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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.

 

Dessert

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!

Phillip Deverell, our consultant viticulturist, came visitng

Philip Deverell, our Viticulturist visited India and our Nine Hills Vineyards during the harvest time in Feb-March where his skills and experience were utilized to further develop the viticulture capabilities of the vineyard.

Philip holds a Bachelor of Land Management Viticulture from the University of Sydney. On his various international assignments, Philip’s exposure to a variety of vineyards and wine production styles around the world developed his knowledge not only in different production techniques for high quality vines and wines but also a broad knowledge of vine varieties.

 

We, at Nine Hills Wine, lapped up the opportunity to meet Philip in person and gain some firsthand knowledge about vines and wines.

 

Q – Could you brief us on your role in the wine producing process at the Nine Hills Wines?

 

Philip –Nine Hills has a focus on producing quality wines that start in the vineyard itself. The team at Nine Hills work with our growers throughout the year to ensure that the grapes grown meet the quality and standard required by the Nine Hills wine making team. This process must be year round as there is only one vintage every year and if a mistake is made in growing the grapes, it may result in a reduction in quality.

There is a focus to produce fruit which exhibits varietal character and this can only be done from vineyards which are well managed. Any new growers must have their vineyard reviewed before supplying to see if it meets our standards. We would rather not harvest fruit from a below standard vineyard than harvest it and make sub standard wine.

 

Q – What is the purpose of this India visit?

 

Philip –My purpose is to review the current growing season and inspect the vineyards prior to harvest. It is important to inspect each vineyard to taste and assess the fruit. This is the first step in the wine making process as this will influence some of the techniques used by the wine maker.

 

Q – How are the wines for the current year shaping up?

 

Philip –Wines are still undergoing fermentation so it is very early in the whole process but the ferments are looking good and are exhibiting good flavors and aromas.

 

Q – Are the vines looking promising?

 

Philip –The vineyards are very clean and are free of pest and disease which is ideal at this stage. The vines are showing good ripeness and period of cooler weather earlier in the month has allowed the flavors to accumulate. Whilst we are early in vintage the scene is set for one of good quality.

 

Q- What challenges do you foresee?

 

Philip –The weather is warming a little which means that the ripeness will increase at a faster rate. This means that the team will have to work quickly to harvest the grapes at their optimum. Nonetheless, this is a nice challenge to have rather than having to deal with the threat of looming rain.

 

Q – What is your overall feel after this trip?

 

Philip –Picking grapes is a special time; it is the culmination of the growers’ and viticultural teams’ effort for the year and the beginning of the effort for the wine makers. The 2012 vintage for Nine Hills looks very promising.

Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, Nine Hills Wines is looking forward to an excellent vintage in 2012.

 

Cheers!

The Two Worlds Of Wine – Old and New

The old maxim says ‘Great wines are made in the vineyard’. Nonetheless, there’s a divide between “New World” and “Old World” when figuratively these terms are used to describe viticulture or wine making practices.

 

The term ‘New World’ wine is attached to the wines coming from countries, such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa or Argentina who began producing wines only after European colonization. In contrast, ‘Old World’ wine has been made and savored in the European and the Mediterranean countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Germany for over thousands of years.

 

One is curious how different it can get between the two worlds then. We give you the story…..

 

In Viticulture

  • Over centuries, the Old World wine regions have developed viticultural techniques and practices adapted to their unique climates and landscapes. In the Old World, vine density is higher and plantings are done at close proximity while in the New World, one would find lower vine density and more spacing between the plantings. This has enabled mechanization of some processes e.g. mechanical pruning and harvesting.

 

  • Old World producers draw upon their centuries of wine production and inherited wisdom. They hand prune and hand pick their harvest to ensure the best quality wines. On the other hand, New World producers experiment with new wine styles and innovative technologies. This helps them to respond to changing market needs faster. For example, they introduced new wine closures and packaging, such as screw cap, driven purely by consumer needs.

 

 

In Wine making

  • Old World wines are more traditional and ‘terroir’ driven whereas New World wines are typically bolder and fruit forward, in general more varietal driven.

