Raise a toast: A glass of red wine at Vallonne Vineyards

Raise a toast: A glass of red wine at Vallonne Vineyards  

CinCin is the first Indian restaurant to launch its own private label house wine reports Prachi Joshi

Go to any restaurant in Italy, even a really tiny osteria, and you will be offered the choice of a house wine. That is, a non-branded wine that’s likely to go with almost everything on the menu, and can often be the best bang for your buck. In India, the concept of a house wine has not made an appearance. Until now.

CinCin at the city’s Bandra Kurla Complex opened a year ago and has since established itself as one of the go-to restaurants for Italian cuisine in the city. “When we opened CinCin our primary objective was to establish it as a wine bar and make wine really approachable to guests,” says Karyna Bajaj, Founder, CinCin. Unlike other restaurants, CinCin serves all wine by the glass, no matter where it’s from or how expensive it is. Guests can try any wine without having to buy the whole bottle.

Another initiative is Wine Wednesdays when the team opens a few bottles of really great wine that they sample internally and offer to the guests who are dining in that day. Creating a house wine was just another step towards making wine drinking more fun.

The genesis

“We wanted to make our own blend to talk about the ethos of CinCin – this fun, easy-going Italian culture of a big family that comes together over food and wine”, explains Bajaj. The CinCin team unanimously agreed that their first house wine should be a red since most of their guests seemed to prefer it to a white. “We decided to go with Vallonne Vineyards because they are a family-run winery and we are a family-run restaurant business as well, so we worked really well together. Our brief was that we wanted the wine to be really easy drinking, something that was fruit-forward yet had balance and body, a wine that anyone would be comfortable drinking and would want to go back for,” says Bajaj.

A perfect blend

Shailendra and Aditi Pai, the father-daughter duo that owns Vallonne Vineyards took this up as a challenge. “It was very exciting for us to do it because we don’t usually make such wines. Our wines are fruity but they are also more complex since most of our reds are barrel-aged,” says Aditi. The Pais along with Vallonne’s chief winemaker Sanket Gawand started working on the blend five months ago. “We decided to use the latest vintage (2018) of our Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon as they tend to exhibit the most fruit. The Syrah is fruity and easy to drink while the Cab Sauv adds the body and is the backbone of the overall wine”, explains Gawand. The team created seven blends and did three rounds of tastings internally before taking a shortlist of three wines to CinCin. “They were all Cab Sauv and Syrah blends but in different proportions, and this particular blend was the unanimous winner,” says Aditi. Thus, CinCin Rosso was born, a blend of 85% Syrah & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting notes

CinCin Rosso will be unveiled on December 16, the first anniversary of the restaurant. “Our tag line is ‘our house red for whatever happens’. We have made it very accessible price-wise; the bottle is priced at ₹1612, because that’s the date that CinCin was born and we sell it by the glass at ₹350, making it our most affordable wine,” says Bajaj. Initially, the restaurant will launch 500 bottles. CinCin Rosso is an open-pour-clink-drink sort of wine that doesn’t need to be rested. Also, it’s a versatile wine that pairs with all kinds of food. Winemaker Shailendra has the last word, “It’s the young people who will grow this market in the future, and if we have to get them into wine, it cannot be a daunting one. It has to be approachable and easy-drinking,” he says. We’ll say cin cin to that.

CinCin Rosso will be available from December 16 at CinCin, BKC; 61378070

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 6:29:39 AM |

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