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Sachai – The Indian Hot Punch Wine

The concept of ‘Mulled Wines’ still remains foreign to Indian palates. Sadly, Mulled wine is a drink that is mainly formulated for cold/ice-laden countries where either the quality of wines made is low or appreciating a chilled wine is quite a task. It is an easy to drink-and-like beverage and is served hot and is aromatic and sweet, generally.
The recipe is simple. Start with a red table wine, not too tannic, and leave it overnight in a pot with some quartered sweet fruits (zesty ones as opposed to fleshy ones), some herbs, and condiments. Feel free to use your imagination and let your taste buds guide you through an array of condiments, herbs and spices. Classic ingredients include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, violet, aniseed, ginger, ginseng (!!), liquorice, cumin, and the likes. Come morning, heat the wine gently and let the herbs and condiments swirl for about 20 minutes. Should you wish, add some white rum in the end to the heated wine to endow it the punch you need. Filter the wine through layers of a muslin cloth and put to heat again, maintaining a drinkable temperature.
If all of this seems like a mammoth task to you, then wait for another couple of months for a new wine to hit the wine stores, named ‘Sachai’. Mr. Balraj Singh Sivia, MD of Aleovino, which is a Germany-based wine importing company, introduced his home-blended Indian mulled wine at the TASTE 2010 in Mumbai. ‘Sachai’ – The Indian Hot Wine Punch – is an Italian VdT Merlot-based wine to which Mr. Sivia has added his own secret blend of Indian herbs and spices. The herbs were added before the fermentation process giving them an opportunity to marry the wine for a good time and survive it quite well. Later, he plans to substitute the wine component with an Indian wine, sourcing it from Nasik, or the Himachal area.
So here is what we could gather from the wine. It is an unclear red wine with faded rims and a deep ruby colour. The nose contains a plethora of herbs and spices and could be well identified with liquid ‘Chyawanprash’. Sweet bouquet of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, aniseed, dry ginger, ginseng, watermelon seeds, dark coloured spices, currant, quince paste, violet. A submission will be ‘Indian bouquet garni’. When hot, the nose intensity drops tremendously but the flavours on the palate increase. More sweet to taste than the nosing indicated. A great drink, especially with low alcoholic content. Very truly Indian.
We at Wi-Not are waiting to see this product launch and then to see how the people react to it. Generally, mulled wine is considered “too much fun” for wine-folk to allow themselves to enjoy it, lest they be seen as any lesser vinos.
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About the Author

Gagan is much like a young wine in many senses; you have to spend time with him before he opens up. A certified wine expert and mixologist, Gagan pursued his love for beverages Down under, doing his Masters in Hospitality Management (specialising in wines) from Victoria University, Melbourne. He reserves a soft corner for Australian reds, German Rieslings and Gewürztraminer. As much as he loves to experiment with new cuisines, he also has a taste for adventure – paragliding, bungee jumping, rafting, skydiving and playing squash. His interests include blogging, back to back movie spree, cooking for self and travelling. He is a music-fanatic and loves being left alone with his PSP. Beef steak and wine rate high on his agenda as also does a Bourbon and cola.

Comments (3)

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  1. SHANKY BHOLA says:

    Great concept for Indian food …
    but i m worried about the alcohol during the heating process ?

  2. Gagan Sharma says:

    Hey Shanky,
    The alcohol content in mulled wines remains low. However, if you wish to increase the alcohol content, white rum can be added to the heated wine.

  3. SHANKY BHOLA says:

    i agree on that note , it will b a better option .

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