|Time Out Delhi featured Reva Singh, publisher of Sommelier India in its latest issue. She was asked about her wine preferences, the growth of the Indian wine market and predictions for the future of the Indian wine market. Keep reading for the interview|
1. Why did you decide to start a wine magazine in India?
Because there was a need. With magazines on every subject under the sun in India, there was nothing dedicated to wine. I realised that this special interest niche was not being served adequately, so Sommelier India, The Wine Magazine was born.
With no wine drinking culture to speak of a few years ago, nobody knew very much about the subject, but the interest was there. We started as a newsletter and have grown steadily in tandem with our niche readership, along with a very popular blog (www.sommelierindia.com). We are distributed primarily through subscriptions and a mailing list of people for whom wine is a necessary part of the good life and are interested in the world of wine!
2. What are your favourite wines currently available on the Indian market?
I am fairly eclectic in my preferences. My practice is to start with a dry-ish white wine and then move on to something more complex with my meal. At this time of year, I favour rosés over red wine.
3. What wines do you hope to see here in the future?
I’d like to see a variety of wines of different styles and price points available in India from around the world. The Indian wine lover should have as wide a choice as possible between Indian and imported wines, ranging from the great classics of Europe to fresh, fruit forward wines from newer wine producing countries.
4. Any predictions for the future of wine consumption in India?
We are, both, a wine consuming and wine producing country now, and there’s no turning back. Wine consumption in India is on a growth trajectory, even though our nascent wine drinking culture may be temporarily inhibited due to the cost of wine, availability, proper storage and transportation.
5. Do you have any advice on pairing wines?
As you know, we have no culture of drinking wine and food together. But wine is best enjoyed with food and greatly enhances the dining experience.
When choosing a wine I suggest you consider the mode of preparation and type of sauce or gravy that is part of the dish and not just the meat or main ingredient. And don’t hesitate to ask the sommelier or maitre d’ for advice. As a general rule of thumb, if you are new to wine, I’d pick a well-structured chilled rosé or a medium-dry white wine that balances fruit and acid for Indian food. Most often I’d choose a white over a red, unless the dish was a meaty “raan” when a fruit forward, red wine with mellow tannins would be my choice. Among the easily available Indian wines, you might try Sula or Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Grover’s Viognier, and Château Indage’s sparkling wine. Otherwise, white wines from Alsace or the Loire Valley such as Bouvet-Ladubay from the UB Group, if you are thinking French. In short, keep experimenting and make a note of which wine style works for you.