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A Mexican Treat

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

When you hear the word ‘Mexican’, does your tongue roll in anticipation of the savouriness of salsa-dipped nachos, freshly baked enchiladas and spicy habanero chicken? Is your mouth already watering? Yes, that’s what Mexican food does to you. But just think if you find the perfect wine pairing for each of your favourite Mexican dishes, wouldn’t it make the whole Mexican dining a more enjoyable experience for you?

The golden rules to remember while pairing wine with Mexican food are:

Pair wine with the sauce!

Rather than pairing wine with the meat or vegetable, it’s more appropriate to pair wine with the sauce.

  • Red wines work well with dried chilli sauces.
  • White wines work better with the lime/ citrus, tomatillo and cilantro or herbal sauces.

The spicier the food, the sweeter the wine should be!

Remember, a big tannic wine with high alcohol content is going to be an absolute disaster with spicy food. When tannin hits the flavour of chilies, it sets your mouth on fire and you end up missing all the complexities of the food. On the other side, lower alcoholic wines nicely balance the spiciness of the dish.

We will give you some wine pairings for the most sought after Mexican dishes.

Bold and piquant salsas made of chilies, roasted garlic, lime, cilantro and other flavourful seasonings will pair well with crisp and citrusy white wines. So, the next time you dip a few crispy fried-till-golden Nachos with their earthy savouriness in a bowl of your favourite salsa or creamy guacamole, open a bottle of Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc with pronounced aromas of passion fruit, pineapple and fresh lime, and savour a slice of heaven.

 Nachos

Again, Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc is a fantastic match for Grilled Chicken Quesadillas as it plays off well the chicken and roasted bell peppers.

 Quesadilas

For your favourite stuffed Enchiladas, you will find a great suitor in the new world Viogniers. Nine Hills Viogner with its elegant floral nose of refreshing peach and lychee flavours is an excellent match. It even goes well with Habanero Chicken, those crispy boneless chicken chunks sautéed with bell peppers, garlic and onion tossed in habanero sauce.

 Enchiladas

Chipotles and Mole sauces prepared with indigenous ingredients like chillies, peanuts, tomato and tomatillo are often accompanied with pork, chicken or beef.  Try fruitier wines as they tend to tone down the heavier sauces of the dishes, complimenting the unique, spicy taste of what chipotle and mole sauces are known for. Nine Hills Shiraz with soft velvety tannins and fruit-forward notes will prove more than a worthy match to dishes like Brazilian Tenderloin in Pasillamole served with Mexican rice, black beans and tortillas.

For Lamb Barbacoa which is a braised lamb in aggressive guajillo chilli served with Mexican rice, refried beans, corn tortillas and salsa will be quite refreshing when paired with Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon with its well-balanced acidity and soft tannins.

The sweet and delicious cream soaked cake, Tres Leches, which literally means ‘three milks’ in Spanish, is one of the perfect ways to end a Mexican meal. As this dessert is very sweet, it might overpower most late harvest wines. On the other hand serving anything dry with it might prove to be a disaster. We recommend a nice port with it.

 Tres Leches

Are you feeling hungry? So are we! Buen provecho!

Write to us if you found this amazing journey through Mexican cuisine and wine pairing interesting. If you’d like to see more such pairings, do let us know.

Categories: Tips

Wine Fun Facts and Trivia

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Conversation during wine tasting parties usually revolves around cricket, politics, news and films. How about some wine trivia and fun facts to liven up your party and set the mood for a fun evening?

We have dug out some interesting wine trivia and facts for your knowledge and amusement.

 

  • The Oldest Wine Bottle:

The 1,650-year-old bottle, sealed with wax and containing a white liquid, has been on display at the Pfalz Historical Museum, Gemany for more than a century. A splash of olive oil and a seal of hot wax have kept the white wine liquid stable through the numerous centuries since it was made.

Our thought: How the wine would taste now?

Oldest Wine Bottle

  • The Bible

According to the Bible, it was from Canaan (Syria) that the Israelites brought back a bunch of grapes so large that it needed two strong men to carry it. The Old Testament is full of references to vineyards. The word Wine is mentioned 521 times in the Bible. OMG!

  • Wine Snobbery

Wine has always been associated with class and snobbery. Even in earlier times, priests and royalty drank wine, while beer was drunk by the workers. Actually, wine was expensive and hence the lower classes seldom consumed it.

