Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Spruce up your Easter with Wine

Easter Sunday is that special time of the year when friends and family gather to celebrate and enjoy a fancy meal together. Traditional Easter menus comprise glazed ham or roasted lamb, spring veggies and chocolate bunnies. We have a wine pairing for each of these food items.

Appetizers or Salads

Start with a white wine that is light and whets your appetite. If you are starting your dinner with salads or light sea food dishes, Sauvignon Blanc is an ideal choice. The pale golden nectar of Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc with pronounced aromas of passion fruit, pineapple and fresh lime will evoke the pleasures of a balmy summer.


Main Course

Glazed ham has sweet topping while the actual meat is salty. Hence, the best wine to complement it should have sweet fruity notes to match the saltiness of the ham and enough acidity to support the combination of both sweet and salty flavors of the ham. You can keep sipping the Nine Hills Wine Sauvignon Blanc which you took at the start of the meal. If you are partial to red wine, Nine Hills Shiraz is the perfect pick.


For the roasted lamb, stick to Cabernet Sauvignon. Nine Hills Wine’s Cabernet Sauvignon has enough fruit and tannins to handle the complex meaty flavors of the lamb.


For a dish of stuffed chicken breast, Pinot Noir or a local white Zinfandel, which is a pink wine, is the best choice.



As traditional Easter desserts make the maximum use of coconut, pair it with a Nine Hills Chenin Blanc. Nibble on chocolate cupcakes or bunnies with a classic port. For Indian desserts that are particularly rich with ghee and sugar, Nine Hills Wine’s Viognier is the best recommendation.


Wine pairing is an art of discovering your palate and preference. No food is off-limit to wines. Try out different wines with Easter meal to find out your taste. A sumptuous meal shared with friends and family over good wines is all you need to add festivity to any holiday.


Happy Easter Day!


An Italian Dinner At Home

The week has been stressful, with loads of things to do, both at home and at work. By evening today, every single muscle in the body will refuse to budge. What do you need to shed the stress piled up over the week/month? A combination of flavorful, aromatic and healthy Italian dinner cooked lazily at home and some wine should do the trick.

Insalata and Antipasti

Start with a simple bruschetta made of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Pair it with aromatic and fruity white wines like Chenin Blanc or Viognier.

Throw in a Caprese salad made from fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pair it with a Chenin Blanc. Highly acidic Sauvignon Blanc surprisingly pairs well with tomatoes. Try our Nine Hills Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc with this famous insalata.


Pasta and Risotto

If you are preparing hearty red meat sauce pasta, go for a Tuscan wine (Chianti) made from Sangiovese grapes as it has enough tannin to dance well with the tangy tomato sauce and the richness to complement the red meat. Closer home you can try full bodied dry or semi dry red wines like Nine Hills Cabernet or Shiraz with soft tannins.

And if you are in the mood for Pasta in Alfredo sauce, a Sauvignon Blanc will do wonders for the silky cream sauce. The wine cuts through the Alfredo sauce, while the herbal notes of the wine add a spring of freshness to the dish.

Try your hand at creamy risotto with mushrooms. This deceptively simple to prepare, Mushroom Risotto, is a great example of a dish that lends itself to either a red or white wine. With the strong earthiness of the mushrooms, a Shiraz that has similar strong flavors and a hint of earth would be perfect, but a pungent style of Sauvignon Blanc could be a delicious alternative if you are in the mood for a white wine.


No Italian meal can be complete with its signature desert, Tiramisu, with its layers of coffee-soaked savoiardi biscuits and sweet mascarpone cheese.


So spread your favorite table cloth, fill a crystal vase with fresh perfumed flowers, light some aromatic candles and put on some Italian music to bring the sunny spirit of the Italian countryside into your home. Now savor your home cooked Italian food with wine, of course!

Three cheers to “la Dolce Vita”!

Categories: Tips Tags: , , , ,

Organizing a Wine Dinner

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

As the wine culture in India is rapidly taking momentum, more and more people have started taking their wines seriously. You will find wines being served not only at big lavish parties but also at casual home dinners. You can organize your own wine dinner and make a success of it by following a few guidelines.