 

  • Old World wine making,with its focus on ‘terroir’, places more emphasis on the role of ‘mother-nature’ in determining wine quality and how well a wine highlights the traits of the place where it originated. In contrast, the New World philosophy generally places more emphasis on the winemaker and the appropriate use of scientific and technological best practices to bring out the fruit flavors of a wine.

 

  • Wine regions in an Old World country are generally defined around a particular wine style and the same grape (red or white) may be grown to produce several different wines within a region. For example, Bordeaux and Burgundy are wine producing regions in France after whom the wines are named. As New World regions have gained the understanding of what variety grows best where,they are now focusing on particular grape varieties and the development of wine styles that are unique to the region.

 

 

Although some traditionalists believe that Old World wines are superior to New World wines, qualitatively, there is no evidence to believe that Old World wines are better than New World wines or vice versa. What is true is that they are different. Old World wines are more tannic and earthy with more layers of complexity while New World wines are bold, fruity and oaky.

In recent times, the globalization of wine has helped in blurring the dividing line as New World wine producers discover ‘terroir’ and Old World producers discover ‘fruit’.

 

Old or new, we love all. Just give us the Wine!

Categories: Tips Tags: , , , ,

Do you know the right glass for your wine?

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Ever wondered why champagne is served in a flute and not in a coffee mug? Simply because wine is passion, it represents fine living, etiquette and all the good things in life. As surprising as it sounds the wine, connoisseurs believe that the glass you choose has a tremendous impact on the quality and intensity of aromas. The acquisition of excellent stemware is the first step towards improving your wine experience.

Stemware Basics:

Most common wine glasses are red wine glasses, white wine glasses, and champagne flutes. Then there are Sherry wine glasses too. A new concept of Wine tumblers (without stems) is also gaining popularity.

Red Wine Glasses

Red wine glasses have rounder, wider bowl, so that oxidation takes place rapidly altering the flavor and aroma of the wine.

Bordeaux glass: Appropriate for hearty and full bodied red wines, like Nine Hills Wine’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz. This glass has a long stem, broad bowland narrower opening. The shape of the bowl concentrates the aromas and flavors while the narrow opening allows the wine to go to the back of the mouth.

 

Burgundy glass: Broader than the Bordeaux glass but has a narrower opening than the body. The apple shaped bowl works well for fine and delicate wines like Pinot Noir that need a huge area in which to gather their aromas. This style of glass directs wine to hit the tip of the tongue.

 

White Wine Glasses

Tulip glass: A tulip shaped glass is characterized by a deep bowl that is narrow at the bottom, broad in the middle and narrow at the opening. The stem of the wine glass is shorter than the average wine glass. The narrow opening preserves the crisp, clean flavor of the white wines as it reduces the rate of aeration.Perfect for Nine Hills Wine’s Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc!!

 

Champagne Flutes

Ideal for Champagne or Sparkling wine, flutes are tall to allow the proper development of bubbles. It has a narrow and tall bowl while the mouth is small to keep the wine sparkling longer in the glass. The long stem allows you to hold the glass without warming the liquid inside. The design of the flute adds to the aesthetic appeal of champagne as it allows the bubbles to travel further due to the narrow opening.

 

Sherry Glasses

Sherry glass is used to drink sherry wines and also port wines.

The stem of a Sherry glass is shorter than other wine glass varieties. The bowl is broad at the bottom, long but tapers into a narrow mouth. The narrow opening is meant to enhance the aroma of the sherry wine.

 

Stem-less Wine Glasses

With time, a new concept of stem-less (without stem) wine glasses has evolved. This modern innovation is often criticized by traditional wine lovers and wine connoisseurs as they believe that these glasses do nothing to enhance the aroma or flavour of the wine. These glasses affect the temperature of the wine as they are nursed in hand. Also these glasses do not have the same visual appeal as the traditional varieties.

Good glasses are important for the wine tasting experience and will ultimately define whether you will like the wine or not. So leave the coffee mug for the coffee and drink your favorite wine in the right glass.

Cheers!

Say it with Wine this Valentine’s

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Chocolates, flowers, stuffed toys are passé! Celebrate the Valentine’s Day this year with your sweetheart in style.  And what better way to ignite romance than with wine. Yes, surprise your loved one by gifting him/her a bottle of wine and see the expression change on his/her face.