  • Wine Preservation

Romans loved well-aged wines, and were the first to use ceramic jugs for storing wine. However, it was the Celts of North Central Europe who began using wooden oak barrels, for storing wine.

 Ancient Ceramic Jug

  • Wine Lore:

 The Irish believe that fairies are extremely fond of good wine. In the olden days royalty would leave a keg of wine out for them at night. And it was always gone in the morning.

Ancient Egyptians were quite wary of red wine and abstained from drinking. The ancient Kings such as Psammetichus believed that the vines were grown from the blood of fallen warriors who had battled with the Gods. And that was the reason that men would get drunk from it and lose their senses. After drinking red wine they would be filled with the blood of their ancestors.

  • Stained Beard

According to Burgundy legend, Emperor Charlemagne was an avid red wine drinker. However, spilling red wine used to make his white beard burgundy. Hence, his wife ordered planting of vines in Corton vineyards that would produce white wines. Thus, came into existence, the Corton-Charlemagne white wine. Thank God for small mercies or should we say bearded mercies, lol!

  • Corky Tale

Cork was developed as a bottle closure in the late 17th century, before that oil-infused rag was used. It was only after this that bottles were lain down for ageing and the bottle shapes slowly changed from short and bulbous to tall and slender.

  • Precious Soil

The soil of the famous Grand Cru vineyard “Clos de Vougeot” in Burgundy region is considered so precious that vineyard workers are required to scrape it from their shoes before they leave for home each night. Men and their idiosyncrasies!

 

So, next time you hold a wine drinking party drop in a few of these trivia and see the magic of conversation and debates unfold. But surely, let us know how it worked.

Categories: Tips

The Nine Hills Food & Wine Showcase 2012

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Friends, Nine Hills Wine is going places!

In the recent Nine Hills Food & Wine Showcase 2012, an elaborate sit-down-dinner attended by the crème de la crème at the Leela Palace, Bangalore, the top most chefs of the country showcased their culinary skills enhanced by the delicious wines from the cellars of Nine Hills Wines. Alok Chandra, covers the salient features of the remarkable evening hosted by Nine Hills Wines in his latest article in Business Standard.

We have re-produced the entire article below for your benefit:

Wines to lift the spirits

Alok Chandra / Bangalore Sep 08, 2012, 00:23 IST

Food Lovers Bangalore Magazine recently undertook a four-month long effort to identify the best restaurants in Bangalore. Titled “The Nine Hills Food & Wine Showcase 2012”, it culminated last Saturday in a seven-course sit-down dinner for 175 people at the Leela Palace, Bangalore.

Nine Hills is, of course, the wine produced by Pernod Ricard India — which used to be Seagram India before the parent company was broken-up and sold off in 2000-01, mainly to the two largest spirit companies in the world, Diageo (Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Guinness) and Pernod Ricard (Chivas Regal, Absolut vodka, Jacob’s Creek wines).

Seagram India had famously “tweaked Vijay Mallya’s beard” (I won’t tell who said that) by making a success of its grain alcohol-based whiskies (Royal Stag, Blender’s Pride). With Mallya now reportedly talking to Diageo for a buy-out of his United Spirits, the worldwide rivalry between the two competitors will take an interesting turn in India.

Back to Nine Hills, whose winery near Nashik was set up in 2005, and the wines launched in end-2006. The initial wine quality left much to be desired: I remember a dinner at the Taj West End for the Bangalore Wine Club in 2007 with the wines — everyone was very polite, but tellingly most of the wine glasses remained only half-empty!

But, as they say, “You’ve come a Long Way, Baby”. The wines have been steadily improving in quality with every vintage, and the eight wines we had with the superlative food laid out at the event were (mostly) very good indeed. Their white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier) were crisp, clean and balanced; the Shiraz Rose was aromatic and easy-drinking, while the reds (Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, both regular and reserve) with the balance, fruit and soft tannins, were a good match with the food. All the regular wines were of 2011 vintage, with the reserves being from 2010.

Interestingly, the dishes were prepared by 18 different chefs from each of the 18 restaurants featured in the showcase — a rare feat, as normally one chef will not tolerate the presence of another in the same kitchen. Top honours (the gold awards) went to two standalone restaurants: Olive Beach and Caperberry, and to hotel restaurants: Jamawar (Leela Palace), Pink Poppadom (Ista).

