I am a long-time Swedish wine enthusiast, and I have been writing about wine online since 2008. For the past four years I have lived and worked in South Africa, which of course is close to paradise if you like wine. However, now work has brought me to a completely different part of the world, Mumbai, India, and this is not exactly wine paradise.
As a fairly serious wine drinker, how do you tackle a move like this? In South Africa I could order almost any wine I liked online, and have it delivered to my doorstep within a couple of days, or simply drive down the road to some fabulous wine stores. My wine fridge was therefore always filled to the last shelf with good stuff. I was simply spoiled rotten.
I did bring my wine fridge to India, but it is now sadly almost empty. India has 100% import duty on wine, so I did not dare to put any bottles in the container from South Africa. Besides that, the heat, the humidity and the monsoon would probably not have treated such bottles very nicely anyway. My only supply here comes from what I have been able to bring back from business trips and tax-free airport shopping. It is a nice eclectic mix of South African, Italian, French and Australian bottles, but at the current rate of consumption they will only last me until Christmas. What do I do then?
Of course you can buy wine here in Mumbai, but the selection is rather poor, and because of the heavy import duties, anything from abroad is ridiculously expensive. The solution must therefore be Indian wines. Yes, they do make wine in India. It is a young, budding industry, but there are some very ambitious projects and producers out there to discover. I will much rather find the very best Indian wines, than drink poor European or South African products at twice the price. Please come with me on this journey of discovery. It is going to be fun.