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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.

P.S:

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

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