The Thursday after Diwali, we took the much-delayed trip to the vineyards. The long winding road to Nasik, Maharashtra, the food stop- piping hot batata vadas, pao and chai at a highway restaurant, the glimpse of the resort in the distance. The lake we never found. Beyond, a resort of huts nestled in the Sula Vineyards , and we had finally arrived. As if long drives make you hungry, we ordered a spicy Indian lunch and washed it down with an unexpectedly delicious helping of Shahi Tukda. We were ready for the vineyard run!
Wine growing is in a relatively nascent stage in India, having begun only fifteen years ago. Grapes were exported from France, and Spain to the beautifully tempered climate of Nasik, where grapes are now grown, and fine Indian wine produced. We toured the fields, the factory, the bottling plant and then arrived at the scenic tasting room- with a view of the fields and the bottling plant- and began discovering the wine.
Compared to other alcohol, I’ve always enjoyed the smoothness of wine, but never really discovered the art of drinking wine: See, swirl, sniff and sip! Our host for the afternoon, gave us a simple set of handy tips for wine drinking in India.
See, really referred to the color of wine. For red wine, the darker the wine, the better it was going to be, and the opposite holds true for white wine. Swirl your glass of wine, holding it at the stem so as not to disturb the temperature with your body temperature, and watch how it falls. The more prominent the tears of wine (or the church windows) the higher the alcohol content. Sniff the wine to discover flavours which could be of various fruits and then sip… Red wine for red meat and spicy Indian curries, white wine for white meat and delicately sauteed fish.
As we sat, overlooking the vineyard, we learned wine drinking has another S, Savour. And, in that moment, feeling warm, and fuzzy and loved, and perfectly grateful for all that is good and bad in this world, I realized the difference between wine and other alcohol. Wine, you drink to remember…and alcohol you drink to forget.
What a perfectly fine thought to savour, when you’re striking one off that bucket list.
And, if there’s anything you want to live your life by, it ought to be a bucket list.
What’s on yours?