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News & Views Nasha finds wine that complements spicy foods

Nasha, a brand of wine specifically developed to compliment spicy foods, is growing in popularity within the curry restaurant sector. Sourced from a vineyard located in the South West of France, the range includes a fruity Shiraz, an aromatic Gamay Rose, and a Sauvignon Blanc. Nasha’s founder, Balwinder S Thukral, comes from the West Midlands and travelled across Europe to find the

very best wines for the range. A law graduate and chartered marketer, as well as a local entrepreneur, Balwinder owns his own portfolio of bars in Coventry, but has now turned his hand to the wine industry following his passion for good wine with good food. “Some wines can be too acidic or too

full bodied to be able to be drunk easily with spicy foods,” Balwinder explains. “But Nasha actually enhances the

flavours by letting the spices and herbs fuse with the aromatic essence of the wine.” The word ‘Nasha’ means ‘alcoholic drink’ in Indian and the bottle also features a peacock on its foil collar – the national bird of India. The range has an alcoholic volume of 12%, the wholesale price is £4.25 and it’s available to both on-trade and off trade. Balwinder has pledged to donate all profits of Nasha to the water charities for a further three years, and the water support branding is displayed on the collar of the wine. Balwinder has some hints and tips to help diners get the best out of wine when eating a curry. Rose he says is ‘a strong curry’s worst enemy’, but goes well with well with appetisers. Red wine should be avoided with spicy curries as the strength of flavours will collide. However he says, ”A Shiraz is the ideal choice to accompany any starter and its strong, rich tones will really enhance the flavour of samo- sas, bahjis and kebab.” He describes white wine as a spicy Indian dish’s best friend. Balwinder adds,”If in doubt, reach for the sauvignon blanc. Its lively notes are a match made in heaven for any main course.”

India is developing a reputation for wine

Of all the great food and drink pairings, one of the UK’s favourite in recent years has got to be curry and lager. However, despite being billed as the perfect complement to chilli and spice, Indian lager may now have found competition in its fruitier cousin, Indian wine.

India produced more than 13.5 million litres of wine last year (five times more than the UK) and is making a growing impact amongst wine lovers in this country. Waitrose became the first supermarket to stock Indian wines, including a white Ritu viognier 2010 and red Zampa syrah 2008 during a special promotion in August and has since decided to stock them permanently. Indian producers had a strong visible presence at the

Spice Business Magazine

London wine fair for the first time this year and Sula Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010, which is produced in Nashik in Maharashtra, was awarded a silver medal at the prestigious 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.

Most vineyards in India are in Maharastra in the west, where high, hilly terrain provides a fairly stable microclimate, shelter against adverse weather conditions and exposure to cool air. This is where Sula, one of India’s most established wine producers, is based. The other, Grover, is based in the Nandi Hills of the southern state of Karnataka.

Wine production in India has more than trebled since 2003 and quality has also


improved in leaps and bounds. Other supermarkets may well start to follow the Waitrose lead and if so Indian wines could be poised for a big breakthrough into the UK market.

January 2012

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