Misha Dave’s Pro Summer Wine Recommendations
Misha Dave is the founder of The Polished Thief, a luxe brand consultancy focused on wine, gourmet and sensory based experiential design. Passionate about wines and all that marries well with them, she is currently designing an experiential wine retail space, while working as the Brand Ambassador for Riedel.
In the summer, I generally indulge in wines that are naked in a way, clean, crisp, full of fruit and florals, with no heavy makeup of oak and spice flavours.
My go-tos include refreshing Prosecco (a sparkling Italian wine from the Veneto) with its fresh, citrus and floral notes – ideal to make spritzes and Bellinis from peaches and berries, and elegant, dry white wines from Burgundy – like Aligoté and Chablis. I love the clean, unoaked flavours of an iconic Chablis – you can taste the terroir of the region’s chalky soils – and it is one of the purest expressions of chardonnay.
Summer also lends well to a chilled rosé. It brings me back to my travels in Provence, France, where it’s not uncommon to hear clinking wine glasses of rosé on the beach – and the only place I’ve witnessed ice cubes (that’s right) dunked in wine.
There are also some refreshing light bodied reds that are perfect for those balmy evenings, like a classic Burgundy Pinot Noir or a Californian Zinfandel bursting with red summer berries. Or a more medium bodied, young, fresh Malbec, from the benchmark region of Mendoza, Argentina, clean, fruit-forward, with supple flavours that pair nicely with summer BBQs.
Singular wine-tasting experiences...
Cycling through the Wachau wine region in Austria, discovering unique parcels of land flagging the Danube River, and engaging with small, family wineries that have been perfecting their craft over generations. If you are in the region, do visit one of my favourite wine families for a personalised tasting at the Tegernseerhof Vineyard.
Locally, spend a weekend at the Fratelli Winery in Solapur, notable wines include Sette, Sangeovesi Bianco and Chenin Blanc, or attend a tasting in the cellar of Grover Zampa Vineyards in Nandi Hills. Try the Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection of wines or ask the winemaker for a special barrel tasting!
Wine and Indian cuisine...
I find the most versatile wine to pair with spicier Indian cuisine is the understated Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau region. Followed by a Burgundy Pinot Noir or a late harvest Riesling (off-dry) from the Mosel region in Germany which offsets the heat in our dishes.
Developing an interest in wine…
Travel to many wine regions and vineyards around the world, even if you only have a few days. Most European cities have a region that is quickly accessible – truly the best way to learn and more valuable than books or courses. Submerge yourself in the culture and natural beauty of vineyards, and meet the passionate people behind wine making. It helps you understand and appreciate the hard work and love that goes into a complex glass of vino, and the nuances of wines across each region.
But if you are unable to travel, bring the world to your table. Conduct wine tastings at home with friends, facilitated by a wine enthusiast or consultant, to discover new styles, grape varietals and understand your palate’s preferences.
Top summer recommendations from The Polished Thief:
Belstar Cult Prosecco, Extra Dry, NV, Bisol Dominio del Plata Crios, Mendoza, Argentina And a domestic sparkling rosé, Grover Zampa Soirée Rosé Brut
Emerging trends in India...
An appetite for luxury wine travel experiences which combines cultural learning, sensory tastings and modern cuisines.
A growing demand for organic and sustainable viticulture wines and niche wines from small, family owned wineries.
Misha’s love for boutique wines translates to artisanal cheeses and chocolates as well. She has recently launched The Bangalore Artisanal Cheese Club, to enhance wine appreciation by providing hand crafted, local, organic, artisanal cheeses from Pondicherry, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, delivered monthly to your home.
For beautifully styled and engaging wine events, or wine and cheese pairings in your home or your next office retreat, contact The Polished Thief: firstname.lastname@example.org /+91 740 690 9595
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