Indian Wine Arrives at Connolly's
Soul Tree wines were founded in 2007 by Melvin D’Souza and Alok Mathur. The pair met while completing MBAs at Oxford and bonded over a love of wine. While in India, their new found enthusiasm was engaged when they experienced the quality of some of the wines being produced and couldn’t help wondering why more of this good quality wine wasn’t reaching the UK shore. And so came the birth of Soul Tree.
The Soul Tree wines originate from the city of Nasik. A small city (by Indian standards) four hours drive from Mumbai, it is often referred to as the wine capital of India. 80% of the Indian wine produced hails from Nasik. It enjoys a tropical climate and a mild, dry winter, with warm days and cool nights. This, with soil amply suited to vine-growing, results in distinctive wines which are full of character. Leave the city limits in any direction and you will run into vineyards, but the best soils for vine growing lie to the north and east and these areas are where the Soul Tree grapes are grown. The Soul Tree wines are produced from international varieties, but with a distinctly individual style and definite sense of place.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is an intense wine that manages to retain its elegance. It has a nose dominated by plums and raspberries wrapped up with a generous spicyness. The palate has a fruity style with berry fruit, liquorice and gamey hints. The tannins are soft and the finish delightfully spicy.
This is a great pairing for tandoori style dishes and milder curries although we would avoid pairing it with cream or yogurt based curries as they may flatten the flavours of this intense red.
The Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and herbaceous with excellently balanced acidity. The herbaceous character and the acidity go well with spicy Vindaloos and Goan curries, while also cutting through the richness of coconut based dishes. Tamarind flavours are also a good match with this wine, making it a good choice for many Thai dishes.
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12 months ago, shortly after the destructive reality of Covid became evident, I wrote a piece for a trade magazine (recently uploaded to our blog here…)
in which I opened with the very real sense of helplessness and fear which I am sure I shared with the vast majority of the planet. At the time, it seemed almost like staring into a black hole, knowing that you had to take the next step but blind to whatever lay below. I remember thinking (and saying to anyone prepared to listen) that this was “our generation’s war,” we’d never experienced anything approaching global conflict and in 2020 we’d reached payback time, only to be faced with an adversary that responded neither to bombs nor white flags (nor bleach). Frightened for ourselves, for our friends and families and frightened for businesses and careers that we’d spent lifetimes developing, all we could do, it seemed, was to keep washing our hands and hope for the best.
Back in spring 2020, Chris was asked to write a piece for the Wine Merchant Mag, a specialist trade publication, about his thoughts during, what was then, an unprecedented national lockdown. Published in May, we present the text to you here-
In northern Spain, some 95km south of Bilbao and bisected almost laterally by the River Ebro lies Spain’s most popular and famous wine region, a region of some 66,000 hectares of vineyards worked by 14,800 growers and dominated by some of the most celebrated names in the wine world.
It started early on a Saturday in June. I’m minded to say that it disturbed my lie-in but it was way earlier than that that my phone first pinged to announce the arrival of a new website order. (I wonder if Jeff Bezos has the same app on his phone?). Ignored it, rolled over and 5 minutes later it went again. And again. And etc, etc. Finally, before switching the thing off, curiosity got the better of me and I opened up the online shop to find a stream of orders for a wine that I fell in love with 2 years ago but that we had failed to make much headway with – Coteaux du Giennois, Terre de Silex from Clement & Florian Berthier,