The mood shifts in summer and the pace slows down. Our weather demands it. With wine, you want to move away from full-bodied reds towards light, floral whites and refreshing rosés. Equally, I remind myself to eat light, and opt for grilled or lightly sautéed vegetables and dals, along with some Mediterranean style poultry or fish in place of heavily sauced dishes and rich curries. At Sommelier India, summer is the season we discuss magazine strategy. This year, we were joined by co-publisher, Shiv Singh, who flew in from New York and participated in our brain-storming sessions over flutes of chilled Sula rosé brut.
Continue reading the Editor’s Note from the latest issue of Sommelier India and Subscribe to receive your copy. This issue at 78 pages is chockablock full with feature stories, news, tips and more on wine and the culture surrounding it. Some of the best wine writers from India and around the world are published in Sommelier India. The magazine is required reading for Indians around the world who enjoy the good life.
New initiatives and old, like the SI Tasting Panel, Industry Q&A’s, Wine Clinic to dispel your wine doubts, restaurant reviews and international news and trends, are being scaled up as we respond to the feedback we receive. We’ve embarked on a strategic growth plan to give magazine subscribers more by moving beyond SI’s flagship publication in print.
Meanwhile if you sign up for a three-year subscription, you not only save money on the magazine’s cover price but also receive a bottle of Fratelli Sangiovese, produced near the town of Akluj, 190 kms south of Pune. Sangiovese is Italy’s most widely planted grape variety and the grape behind some of Tuscany’s finest wines, ranging from simple reds in traditional, straw-clad “fiasco” bottles to complex, aromatic, dense wines.
Try Fratelli’s offering. You won’t be disappointed. (Page 68). Yatin and Kiran Patil of Vintage Wines were the first to plant Sangiovese grapes in India and their Reveilo Sangiovese 2011 is another admirable example.
Rosemary George’s overview of the Loire Valley highlights how better viticultural methods and site selection have improved the wines of the region. Talented winemakers appreciate the nuances between different plots and vinify the grapes accordingly. Chenin Blanc is the signature grape here producing wines of great originality and range.
“The Loire Valley can effortlessly fulfill all our drinking desires,” Rosemary says. Apart from the growing reputation of its wines, the Loire is a beautiful region imbued with history, and well worth a visit. (Page 34).
Lebanon is one of the oldest wine regions of the world and yet we hardly ever think of it in relation to wine. Dining at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Dubai recently, I was introduced to Château Musar from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Despite years of unrest in the country, Serge Hochar, who is a remarkable 72 years, is producing distinctive wine with every vintage profoundly individual, partly because Hochar relies very little on modern winemaking techniques. (Page 56).
The long, lazy days of summer are an ideal time to taste new wines, both Indian and international. The articles in this issue, we hope, will inspire you.