Here are a few ways to win your sweetheart all over again. Be it a romantic date at a restaurant or a candlelight dinner in the comfort of your home, wine is the perfect way to say “I Love You”. If you have never done it before then this is the golden opportunity to commence your tryst with wine, the manna from heaven. Be it red, white or rosé, wine tingles the taste buds, liberates the mind, heightens the senses and sets the mood.

 

 

A declaration of undying love or a rekindling of passion in your relationship, a glass of champagne is the ideal choice. The effervescence of the sparkling wine puts you in high spirits. Moreover, it pairs well with a whole range of romantic and gourmet foods.

If you are planning to take your valentine for a romantic candle light dinner, make sure to take a reservation well in advance at a restaurant where they serve good country wines. Select your cuisine and then consult the restaurant’s Sommelier (if they have one) or the manager (who should have a good knowledge of wine pairing) for the perfect bottle of wine to go with your food. Now celebrate an amazing Valentine’s Day with your date over good food and some even better wine.It is the perfect formula for love.

If eating out is not your style, then rest assured, this is just the way to invite romance. You can surprise your valentine by cooking up an intimate dinner for two in the cozy warmth of your home. Buy a bottle or two of good wine; our Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz Rosé should do the trick. Now pop the cork, share the wine over your favorite love songs and leave the rest to cupid.

Valentine Tip:As red is the color of Valentine, impress your date with a red wine. Nine Hills’ award winning reds Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon will do the honors quite nicely.

Say it in style, say it with wine. Cheers!

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!

The Verdict

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

From Day One, it looked like a fierce battle is imminent. The last day toppled it all………..

The first day we asked, “One of the latest varietal that Nine Hills Wine launched is ____”, and all twenty-nine participants replied ‘Nine Hills Viognier’ correctly!!

2nd Day: The question was, “Wine that pairs with the turkey roast during Christmas is ___”. This time, twenty-seven people said ‘White Wine’ and got it right

3rd Day: We asked, “Wine Barrels are made from the wood of which tree?” and all fifty-seven entries were correct!!

4th Day: With the scene heating up, we asked whether “Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon won the “Best Indian Red Wine” at the First Indian Wine Challenge” on the fourth day, and fifty-seven Nine Hills Wine fans came back with a resounding “Yes”!!

5th Day: Sure that we were heading towards a massive lucky-draw, our final question was, “Rose Wine is made from _____”. The options were red grapes, green grapes or both. This saw the highest response – sixty-two in all. But the clincher was, only 3 participants answered it correctly. Rose is made from both red and green grapes. Hence, the third option, ‘both’, was the correct answer!!!

After a very well-participated contest, there emerged two participants who answered all 5 questions correctly – Abhishek Sinha and Kalyan Panja. Seeing the earnest participation, Nine Hills Wine’s team has decided to declare both Abhishek and Kalyan joint winners!!! Both of them will individually win the hampers from Nine Hills Wine and Borges.

Encouraged by your interest and participation, we, at Nine Hills Wine, have decided to run another contest called – BRINGING IN 2012 Contest. This time round, we will announce four winners from across the 4 zones in our country. So gear up once again.

Congratulations Abhishek Sinha and Kalyan Panja. Both of you will win a Nine Hills Celebration Hamper and a Borges Hamper.

Welcome, BRINGING IN 2012 Contest.

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After a very well-participated contest, there emerged two participants who answered all 5 questions correctly – Abhishek Sinha and Kalyan Panja. Seeing the earnest participation, Nine Hills Wine’s team has decided to declare both Abhishek and Kalyan joint winners!!! Both of them will individually win the hampers from Nine Hills Wine and Borges.

Encouraged by your interest and participation, we, at Nine Hills Wine, have decided to run another contest called – BRINGING IN 2012 Contest. This time round, we will announce four winners from across the 4 zones in our country. So gear up once again.

Congratulations Abhishek Sinha and Kalyan Panja. Both of you will win a Nine Hills Celebration Hamper and a Borges Hamper.