During a recent holiday in India and after many dodgy cocktails, mixers (with no ice!) and bottles of local beer, I decided to branch out and try the local ‘sparkling wine’ that I had seen and dismissed on the drinks menu at our little hotel many times before. Having being warned off the local wines by other guests at the hotel, I had a snobbish pre- conception of what to expect, but as it was a special occasion (my friend’s birthday) and we had had a bellyful (literally) of cocktails and beer, we decided to go for it…The producer was called Sula, and after asking for it to be chilled in the freezer for an extra 5 minutes, we were all rapt with the quality and followed up the bottle with another two (or three?) more. We learnt that the producer was located 180 kilometres out of Mumbai and they strictly followed the “Champagne” method whereby the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle (and as the name suggests, is used in the Champagne region of France) rather than the easier, cheaper production ‘Tank Method”. The producers also made white, red and rose wines- that we unfortunately did not get around to tasting. The important thing was however, we had found something new to drink in India! And that it actually drank well with (some) Indian food was a double bonus!
Whilst I wouldn’t expect to see this Sparkling Wine on a Yacht wine inventory very soon, or even being sold at any restaurants in the South of France (or Europe) in the near future, it is exciting that even on the beaches of Goa you can enjoy a glass of bubbles and watch the sunset, without having to pay through the roof prices or suffer through a terrible hangover the next day. So keep an eye out! And the moral to my story- have an open mind, you never know when you will be surprised!