Archive for August, 2012

Interesting Wine Decor

August 31, 2012 Leave a comment

You have organized a wine tasting party – invited a few selected friends, collected wine glasses, organized food and wine; in short set the scene for a rocking party.

But what about the décor? We give you some tips to make your party more interesting. You can use empty wine bottles, glasses and corks to spruce up the home and set the party mood. Let the world know how big a wine aficionado you are.

Flower Vases: Wine bottles make for pretty flower vases. Remove the wine labels, wash them properly and pour some fresh tap water. Now put a few sprigs with leaves and flowers. Place these bottles at strategic positions – on side tables, dining table etc.


            Yarn BottleVases                                

With colourful yarn and glue, you can decorate these wine bottles in this interesting way.

Wine Lamps/Lanterns: With a deft work of drilling, you can make these interesting wine bottle lamps at home.

Perforated Wine Bottle 

With careful use of drill machine, you can make these perforations in the empty wine bottles, now place Chinese lamps inside and let the bottle lamp infuse the room with soft and subtle light.

Bottle Candle Holders

You can put candles inside colourful wine bottles and place them on dining table or at the side of the staircase.

Cork Coasters/Showpieces: Who thinks of the humble cork once the wine bottle is opened? Let us show you how instead of throwing the corks in the bin, you can put it to some interesting use. In hardly any time, you can make cork coasters/table mats to put your wine glasses on it.

Cork Coasters

Put a few corks in a clear glass vase and place some dried flowers on stem in it.

Cork Vase

Fancy Bottle Costumes: Dress your wine bottles in these fun and quirky costumes and see how your party takes off. You can order these costumes on the net.

Chinese Costume

These decors not only liven up your party but also serve as good conversation starters. Try them out and become the talk of the town.

Categories: Tips

Wine for Spices – Desi Khana, Vilayati Drink

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Move over pizzas, pastas and Au gratins; with Indian palate having taken to wine so readily, more and more food and wine connoisseurs are experimenting with spicy Indian cuisine and wines.

Indian food probably has the greatest notoriety for being hard to match with wine. It’s because the dominant flavours in Indian dishes often come from the spices and marinades rather than the legumes, vegetables or meats. Its complex layering of spices, hot chillies and strong tangy flavours make for a tricky challenge. It’s difficult, not impossible though.

We will give you a brief ride into the Indian culinary delights when paired well with your favourite wine.


Mint and coriander are used extensively in Indian dishes either in the form of freshly ground paste, powder or generous sprinkling over the top as garnish. Chicken kebabs, spicy pakoras, tikkas or samosas taste great with mint-coriander chutney.

Wine Pairing: Medium bodied white wines with lightly spicy notes, allow them to work well with these dishes. Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon with its crisp and fruity notes, pairs well with most of these dishes. For red wine lovers, Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon with a well-balanced acidity and soft tannins is the ideal choice.


Tandoor masala is a blend of spices and herbs like cloves, nutmeg, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, black pepper, brown cardamom, garlic, ginger. The meat is marinated in a mixture of yogurt and tandoor masala. Tandoori chicken or tandoori tikkas are famous Indian entrés.

Tandoori Chicken

These spices and the use of cream or yogurt can flatten the flavors of bold red wines, and may clash with tart white wines.

Wine Pairing:. Young reds like Nine Hills Wine Shiraz match extremely well with these spices too.


The liberal use of onions, garlic and ginger are essential to Indian fare. Meat and vegetable dishes using them are usually quite spicy.

Wine Pairing: Avoid very tannic and high-alcohol wines with these dishes. Go for young, soft and fruity wines that pair nicely with highly-spiced Indian food. Nine Hills Chenin Blanc pairs extremely well with these dishes.


East Indian states like UP, West Bengal and Bihar use a lot of fresh mustard in their cooking. Freshly grounded mustard paste has a tangy and heady flavour.

Mustard Fish, a specialty from Bengal, is cooked in mustard paste, yogurt and coconut milk.

Wine Pairing: Nine Hills Chenin Blanc harmonizes perfectly with mustard paste.


Southern Indian cuisines make liberal use of coconut from fresh coconut paste to creamy coconut milk or fluffy grated coconut. Curries might also contain acidic elements such as tomato or tamarind juice.

Fish in Coconut Gravy

Wine Pairing: Nine Hills Wine Sauvignon Blanc is the wine that justifies the coconut flavour.

Lightly sweet white wines are the best bet when it comes to pairing with highly spiced Indian cuisine. But if you’re a die-hard red wine drinker, there are some workable pairings available too. The range of Nine Hills’ varietals offer that perfect bottle of wine that soothes the palate immersed in spices, cools it from the fiery onslaught of chillies and at the same time accentuates the savoury flavours of Indian dishes.


Categories: Tips

Snacking With Wine

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

On a relaxed Sunday evening, all you want to do is enjoy your favourite bottle of wine with a good movie or book. And of course, you want to run miles away from slaving in the kitchen too. Well, wine alone cannot satiate a hungry soul. So we come to your rescue with a bouquet of various finger foods and munchies that you can easily find in your kitchen pantry, fridge or something that you can whip it up in a jiffy.

Crackers: Salty crackers work best with Riesling. The light taste and high acidity balance the saltiness in the crackers. For cheese crackers, try Cabernet or Shiraz. NineHills Cabernet Sauvignon with its well-balanced acidity or a full bodied Shiraz pairs well with cheese crackers.

Cheese: Delve into your fridge and we are sure you will come up with a chunk of Mozzarella or the ubiquitous humble cheddar. Pair them with Sauvignon Blanc for white or Cabernet Sauvignon for red. In case, you are a cheese lover and have a horde of different cheeses stocked up, you can refer to our cheese and wine pairing.

Bread: The humble loaf of bread tastes great with many varietals like Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot etc. But if you want to pair bread laced with herbs and spices, take the following: garlic bread (Nine Hiils Wine Sauvignon Blanc), French bread (Baguette) with sun-dried tomato and goat cheese (Merlot) and Corn Bread (Chardonnay).

Crackers/ Cheese/ Bread

Spicy Veg Pakoras/Bhajjiyas: Assorted vegetables pakoras or onion fritters fried golden brown are spiked with green chillies, red chillies, turmeric and coriander. Well, ask anybody which wine to pair with them and you will get the monosyllabic answer Gewurztraminer for white and Shiraz for Red. We suggest experimenting a bit. Pour yourself a glass of Nine Hills Shiraz Rose and you will thank us for the suggestion when your sensory buds do a little jiveof pleasure.


Nuts: Take a fistful of nuts; almonds, cashews, walnuts, Macadamia nuts and drink Nine Hills Viognier. The pale golden liquid full of refreshing peach and lychee flavours and low in acidity will make your palate sing.

Fruits and Salads: Fruits like apples, berries and peaches complement the sweetness of Rose wine. For salads using fresh tomatoes, greens, and carrots, you can try Nine Hills Viognier or Chenin Blanc.
Kurkure/Potato Chips: Got a bag of Lays or Kurkure lying around? Well, think no further. With their flavors, salt and fat, they make amazing finger food with wine. Original salted chips go well with Shiraz while spicy and tangy kurkures taste awesome with fruity Riesling.

So now with all this gyan on snacking with wine, what are you waiting for? Go munch, munch, munch!

[Note: Nine Hills Wine does not have the following varietals in its cellars yet – Chardonay, Merlot, Baguette, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. This article is indicative of the pairing that you can try.]

Categories: Tips