The first rule of thumb is to pair your wine well with the kind of food you are serving as the subtle taste of wine can bring out the fine flavors of the food. If you are serving more than one kind of wine with the meal, the general theory is to serve white wines before reds, light wines before heavier and bolder ones, and dry wines prior to sweeter ones.

Every wine lover knows the rule of pairing the meat with red wine and fishes with white wine but when it comes to multi-course Indian cuisine, with its complex flavors of spices and sauces, it becomes a different ballgame altogether. In here, it would be better to consider the manner in which the dish is cooked, which part of the country the dish belongs to, what the key ingredients are and which spices have been used. And finally the key is to trust your own sense of taste and what you think you enjoy the most.

For the aperitifs, serve your guests some dry and refreshing wines. A glass of bubbly (champagne) and sparkling wines with delicate hors d’oeuvres should be ideal to start with. They cleanse the palate and their neat acidity helps in working up the salivary glands. Our Nine Hills Shiraz Rose with its fruity aromas is perfect for appetizers and light entrées.

Red wine is a good match for red meat, barbeques and chicken. Our feisty red wines, Nine Hills Shiraz and Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon can stand up to fiery and intense food favoring chilly, garlic and spices.

For lightly spiced vegetarian dishes or sea food, you will do amazingly well by choosing a crisp and delicate white wine like our own Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc.

And finally, to satiate your sweet tooth, you can serve sweet wines also called dessert wines (as the late harvests have a generous amount of residue sugar in it) as an accompaniment to a dessert or as the dessert itself.

If you are ever in doubt, then champagne is your savior as you can never go wrong with serving champagne. The bubbly sparkling wine pairs tremendously well with most Indian dishes.

Now make a child’s play out of your wine dinner. Bon Appétit!

Hurray!!! Holidays!!! What Plans?

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s that time of the year again, nip in the air (‘chill’ is the word for the North and North-East), fog in the mornings, cup of ‘chai’ tasting heavenly, schools about to shut for a couple of weeks, bosses willingly allowing you the leave of absence you have been accumulating over the year, picnic plans, get-togethers, savouring delectable food, fashionable winter clothing…. magic in the air!!! Surely you have plans to make the most of this season. And fret not if for some reason you are not going on a leisure travel this season……there’s so much to do at home


  • Bond. Spend time with your family. Do simple things in the house that don’t cost much, but are meaningful – make a bird-house for your child, take over the break-fast preparing chore from your Mom for a week (notice how happy that makes her!!!), spouses cooking together, siblings making hand-made cards for friends/family. Get in touch with friends…


  • Read that book you have been planning to for a long time. Classic lovers, “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee never fails to steal your heart. There’s an Oscar winning movie on it too, with Gregory Peck (!!!) on the lead. But nothing beats reading the book – your choice though. Readers who thrive on non-fiction, how about laying your hands on Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson? It’s voluminous and will get you a complete insight on the man who changed the world!!

  • Watch some GOOD movies – bother the multiplexes showing commercial stuff!!  Get to the nearest  DVD store — Dev Anand’s ‘Guide’, Guru Dutt’s “Pyasa”, Dilip Kumar’s “Mughal-e-Azam”, Amitabh-Dharmendra’s “Sholay”, Amol Palekar’s “Golmaal”……., is worth watching many times over. Western movie lovers, how about “Se7en”, “Pursuit of Happiness”, “12 Angry Men”, “Breakfast at Tiffany”?

  • Garden. This is the right season to grow Petunias, Sweet Williams, Carnations, Roses, Sweet-peas, Calendulas, Chinese Umbrellas….And try your hand at growing your own herbs like Coriander, Basil and veggies like tomatoes, spring onions, brinjal, chillies. Urban farming is ‘in’ and whatmore!! There’s no bigger joy than seeing your sapling grow into plants to bear flowers and fruits!!!


  • Listen and groove to some great music amongst all this. The choice and genre can be so overwhelming, let’s not even get to taking names. Suffice to say that you MUST give “Kolaveri di’ a miss and get into some meaningful melodies, instrumentals….


