Hardy Wines needs no introduction in the wine world. A trusted brand from Australia, it was established in 1853 by Thomas Hardy. In 2011, it was rechristened as Accolade Wines, after being acquired by CHAMP Private Equity, an Australian Company. The reins of this wine empire are now in the able hands of Bill Hardy, a fifth generation of the Hardy family. Apart from its wide array of wines, its signature 1937 Australian postage stamp makes it easily distinguishable among fine wines, the world over.
Catherine Gwynne, Regional Manager – Accolade Wines (Americas, Middle East, Central Asia & Africa) spoke about the brand’s success in India. “We have listings in ITC, Shangrila, and The Taj hotels, among others. Our wines have been accepted because of their great heritage, high consistent quality, and ease of drinking. This is what people in India are looking for in a wine.” On being asked as to what truly differentiates Hardy’s from other Australian wines entering the Indian market, she confidently said, “ The brand symbolizes the effervescent Australian spirit!”
The event showcased wines from Hardy’s Stamp Collection unique blends – Riesling Gewurztraminer, Semillon Chardonnay, Shiraz Cabernet, and Cabernet Merlot.
The Riesling Gewurztraminer was unique in its flavours varying from lime and citrus to rose and a hint of peach. Sweet on the palate, this wine served well as both a quaffing wine as well as a possible accompaniment to spicy and masala food. Alcohol – 11%.
The Semillon Chardonnay blend was unique in its citrus flavour and medium body. There was a slight hint of oak that gave a lingering taste to the palate. This wine should pair well with Indian dishes, and would go well with pasta as well. Alcohol – 12.5%.
The Shiraz Cabernet came across as an elegant wine with a plethora of aromas ranging from blackberry and coffee to spice and cinnamon. The lingering finish of this wine and full body structure pairs it well with red meat dishes. Surprisingly, it also paired well with the Mushroom and Blue Cheese dish served. Alcohol – 13.5%.
The Cabernet Merlot was my pick of the lot. Elegant yet fruity, this medium-bodied wine had a great balance of both sweetness and complexity. There was a slight oak influence and plum flavour. This would pair well with red meat dishes, but I also see it going well with chicken and some varieties of seafood. Alcohol- 13.5%.
Chef Silvia Grimaldo charmed us with her delicious creations, which included a Cheese Platter, Roasted Peppers, Mushroom & Blue Cheese, Patatas Bravas, Lamb Burgers, Chicken Croquettas. On the dessert menu were wine flavoured gelatos. All the dishes were spectacular, but it was the Lamb Burgers (a mini version but seemed just right) that was the highlight of the food menu. The Shiraz Cabernet and Cabernet Merlot paired well with it, and enabled one to experience both these wines in their entirety.
Hardy Wines have been in India for ten years, and are definitely here to stay. Such fruit forward wines would pair well with Indian food, and one wonders why no one has dared into pairing the same at wine events. If you ever get your hands on any of these wines from Hardy’s Stamp Collection, try it with Indian starters! I’m sure you will find it to be a unique experience!
Rishi Vohra CSW