Whoever thinks a white wine can’t be paired with a rich meat dish, or a spicy vegetarian curry, has a lot of drinking to do on the path to wisdom. Here is my pick of the best whites made in the country.
Fratelli Sangiovese Bianco
Let’s start with a light, easy number; gently fruity and extremely crisp. This is a great wine to kick-start an evening. The dry finish will leave you thirsting for more, so remember to keep a sizeable stash.
Fratelli Vitae Chardonnay
Gently oaked and a nice medium-bodied wine, it shows some soft toasty notes and a fairly intense palate. Great with snacks and light preparations.
Reveilo Chardonnay Reserve
India’s first Chardonnay and still the only one that’s properly oak-aged. Few whites are made at this level of finesse, and this wine can marry with the most flavourful of foods, meaty or vegan.
A curious wine, which manages to show good typicity and acidity in spite of the warm Nashik climes where it is made. Very affable and enjoyable, this is off-dry in style and, with some soda, can make for a great spritzer.
Vijay Amritraj Viognier
An aromatic white wine with a lovely creamy palate. The grape is not for everyone — almost greasy on the mid-palate — but this wine is a great example of what a good Viognier is. Gently toasty too, it is good as a starter but also fantastic in a pairing, especially with Indian cuisine.
Charosa Viognier Reserve
Yet another extremely aromatic expression of the Rhone white grape – soft and balanced.
York Chenin Blanc
I’m not a big fan of local Chenin, as none of them measure up to what the rest of the world produces. York, however, does a decent job of making a fresh, clean wine with apt freshness and flavour.
KRSMA Sauvignon Blanc
Most brands do a decent Sauvignon Blanc, but this is the only one which almost seems to have the richness of a Sauvignon Gris incorporated into it as well. It’s a lovely, crisp wine with intensity and body. It is also up for cellaring for a year or two, which imparts richness to it, making it ideal with curries and similar dishes.
Vallonne Vin de Passerillage
A thick, honeyed and luscious sweet white wine with a refreshing finish, this is among the best sweet wines to be found in India.
Reveilo Late Harvest Chenin Blanc
A lovely, expressive wine with marmalade and fruit compote notes.