Schloss Vollrads Riesling at The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi

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schloss1.jpg There are winemaker’s dinners and there are winemaker’s dinners. One that we found particularly worthwhile was when Riesling wines were paired with Indian food at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi. The setting in one of the hotel’s function rooms wasn’t particularly inspiring, but the winemaker’s presentation was illuminating and the food delicious.

The meal was beautifully served on fine pottery in traditional ‘thali’ style, with each item in an individual bowl.


If you feel the urge to dine out on Indian cuisine, try Masala Art at The Taj Palace with a glass or two of Riesling.

Winemaker and managing director, Dr Rowald Hepp of Riesling producer Schloss Vollrads near Frankfurt, introduced us to three Rieslings from his estate: Schloss Vollrads Riesling Erstes Gewachs 2006, Schloss Vollrads Riesling QBA 2006 and Schloss Vollrads Riesling Kabinett 2006. Hepp described these wines as “very fresh, very pure and the highest level of dry wines.” These wines are from the best vineyards, from very old vines with deep roots that draw flavours from several layers of different minerals. schloss2.jpg

The yield is very low. Younger vines whose roots do not go so deep produce wines with a salty, flinty flavour while older vines will add a nutty flavour. First Growth wines are bottle-aged and released after 12 months.

schloss3.jpg Schloss Vollrads is the oldest wine estate in the world, according to Hepp. Wine sales were recorded in 1211 and the first document of vineyard ownership is dated 850. The estate’s wine treasury goes back to 1857 with only one bottle of that vintage left. The estate produces a single varietal and that is 100% unblended Riesling.“Schloss Vollrads wines have a tasteable finger print, in terms of authenticity, pureness and style,” says Hepp.Served at most fine dining outlets and luxury hotels, a bottle of Schloss Vollrads Riesling Erstes Gewachs costs Rs. 4,500-5,000; Schloss Vollrads Riesling QBA Rs. 2500 and Schloss Vollrads Riesling Kabinett Rs.2000. These are duty-paid prices. Importers: Brindco Limited.

Notice the glass Vina lock bottle stopper in the picture above.
Incidentally, the 2005 Schloss Vollrads Erstes Gewachs won the trophy for the Best Old World White Wine at the recently concluded Japan Wine Challenge.

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2 Comments

  1. Avininder Singh on

    Wikipedia describes Riesling as “an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed aromas as well as high acidity” so, Dear Ed., would have loved to know WHAT YOU ATE!! Because it was obviouly Indian food – paired with dry and off-dry wines!! It may interest readers to know that Schloss Vollrads Riesling are House Wines at the enormously trendy Cinnamon Club, London, where Chef Vivek Singh (no relation) presents avant-garde Indian food, and the SV Wines are supposed to pair exceedingly well with spicy food. Incidentally, because their Wines are so food-friendly SV have their own Vineyard Restaurant which is supposed to be pretty much top of the pops. It is their 2004 Vintage which is currently doing well in London; as usual, we in India, are a couple of years behind the times!!

  2. Rieslings and also Gewurztraminers usually pair well with Indian cusisine because of their spice neutralizing effect caused by the slight sweetness and aromatic nature of the wine. offcourse dry wines are produced as well. Alsace in France and Rhine regions in Germany are primary producers although their tastes differ mainly due to the soils. It again reminds me of why our Sharbats and fruit juices minus the alcohol pair so well with our cuisine. Rieslings do have a tendency to emit petroleum aromas especially when not drunk young.

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