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Treat your palate with great red wines that won’t cost a fortune.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2011 01:11 IST
Shara Ashraf

Want to stock up good quality wines without blowing up the bank? You won’t be starved for choice, as there are plenty of affordable quality wines available in the market now. With India becoming the 10th largest growth nation for wine consumption in the world, various foreign brands have brought new wines to India. Amrit Kiran Singh, VP and area director, Brown Forman, India says, "We are selling wines from across the globe at a very affordable cost and look at this as an investment. We know that these wines, will be a big hit here."

Also, earlier only a handful of Indian wines qualified as good wines. India wineries have now woken up to competition from abroad and are busy enhancing the quality of their wines. S K Rustagi, JMD, Nirvana Biosys says,"We have a French wine maker who camps with us till the completion of a wine making cycle to ensure we produce the best quality wine." Abhay Kewadkar, director and chief wine-maker, UB Group, agrees that the discerning palate of Indian consumers is prodding Indian wineries to up their standards. "People want to learn about the wine varietal. They prefer a better quality Indian wine than drinking an imported wine just for the sake of it."

Red WineHealth is also often a guiding factor when is comes to choosing wines. Sommelier Gurjit Singh Barry says, "Indians are switching over to red wines for health reasons. Red wines are a great source of antioxidants. The skin of red grapes contains resveratrol that helps fight cancer."

Here’s a list of value for money red wines that would give you a tune to hum without a hole in your pocket:

Berry good
What: Luca Cabernet Sauvignon
It is a dry medium-bodied Indian red wine that pleases you with its distinct aromas of berries and oak. Team it up with lamb, Indian food, red meat and cheese. A value for money wine for beginners.
Price: Rs 500

Violet delight
What: Four Seasons Shiraz
This Indian wine has a delightful ruby red colour and is a mix of violets and raspberries flavours peppered with spice. A good companion for Indian cuisine, specially tandoori chicken and biryani.
Price: Rs 1,000

What: GatoNegro Carmenere
This deep violet Chilean wine is made from 90% Carmenère and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in San Pedro´s vineyards. It has a fruity aroma, with a hint of soft green pepper, and tobacco.
Price: Rs 690

Party perfect
What: Two-ocean Pinotage
This deep ruby red wine from South Africa is made with Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes. You would find the delicious notes of banana, plum and cherry in it. It pairs brilliantly with white and red meat.
Price: Rs 760

Peppery tinge
What: Yellow Tail
It’s made with dark-skinned Syrah grapes. This Australian wine brings you a delightful mix of red cherries and black pepper notes. You won’t go wrong teaming it up with lamb chops and steaks.
Price: Rs 860

What a toast
What: Malambo Shiraz Malbec
A blend of Shiraz and Malbec, this wine from Argentina bottles the spirit of Gauchos dancers. It gives you a combo of black berry and toasty oak notes. Enjoy it with cheese and barbequed meat.
Price: Rs 656

Spice trail
What: La Reserve
This wine from India has the pleasing aroma of ripe fruits with a hint of spice. It’s aged in French oak barrels for six months. Trained to handle the spiciest of Indian food, have it with everything that sets your ears aflame
Price: Rs 640

Cherry wonder
What: Bel Arbor Merlot Treat yourself to the notes of berries and ripe cherries with a hint of spices. This Californian wine is best had with spicy tandoori items, as well as Italian dishes that have prominence of tomato and herbs in their flavour.
Price: Rs 1,000