dioxide and alcohol are by-products of this process.
  • Aging: Once the grape juice has fermented into wine, the wine is poured into barrels/tanks for aging. During the aging process, the wines change tanks/barrels several times in order to remove solids from the bottom of the tanks.
  • Bottling: When our winemaker is satisfied that the wine is now ready to move from the barrels/tanks, they are bottled where the wine will stay and continue to age. Once the wine in the bottle is ready, it is then shipped and sipped by you and me!!!

Say Cheese. Say Cheers.

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

A recent post on our Facebook page, “Cheese and Grapes – Divine Combination” with a matching photograph, garnered quite a few ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. This prompted us to do a complete blog-post on how superbly cheese compliments wine, their specific pairing.

The globe-trotting Indians need not depend on foreign tours or duty-free stores in airports for their regular stock of good cheese. Several high-end super-marts across our cities now stock a wide range of cheese from the best brands around the world. Be it the softer varieties like Feta, Mozarella, goat cheese or the hard ones like cheddar, Edam, Provolone from the choicest of hamlets in Europe, you get them all in our country.

But just as wine-drinking is new in India, so is the appreciation for cheese. We therefore bring to you a feature which does not delve into an exotic and uber discussion on cheese and wine. For ‘starters’ let’s take the cheese that are easily available in the market and see how well we can pair them with our Nine Hills wines.

  • Cheddar:   Hails from England, is semi-hard and can be mild or sharp. The mild cheddar goes well with Sauvignon Blanc while you will love the sharp one with our Shiraz Reserve.
  •  Edam: Belongs to the Dutch country and is a hard cheese. Once again, you will simply love it with Nine Hills Shiraz Reserve.
  • Feta: This soft cheese comes from the currently financially-troubled country in Europe, Greece. Drink it with Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc and see how it opens up the taste buds in your tongue.
  • Goat Cheese: Primarily a product from France, a number of other European countries excel in it too. It belongs to the soft cheese category and blends most beautifully with Nine Hills Chenin Blanc.
  • Mozarella: The country which gave the world Michaelangelo, gave Mozarella cheese too. A widely used cheese in pizza, pasta dishes and lasagna, mozzarella can be Mozzarella di Bufala (buffalo mozzarella) or mozzarella fior di latte (made from cow’s milk). Both are the soft variety and blend well with light red wines and the white wines. Nine Hills’ Sauvignon Blanc is the best match.
  • Parmesan: Named after an area in Italy, Parmesan is one of the world’s most popular and widely-enjoyed cheeses. It is usually grated and is used to make spaghetti and pasta dishes. Pairs exceedingly well with Nine Hills’ Shiraz Reserve.
  • Provolone: Once again from Italy, this cheese belongs to the semi-hard category. Provolone can be both piquant in taste (Provolone Piccante) as well as mild and sweet, Provolone Dolce. Both the types go well with Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvigyon.

Finally, there is no final word on ‘which cheese for which wine’. But remember, at the outset, the cheese you choose is dependent upon the type of wine you choose. Stronger cheeses should be paired with stronger wines, such as Cabernet. Lighter cheeses are best paired with delicate wines such as a Sauvignon Blanc.

Lastly, experiment with your own pairings and see if you can come up with a new ‘divine’ combination.

Cheese. And Cheers!!