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‘Tis the season of Wine Events

The season of festivities is back and so are a host of wine festivals and events across the country. Here is a round up of the recently concluded Annapoorna World of Food India Fair and listing of some upcoming wine festivals and events that you wouldn't want to miss. Be it Indian or imported wines, the wine lovers in the country are still in the process of discovering new styles, varieties and brands of wines. While such events provide accessibility to the consumers to visit and taste a wide ...

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Must & Grappa

Every autumn, full of the ‘waste-not-want-not’ spirit, I would scavenge the vineyard behind my house in the Napa Valley for grapes the pickers had left behind. It was amazing how many clusters of seemingly perfectly fine bunches were left hanging on the vine each harvest. To the grape-pickers trained eye there must have been a noticeable defect but to my under-trained eye, they were juicy, purple gems, just a little beyond ideal ripeness, that I could press myself. This mini-harv ...

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Cape Cultivar

When I received my itinerary for Vindaba, South Africa's first ever dedicated wine tourism platform, I gathered they continue to think that Indian wine consumers are complete amateurs and hence they've put me on an unknown, unpopular wine tour that would be fitting for a novice audience. Not wanting to pre judge I decided to go with the flow and see what's in store. I did a fair bit of reading en route and discovered that this new route on the wine map, had 6 of the 45 five-star rated wines ...

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Oenophile or Oenophool: How to Not Become "That Guy"

As a fledgling wine aficionado, like many of you out there, I sit in an enviable position atop a shimmering steed of exploration. I am Everyman, and I am nobody. I am your neighbor, your friend or perhaps even that guy across the street with the creepy binoculars (shhh, don't look … just act natural). I am just far enough along in my journey that I have cast my training wheels aside; yet, I still reap the joyous adventure of a new sensory discovery around every turn in the road.   ...

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The Birth of a Wine Cellar

A lot of people do not know to consult a professional wine cellar builder when venturing out on a project of this nature. Remember your ultimate goal is to properly store that wine for future consumption or possible sale. When I visit a client, the first thing we talk about is the right space to construct the new wine cellar. It should be in a place where outside light or vibration would not be an issue. Once you have found that “perfect spot”, start thinki ...

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A Love Affair That Doesn’t End

Chefs and Foodies around the world will always do what they can to create the next best dish.  And when at last that newly created dish hits the table it intends to outshine all other elements whatever that might be.  On the same note, wine lovers and sommeliers will search the world over for that very best wine to serve. They will analyze that wine, take it apart and pull all the complexities that give it that wonderful flavor.   These two authorities, if given the opportunity, ...

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Catch 'em Young!

"Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret," said British PM Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). And he would know. As a young man he was ruined when he sank his fortune in a South American mining scheme that went bust : blunder. His adult career was a see-saw battle for control of the English government against William Gladstone : struggle. In his dotage his big regret must have been that he didn’t have much of an old age, dying just weeks after his retirement.  While these ...

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Looking for a Good Bottle of Wine

Since my arrival in Kolkata, Saturday afternoons have been defined by my pilgrimage to Spencer’s in South City Mall to stock up on my weekly supplies. Spencer’s has the distinction of not only being my go to place for difficult to find food items and treats but, even more importantly, the one place in the city that consistently carries a reasonable selection of wine. Since our dinner ritual has always included the opening of a bottle of wine to accompany whatever was on the plate ...

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It Takes Two to Tango

South American wines are on a roll and it’s Malbec and Cabernet are the two grapes that have own international accolades for the out of the world wine they produce.South American wines are a big deal these days. The Malbecs from Argentina and Cabernet Sauvignons from Chile seem to be winning more medals in worldwide competitions than all of Napoleon’s marshals. Perhaps due to all this prize winning and high points in the trade magazines, South American wines are increas ...

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Wine and Climate Change: A Leap in the Unknown

Bring on the bold is usually what I say!  Anything saucy, strong and intense tends to win me over, except when we’re talking about California Zinfandel or the weather.   Last year weather hit extremes all around.  2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US.  Winter storms snarled travel in parts of Europe and North America, record flooding in Pakistan displaced ...

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