“There are a hundred different styles of Shiraz in Australia. We have lots of sun and Shiraz loves consistent sunshine”, said Martin Strachan, COO of Glaetzer Wines (Barossa Valley) and Heartland Wines (Limestone Coast & Langhorne Creek), as he introduced diners to the Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz 2008 reports Brinda Gill who was present at the wine dinner held on 8th November 2011 at Hyatt Regency Pune.
“Just as a director of a film chops out sections that are not needed, the Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz is produced with special grapes and later each parcel of wine is selected and only the best are taken for this label,” noted Martin.
The evening started with the lovely easy-drinking Heartland Pinot Grigio 2009 (blended with a dash of Viognier) served with light eats, the three-course dinner of Indian specialities was paired with three Shiraz wines from Glaetzer and Heartland Wines. The two wineries are located in areas with distinct terroirs, they have the same winemaker – Ben Glaetzer.
Martin said, “Ben was named Wine Personality of the Year when he was just 25 by Robert Parker and received many accolades subsequently. He takes care to pick grapes when their acidity is just right and not to over extract the grapes. This effort results in wines full of pure fruit flavour, with a lovely acidity and texture, without aggressive tannins, all of which make them perfect to drink by themselves or pair with food. With the growing interest in wines in India we are keen to put our wines in the Indian market and feel they pair well with Indian food.”
As the first Indian food and wine dinner at the hotel (earlier wine dinners featured gourmet European cuisine) Executive Chef Hemant Mehta selected specialities from different regions of India and toned down the spices while keeping to the original recipe so that dish appealed to diners, many of whom were foreigners.
Three Shiraz wines were selected that would pair well with each dish without overpowering the food or being overpowered and yet enhancing the dining experience. The first course of mildly marinated Afghani Tikkas was served with Glaetzer Bishop Shiraz 2009, a juicy fruity spicy-style wine with soft tannins with a hint of oak after maturing in two-year-old oak barrels.
The second course of Bharwan Amritsari Aloo and Amritsari Tawa Machili with Amritsari Kulcha was served Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz 2008, a fruity, slightly savoury style wine produced with grapes grown at Langhorne Creek where the soil is loamy. The wine has soft tannins and an oak flavour having been matured in new French oak barrels.
The last course of Bharwan Mirch Roganjosh and Kashmiri Nalli Gosht Roganjosh with Pulao was paired with Glaetzer Anaperenna Shiraz-Cabernet 2007, a fruity, full flavoured wine that blended the spiciness of Shiraz (75%) with the slight sweetness of Cabernet Sauvignon (25%), and a hint of oak from new oak barrels. The meal was wrapped up with crepes filled with Gajar ka Kalwa and small Gulab Jamuns encircled with Rabdi!
“Wine was earlier regarded as mysterious, which held the industry back. It has been simplified in recent years. The approach now is that if you like it, you drink it. It is your personal choice,” said Martin.
Indeed, the full, fruity wines with finesse and mild tannins paired with familiar Indian dishes were greatly appreciated and enjoyed.
Glaetzer and Heartland Wines are being imported in India through Berkmann Wine Cellars India Pvt. Ltd. Ph: (022) 26191366.