A Curious Addiction

Home tasting sessions pull in wines from far and wide

I wonder how people get together for an evening and survive on conversation alone. I know, some people drink whisky. I am game for a dram, even two, but an evening around dead-in-the-bottle malt? Thank God there is wine. At the age of forty-five, after sipping ghaatghaat- ka-paani, I converted to wine. In my book that is late stage. I have to make up for lost time.

Where does one find good wine in India? In private cellars in homes. In fact, the best wine tastings happen in people’s homes. I love the nakhra. Choosing the wines, decanting them, setting up the table, picking the right glasses. It isn’t work; it is a form of reverence. The fun part is that each host has quirks, clear preferences, quibbles, and allergies. A friend of mine finds the meaning of life in Napa Cabernet. A glass of Napa and he gets the look – like the angels have descended. Another cannot look beyond Italy, the land of a thousand grapes. There is a third who hunts down rare grapes and unusual blends and insists on a blind tasting. Have you heard of Saperavi? Freisa? How about Lucida?

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