Cheese and Wine Whine (Review)


I was reading a thread about favorite home traditions of people who have married into Indian culture. Very fast the posts turned into nostalgia about various types of food. I wanted to expand on my thoughts about this, plus I have never ventured into the world of food and drink blogging so here goes….

I’m English and I love cheese. Indians have no idea how to do cheese. Sorry, but it is true. And selling imported cheddar and parmesan in Hypercity or Nature’s Basket for some ridiculous extortionate price is not the solution and paneer doesn’t bloody count! Cheese is important as is red wine. I am currently drinking indian red wine which is genuinely nice – if the Indians can learn red wine surely cheese will follow? We can only live in hope….

Now please forgive me and correct me if I am wrong here, but Indian wine used to taste like a mix of vinegar and piss. Now however, they have totally hit the nail on the head and are producing some damn fine wines! Below are a few of my favorites, all for under 1000 rupees (because let’s face it I am not as rich or as classy as I would like to be!) Any Indian wine makers out there please feel free to send me some expensive wine (for free) to review….

Sula Madera

This is my trusted favorite wine. At a reasonably priced (read cheap) 290 rs a bottle you can’t go wrong (unless you are thinking Blue Nun) with something that is this drinkable. I can’t say I agree with their advised serving temperature of ‘slightly chilled 14-16 degrees.’ Come on! Red wine should NOT be served cold! Yes we live in a hot country but seriously! It’s fruity but not sweet. Best drank after children’s tantrums and arguments with rickshaw drivers. Goes nicely with heavy oily high calorie tikka masala (mutton or paneer) and pizza.

Choco Vino

According to the label this wine is ‘to be enjoyed anytime during the day’ which basically legitimizes my daytime drinking if I so wish. The marketing is clearly praying on 30 something women like myself who love chocolate and wine and the idea of a combination of the two is too hard to resist. It doesn’t really fast anything like chocolate but it is rather nice and has a good body (unlike mine if I drink too much or indeed eat too much chocolate! Note to self!) I found another review which begs to differ on the chocolate taste front and is also rather funny, which you can read here. (I stole the photo from here – sorry!)

Sula Dia

Red wine that is COLD and FIZZY! AND CHEAP!!! Sounds minging? Actually it’s not – it’s delicious! The dryness counters the sweetness and it’s more like a sparkling rose more than a red. It has a rather classy Art Deco label design so you can feel classy drinking it, even out of a coffee mug. I think I have found India’s answer to Prosecco and I am a happy lady!

Fratelli Classic Shiraz

Sounds Italian, actually Indian, actually easily as good as the Italian it wants to be. Rich and ruby red and smooth on the palate. Had this in a restaurant in Lonavala so bit more pricey than the rest of the wines reviewed. Looking at their own description which describes it as having ‘hints of leather’ and suggesting it goes well with ‘Thai beef stir fry,’ I’m not sure they have thought their marketing strategy through well for an Indian audience.

Sula Samara

Bought this because they had run out of Madera in the weird local wine shop that only men seem to go to. It’s cheaper and actually maybe nicer! Maybe I just really craved wine this evening but this is totally hitting the spot. It’s a bit weak at 11% but as it is cheaper you can buy two bottles guilt free and therefore drink more. Best drunk while watching sci-fi serials on netflix while your man is away and you miss him a bit. I’m sure it would go well with chocolate but sadly there is none and no one to send to the shops (small violin playing in the background while I eat Indian ‘cream cheese’ on toast)….

I would give you some reviews of Indian cheeses, but let’s face it (and again please correct me if I am wrong) but there is no bloody point!

Please do share with me you suggestions and recommendations for Indian domestic wine and cheese…..



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A Brit writer, creative technologist and mother, living, working and loving life in Mumbai and beyond.

12 thoughts on “Cheese and Wine Whine (Review)”

    1. Big Banyan do an excuse for white wine which, if drank cold enough is just about passable. Madera has versions in white and rose which again are drinkable enough but I find Indian white wines are too sweet. In my opinion wine should be like a good sense of humor- dry (if white) and dark (if red)! Thankfully overpriced import wines are available for those special occasions….


  1. I can’t help with wine, because I don’t drink (after after reading this, glad I don’t now I live in India) but I have made a recent discovery which rocked my world!!

    DAIRY CRAFT ENGLISH CHEDDAR (I need to dedicate a post to this cheese thinking about it, need to spread the word lol) it’s made in India and even available in little Nagpur (I get it from Big Basket .com)!

    It has really made such a different to my life, only discovered it in July and wow! One of the best parts….it’s only 220Rs!!!

    Oh my, I love it! Please let me know if you discover it! xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok wow so I am now also going to try this mail order cheese as I have been looking everywhere in Punjab for authentic cheddar cheese. A coincidence that I actually discovered this post. Paneer does not count as cheddar cheese, totally in concurrence. Maybe this mail order cheese is the solution. Did you end up trying it? I don’t drink alcohol, even if I wanted to it is strictly forbidden in Punjabi Culture for a woman to drink. As I learned at a wedding not so long ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep! The cheese is good! Actually it’s a great solution to spend less money by not going to the supermarket and getting sucked into buying a whole load of stuff I don’t need and queuing up etc etc.


  2. In USA is a hip grocery chain Trader Joes. TJoes has it’s “2 Buck Charlie”, $2.99 Charles Shaw line. Decent table wines for … 2 bucks!

    I’ve found the Maharashtra Nashik equivalent, SANTE Shiraz by Grover. When I discovered it in 2015, it was Rs.330/. Price has been bumping up to Rs.425/- ($6 Buck Charlie) … but still half the price of Sula et al. when dinner only needs a decent red or white.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to trying your suggestions! And now to my favourite and it has been a life saver!

    I have tried several white wines since my arrival in July of this year. My favorite by far and one which is absolutely no compromise and tastes like heaven is: Sauvignon Blanc by Sula. The vintage 2015 better than 2016 and costs Rs 675 a bottle 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For red, Big Banyan’s Spring Shiraz 2013 (if memory serves me correctly!) was so good it fooled friends from Argentina and Spain when we cracked open a coupe of bottles on a beach shack in Goa. Then a case made its way to Bombay to be enjoyed by several wine snobs who pronounced it ‘rather good’ and able to hold its own against some imports.

    In the more easily accessible vein, Charosa has a slight edge on Fratelli in my books! 🙂

    Gotta check out that mail order cheese though… wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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