Although we normally stay away from making specific wine suggestions and occasionally recommend a wine which is not in the wine-of-the-week mould, our romantic Indian connoisseurs would do well to treat their valentine with a bottle of Zampa Soiree 2010 Brut Rosé sparkling wine and zap her with the fresh and floral bubbly and put her in a romantic mood without hurting your pocket.
Photos By:: Adil Arora
At a recent visit to the Vallee di Vin winery near Nashik, I was pleasantly surprised by the new vintage made from 100% Shiraz grape. It has nice salmon colour, engaging berry aromas and fruity flavours of exploding strawberries in your mouth. It is so fresh and crisp that it is difficult to keep the glass down. Unlike the version a couple of years ago, the fizz lasts on your palate long and you can almost feel the bubbles dancing.
Many people in Nashik unfairly criticize the use of this grape varietal saying it is a high-yielding, cheaper grape in this region and is not fully concentrated, as compared to Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are soft and mellow but the distinctive presence of mild tannins gives the impression of a bigger body on the palate, also making it match-worthy with non vegetarian dishes.
Newly released, it may be slightly difficult to uncork the bottle but the winemaker Nick Van Aarde explains that the first one or two months after bottling, it is generally difficult to uncork a sparkling wine bottle.
Nick has also smartly increased the sugar level to 11 gms/liters, making it only ye sweet. Properly chilled, the flavours make it an easy drinking wine with or without snacks and also a great accompaniment with most dishes. At Rs.1050 in Mumbai at several retails stores and for Rs.990 in Delhi (Suri at Savitri GK-II, most shops in the mall, Malhotra’s near Malai Mandir at R K Puram), it is a priced a bit on the higher side but that is what branding and small production does for you. Nevertheless, a thousand bucks should not matter much when you are romancing your valentine.
For some inexplicable reason, Zampa sparkling wines are labelled as Soiree-the literal meaning implies it is a drink for the evening. But one enjoys it the best in the afternoon- especially when it is warm day.
If you have more than one valentine or want to impress more than one person by sending wine bottle as a gift, Sula Rose Brut is a better choice-especially because of its very slick and functional packaging. The box colour and design would please any woman’s heart, and the price of under Rs.1,000 is a affordable for any wine lover, for Valentine’s day.
If sparkling is not her style, try their Rose which is also highly recommended out of their portfolio and don’t forget to say cheers for their South African winemaker Nick Van Aarde who is responsible for the complete winemaking for the 2010 vintage onwards.
Happy Valentine’s Day!