Kudos to Kripal Amanna (publisher and managing editor of Food Lovers) and his team who have crafted a unique platform, one that showcases the “best of the best” in the city, recognising culinary talent where it exists, and bringing this to a discerning audience — all with world-class style and panache. Well done, guys!

Wines I’ve been drinking:

Of the wines we had, the one I liked the most was the Nine Hills Shiraz Reserve 2010: its dark red colour presages a big wine and the aroma does not disappoint, being a bit woody and full of berries and spice. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied and manages to be both sharp and mellow (come on, it’s still young), with rounded tannins and a decently long finish. But it was a superb match for the pork spare ribs by Chef Manu Chandra (no relative) of Olive Beach.

We’ll drink to that.

Here’s the link to the article – http://bit.ly/RBPsPC

Haven’t we always said that the wines from our vineyards are one of the best? Now people say it too. Try out Nine Hills Shiraz Reserve 2010 and experience it for yourself one of the finest wines from this part of the world!

Cheers!

Categories: Events

Nine Hills Wine Contest: Celebrating Cabernet

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The International Cabernet Day, celebrated this year on 30th August, is dedicated to the ‘King’ of red wines, loved for its intensity, fruity hints, well balanced acidity and soft tannins.

In order to celebrate one of the most cherished wines, Nine Hills Wine announced the CELEBRATING CABERNET Contest — a 5-day contest starting from 27th August till 31st August.

The contest included 5 questions, 1 question for every day of the contest.

And the prize: A bottle of Nine Hills Wine’s delectable Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our award-winning Cabernet has a nice red terracotta color with purple highlights and it expresses hints of cherry, vanilla and capsicum aromas. It’s well-balanced acidity and soft tannins charm the palate and leave a lingering finish. It pairs well with various meats and cheeses.

Here are the answers to the questions asked:

1.       Cabernet Sauvignon is believed to have originated from which popular wine producing region?

A.     Tuscany, Italy

B.     Burgundy, France

C.     Napa Valley, California

D.     Bordeaux, France

E.     Barossa Valley, Australia

Answer: Bordeaux, France

Originated in the Bordeaux region, mainly Medoc, in France, Cabernet represents over half the planted grape-varieties. From France, the grape spread to Europe and the New World like Napa Valley, Australia, Chile.

2.      Name two common aromas that are associated with the Cabernet Sauvignon Grape?

A.     Blackberry and Spices

B.     Eucalyptus and leather

C.     Vanilla and Cherry

D.     Pineapple and Oak

E.     Peach and Tobacco

Answer: Vanilla and Cherry

Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits quite a few aromas. Some of the aroma and flavor descriptors most typically found in Cabernet Sauvignon are: Cherry, Bell Pepper, Black Currant, Black Berries, Vanilla, Tobacco, and Leather.

3.      Wine producing regions experiencing ………………………… climate have a higher success rate of growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

A.     Hot and humid

B.     Slightly cooler

C.     Cold

D.     Warm

Answer: Warm

Cabernet Sauvignon is usually grown in relatively warmer climate regions. We received a lot of entries with Hot and Humid, but no, the trick was ‘humid’. Cabernet doesn’t grow in humid climate.

4.      Cabernet Sauvignon  –

A.     is a red wine with usually high tannins.

B.     grapes have thick skins and small berries.

C.     Both

D.     Neither

Answer: Both.

5.      What is another name for Cabernet Sauvignon?

A.     Sauvignon Rouge

B.     Pinot Blanco

C.     Fume Blanc

D.     Cabernet Rouge

Answer: Sauvignon Rouge

This one was quite close with many participants confusing it with Cabernet Rouge. But still many of you got the correct answer.

The contest received an overwhelming response that made it all the more difficult for us to choose the final winners. Only one winner could answer all the 5 questions correctly. The rest of the winners were chosen on the basis of maximum correct answers to our questions.

And now hold your breath, for the WINNERS are:

  1. RISHI Bhojnagarwala, MUMBAI – All Correct Answers
  2. MARIA Menezes, DELHI
  3. VARUN Mittal, GURGAON
  4. SONIA Bedi Gwasia, BENGALURU
  5. SUBHASIS Roy, KOLKATA

Congratulations!!!

Guys, please share your Postal Address and Contact Nos. with us at: marketing.ninehillswine@gmail.com

Keep Winning, Keep drinking Nine Hills Wines! Cheers!

Categories: Events