Plans needn’t be big to have a GREAT time. Your special touch and thoughts are enough to make you and your loved ones happy this festive season.

Cheers!!! And spread the cheer!!!

Nine Hills, Nine Hills Everywhere….

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

…..and you can drink it too…by the glass!!! For, the floodgates have been opened……

If you live in Gurgaon, Delhi or Ludhiana, or in case you are visiting any of these cities, we have for you a bonanza of offers….

Check out —

  • Café Rouge at Ramada, Gurgaon – where you can have a complimentary glass of Nine Hills wine if you plan to go for the buffet there.

  • Fern Residency Ecotel hotel, Gurgaon – Enjoy our Special Price of Rs.599 on Nine Hills Pint!!!

  • Kipps Store, Ludhiana – You get to take home a Wine Glass complimentary with a bottle of Nine Hills Wine

  • Nesh Wine Studio, Ludhiana – Build on your glasses collection when you buy a bottle of Nine Hills Wine. Take home a glass complimentary

  • Retail Stores (Spencers, Easy Day, Galleria Market, Trinity, Super Mart), Gurgaon — Get two Wine Glasses complimentary with a bottle of Nine Hills Wine while buying your monthly ration.

  • Tonino, MG Road Delhi – Dining at the speciality high-end Italian restaurant? Order a glass of Nine Hills Wine and get a glass complimentary.

  • ND Roya Treat, Regent, Blues, United coffee house (Gurgaon) — Order a bottle of Nine Hills Wine and get a complimentary food platter!!!

It, indeed, is Nine Hills everywhere………..Do you have one in your lips?

Nine Hills — Shiraz Marries an Indian

Syrah. Shiraz. Call it by any name, it is a very powerful wine produced from dark-skinned grapes. The use of the word “Syrah” or “Shiraz” only points to the place where the grape was grown — Syrah’s origins are from France where it is widely grown in the Rhone Valley.  It is also called Syrah in the rest of Europe, most of the US, some part of South America and in New Zealand. Shiraz hails from Australia and South Africa.

But this feature is not going to be a ‘Wikipedia-like’ account of Shiraz (Nine Hills call it by this name). Instead, we are going to get into a very difficult task of trying to marry Shiraz with our Indian food. Now that’s like opening a Pandora’s Box. In this country, you drive every 500 kms, and you step into a different ‘state and taste’. No wonder we are called a sub-continent!!!

Anyway, let’s get started — Here’s a picture of our bride (we are talking about marriage, aren’t we?) She grows in the hills of Nashik and is almost violet in colour. The wine then obviously is a deep red with hints of violet.

Other ‘vital-statistics’ of Shiraz wine can be quickly summarised to be a:

  • Full-bodied red wine with soft velvety tannins
  • With traces of cherry and strawberry in it
  • It should be served quite chilled (at 14-16 degree centigrade) in Indian conditions

Now the onerous task of finding an Indian suitor. While our ‘much-French’ lady would prefer to elope with the Italian ‘Spaghetti with meat sauce’ any day, we Indians have decided not to let go of her.

In our desperation to help find her a good match within our vast country, we have decided to give her various options (You are right!! Completely inspired by our ancient tradition of holding a ‘Swayamvara’, now made notoriously popular by those reality shows on TV…)

So here are the ‘grooms-in-waiting”…..

  • Biryani: The choice in this category is vast – Hyderabadi Biyani, Awadhi Biryani, Biryani from Kolkata (they have a big piece of potato in them too along with the meat and egg), Konkani Biryani.

  • Mughlai: Meat Darbari, Murg Kali Mirch (excellent pairing), Keema Matar, Nazvratan Korma (for veg), and the range of spicy kababs.
  • Butter Chicken, Lal Maas, etc
  • Meat cooked in Konkani/Mangalorean style.

Have you been able to figure out the secret to this match by now? If no, here you are — Shiraz is a powerful, feisty wine and nothing less than a real Indian prince can go with her hearty, intense flavour….. The spices need to tone down considerably though – after all marriage is all about adjustments…

Raising a toast to a happy marriage (meal)…Cheers.


Marriages  are replete with gossips….we invite some from you on this…