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Mumbai food: Best wines to sip and savour on a hot summer day

What are you going to drink in May and how’s it different from what you’ll pick in January? Two sommeliers discuss summer wines

On a muggy summer's day, the imagery of putting our feet up with a glass of chilled wine to bring heat and anxiety levels down, would top of our wishlist. We invited two sommeliers to tell us what they prefer to sip on in summer, and share tips to make smart chioices with food too.



“It would be ‘Oh so nice’ if the solution to getting hot in Mumbai were like the lyrics to the song by Nelly. However, till we get past our prudishness there are a few ways to cool off during the hot summer months. None of us are drinking Chardonnays or Merlots in this May heat with the temperature solely in control of the weather gods,” says Nikhil Agarwal, sommelier and founder of All Things Nice.

Aneesh Bhasin
Aneesh Bhasin

“With air conditioning and fans at homes and hotels, you could be drinking anything. I’d definitely be drinking a lot more white and rose wines simply because they’re enjoyed best at about 11 degrees Celsius and are generally lower in alcohol (don’t fret you can always sip on more!) You must also indulge in sparkling wines, served even colder than the whites at six degrees.

Nikhil Agarwal
Nikhil Agarwal

They are incredibly refreshing,” he adds.

Aneesh Bhasin, founder, Hipcask (India’s first wine app) couldn’t agree more. “You can serve the whites and the roses chilled. They are also not as full bodied as the reds which can sometimes get too heavy. The best thing about these wines is that they can be consumed for brunch or dinner and are versatile,” says Bhasin. “Pair them with all kinds of cuisines. Avoid too much spice. It might kill the delicate taste of the wine,” he adds.

Favourites
Charosa Sauvignon Blanc
Chandon Brut
Grover Zampa Brut Rose
York Chenin Blanc
Sula Reisling
Vallonne Rose
Fratelli M/S - Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay
— Aneesh Bhasin

Summer wine & food guide
Charosa Viognier and Grovers La Reserve Blanc. With aromas and flavours of flowers and fruit you’ve got the summer right there in your glass. A slight touch of oak gives these wines more body and nutty vanilla characteristics.
Pairing: Best with grilled prawns, even the tandoori-style will pair superbly.
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Myra Sauvignon Blanc Zippy acidity, green bell peppers, asparagus, fruit and a light body make this wine compelling.
Pairing: Best with grilled asparagus dressed with a touch of olive oil.  
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Reveilo Grillo This medium bodied, crisp wine displays notes of citrus, lemon, orange, grapefruit and some minerality.
Pairing: Best with cool watermelon and feta salad. You could also try the watermelon and feta salad with Fratelli's Vitae Tre, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Muller Thurgau that offers freshness as well as complexity.
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Vallonne Rose This outstanding Rose, which is a hot favourite is dry in style and offers  complexity. The colour on this wine is mouth watering.
Pairing: Enjoy this wine with an aromatic biryani.
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Sula Blush Zinfandel
If you like more red fruit driven styled Roses indulge in this ever popular wine.
Pairing: The biryani will work here as well or you could try coastal fare. A dry masala tisriya, perhaps.
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York Sparkling With a relatively lower alcohol strength and incredibly balanced sparkling , this wine walks the fine line between simple fruit and complex yeast driven flavours perfectly well.
Pairing: Best with an assorted cheese platter of chèvre, Brie and other soft cheeses.
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Chandon Brut Rose You can enjoy this one on its own or  try it in the cocktails. Chandon has specifically designed with this sparkling wine as the base. The cocktails offer generous fruit and work perfectly even if you’ve never had a sip of sparkling before.
Pairing: Best with seafood, particularly oysters
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Casablanca Rose This sparkling is made using the Charmat method. Lots of fruit with bright acidity, just perfect to have endless glasses by the poolside. It’s the kind of drink that will get your Pretty Woman fantasy going.
Pairing: This wine is tastes best with fresh strawberries for best results.                                                                      

—Nikhil Aggarwal

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