Anyone Ever Drink Wine From India?

We are in India right now and the wine lists in the restaurants are challenging. They tend to lack interesting choices and are very expensive. As such, we have had a few wines made here in an area named Nashik. The wineries we’ve tried are Sula, Grover and York and the best was a Grover Cab/Shiraz blend, designated “La Reserve”, that was drinkable and not flawed but too ripe and without structure. The worst was an oxidized Chardonnay with some residual sugar left behind to “seal the deal.” The rest were flawed in minor ways ranging from rotting vegetables on the nose to crazy chemical notes on the palate. We didn’t have high expectations but did hope for pleasant wines to have with dinner and, for the most part, have been disappointed. I’m asking the question here because - since I lack any experience with Indian wines - I’m wondering if the wines truly are as poor to mediocre as we’ve experienced or are we the victims of poor storage and wine service.

I had a Sula Chenin Blanc once that wasn’t bad. I have heard that was an anomaly for that wine however. Sounds like their industry will need time.

There are a bunch for which Rolland is the “consultant.” I had one once. A red. Something about Taj Mahal in the name or the label. It was somewhere between below average and poor. AND I like many Rolland wines. Drink beer. The Brits taught them how to make beer better than other people taught them how to make wine.

I tried a few wines there and went back to beer.

The only wine I’ve had is Sula. Very forgettable.

Sula Chenin Blanc is one I liked with Spicy Lamb. Rolland and Stephane Derenoncourt also consult for a bunch of wineries. I stuck to beer and considering the prices of foreign wines, I decided to stay sober for most of my trip.

I’ve tried two of the Sula wines, at an Indian restaurant in Rome of all places, and the terms “not bad” and “forgettable” are the only ones that seem appropriate to that experience, but that was almost 11 years ago, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve gotten better.

Grover is one of Rolland’s wines and a decent wine, not great but o.k.

Don’t know if this is still true but in 00’ I was told the main reason that the prices are high is that there is a %100 tax that goes on all ‘wines’, I put ‘wine’ in quotes because a lot of grain alcohol is labeled ‘wine’. It was interesting because there were many 1st growths (at that time around $250 a bottle) and we were told that those were for rich gov’t officials when they had gala’s or meetings and that everyone else drank the local plonk.

We had Sula Merlot in a few places there (about 3 yrs ago). It wasn’t bad, but certainly nothing I’d go out of my way for.

The price problem is that alcohol is a no-no in Hinduism, IIRC, so that justifies very high taxes.

There was a thread or two on this at the “other place” about 2 yrs ago, IIRC.


And yes.

I think it’s the Muslim Indians who have a religious prohibition on drinking, not Hindus, although many don’t as a matter of custom. I’ve known plenty of Hindus who do drink, anyway.

Sula and Grover can occasionally be drinkable. I’ll take a kingfisher or tiger any day over them though.

Sent from my Windows Phone using Board Express

One bottle of 2009 Sula Chenin. Sulfited beyond comprehension, and somehow still musty.


Your best options are Hayward 5000 and Kingfisher Dark

One surprising thing is that, for a wine from a place no one thinks of for wine, and for a wine nobody likes, Sula sure does seem to have awfully good distribution!

Had quite a few, all bad. Sula does get some distribution, but I don’t know who’s drinking it. I guess the people who stepped up from Mouton Cadet?

There are some places on the world where you just don’t grow grapes for wine. And some places where you don’t grow pineapples. Funny thing is, you’d think Rolland would be in good shape there - growing Merlot in a subtropical climate has to ensure enough heat for adequate sugar levels.

Not yet, but I’d like to one day.

On purpose?

They’re good business folks and have focused on distirbution:

Actually, I know plenty of Muslims who drink. But never mind…