Fairly new to the concept of wine culture, India is a long way from ordering a glass of wine with their dinner. But enthusiasts have embarked on a wine-awareness campaign in conjunction with some fine Indian wineries. One such winery, Four Seasons, organises some remarkable Wine Tasting and Appreciation events across the country to spread awareness. Head over to their Facebook page and hit like to stay in touch.
While I have been to such events and even posted about them, it was a first when I received a bottle of Four Seasons Merlot for a review. Now I’m no expert in food and/or drinks, so this a mere enthusiast’s review and please accept my apologies in advance in case this review does not live up to your expectations.
To begin with, here’s what Four Seasons’ website has to say about this wine.
Type : Still Red Wine
Origin : Baramati, Maharashtra, India
Wine Price: Rs. 570 (in Delhi)
Colour : Ruby red in colour with a hint of garnet
Aroma : Delicious aromas of ripe black fruits, especially plums.
Palate : Medium bodied with soft tannins and a pleasant lasting finish.
Serving suggestion: Enjoyed best at 16 – 18 degree C with medium spiced Indian dishes as well as roast lamb with all the trimmings.
When Four Seasons first contacted me for the review (via GingerClaps), I was sincerely hoping to not receive a Merlot. My reason was quite simple: having tasted Four Seasons’ wines before, Merlot is not one of my favourites. I won’t lie, I am biased; I am more of a fan of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sauvignon Blanc, both of which I’ll rate a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being ‘Do Not Dare Put it in Your Mouth and’ 10 tending more towards ‘Bottled Heaven’). The Merlot then would rate close to a 7 on the same scale.
Priced at a very affordable Rs. 570 in Delhi, this screw-top bottled wine would not be my first pick for a dinner with friends. But when I received the bottle for review, I decided to make a day out of it. The Merlot gathered a similar response from my friends: not too bad, not too great, but given the price, fairly decent quality and definitely a good wine to cook with. In our case, it was the aftertaste that turned the experience sour, quite literally so. While the first impression was quite average, it would be only fair to mention here that once we let the wine breathe a little, it improved remarkably, and with the wine, the evening also improved.
To sum up then, while not Four Seasons’ best wine, the Merlot scores highly for its affordability. My suggestion would be to use it for cooking or to let it breathe before pairing it with the suggested mildly spicy dishes, or if you’re anything like some of my old friends from college, forget the taste and just enjoy a wine cheaper even than some regular vodka bottles. Cheers!
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