A sensory match: The best wine & perfume pairings
KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR exult in the enchanting synergy between fine exotic perfumes and the outstanding fragrances and irresistible flavors of superlative world wines.
It’s an olfactory awareness par excellence! Our lives are commanded by the sensory impressions we accumulate along the way, each one of them igniting an instant recall of visual and perceived imagination of our finer nuances.
Enjoy this exciting and only-one-of-its-kind, truly exclusive synergy between similar and contrasting sensations that stir up nostalgia, cheer and contentment facilitated by some of the finest authentic and pure perfumes and top notch, premium world wines. These are mind, matter and mood transformers which celebrate the continuity of the good life.
An audacious Arabesque fragrance with sharp, piercing, masculine notes of agarwood rising right from the opening. Warm, woody and edgy, Amiri Oud with its magnificent sillage and exquisite sandalwood carpet notes, boasts of a tenacious longevity on the skin and the fabric.
Reminiscent of rugged Bedouin billionaires’ collection, original Indian heritage fragrances by India’s veteran senior traditional perfumer Krishan Mohan’s ardent Middle East-based customers present it as an agarwood (Oud) tour de force gift in their Sheikh circles.
Matching the robust and masculine repertoire of this grand perfume is Solar Viejo – a smart, powerful and full-bodied Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain with its expressive nose, strong aromas of roast mushroom, cinnamon and clove. The unmistakable flavors of burnt wood and barbeque whiff command macho-esque expressions while the matt earthy undertones go onto aiding light tannins with a good balanced acidity and assertive fawn leather undertones.
The super exciting trilogy of Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Viognier blend in to enchant this superlative perfume is the charming blend ‘VA Reserve Collection Red’ from India’s most award winning Grover Zampa Vineyards. A delightful robust red wine with a deep purple body, dark fruit, pepper, moist oak and currant bouquets, smooth tannins, balanced with violet, mild tobacco and truffle back palates.
Another Arabesque classic, Mukhallat, ‘blend’ in Arabic, is understated, yet woody, warm and unapologetically masculine. A play of sandalwood and oud, amber providing the animalic finish, the subtle presence of black and white musk add a refined texture to the blend.
A distinguished perfume can only be exalted by the collaboration with one of India’s most expensive premium reds with impeccable credentials,- ‘Zampa Chene Grande Reserve’, the Indian Beluga among all –in which Tempranillo and Shiraz encapsulate virtues to present an outstanding wine. Deep ruby and maroon tones lend space to blackberry, ripe plum, roast almonds, cedar and oak bouquets while elegant flavors of cinnamon, roast coffee, prunes and light black pepper create prominent yet smooth tannins.
The fine Arabesque perfume waltzes with grandeur as these wines complement their striking notes in synchrony.
Capping it all in fragrant essence is the grand number, -Reserva Casillero Del Diablo Devil’s Collection –this exceptionally outstanding red wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, classic Carmenere and cheery Shiraz lend character to a ripe wine with striking notes of black currants, dark plums with subtle hints of vanilla, cinnamon, distinct raw hide and deep woody musk from oak barrels.
Silky tannins add character to this balanced wine with a suave and svelte palate.
The recall of the quintessential fifty-plus Arab aristocrat of the classic old town of Manama (Bahrain), the gilt-edged strains of legendary songstress Faiza Ahmed’s classics and the warmth of tantalizing Qahwa at rustic wayside cafes, -Oud Shahi spells nostalgia!
Deep, heavy and enriched by notes of aged Indian agarwood and hints of patchouli, the fragrance celebrates the marriage of fragrant woods -cedar, sandal and oud. A subtle smoky undertone pervades as the very mature fragrance unfolds, offering a no-nonsense profile enhanced by its woody make-up.
The imperial perfume and its distinct embodiment lives up in scale and persona with a distinguished south Italian jewel, a Masseria Altemura Apulo, Rosso Salento IGT –Primitivo and Negroamaro from sunny Puglia with its intense fruity bouquet, hints of ripe and luscious plum and dried cherries. Outstanding roundness, very complex flavors with hints of pepper, cardamom and lingering clove, persistent fruitiness on palate well defined.
The marriage of fragrances and wines herald a new high with the unmistakable grand monarch among all Indian reds –the prized Indian ‘Grover La Reserve’ Red in a Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blend with its full-bodied coffee beans, cigar and vanilla flavors, while spicy, fruity aromas lingered on.
Naughty, bold, flirty, unpredictable, oriental, Green Musk is an enigma waiting to be unveiled. A very unusual combination of a deep, dark labdanum offering depth and tone to the blend, oakmoss lending its leitmotif chypre touch, cinnamon and clove spicing up the overall merrymaking of these notes.
Lending an apt complement to this Bohemian fragrance is the medium bodied and assertive ‘Grover Art Collection Shiraz’ with violet tints, interesting black pepper and anise aromas that surprise with a striking cardamom palate, going onto plum cake, light tobacco flavors and a velvety finish. A great wine, among India’s finest.
The highly evocative and enchanting red -Cavalli Tenuta Degli Dei Toscana juxtaposing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouchet displays a thrillingly deep structure of heather and bush nose, hints of fresh Eucalyptus, moist soil and cigar box as a lingering finish. Fine aromas, good tannin structure, suave palate, light acidity and long finish. The wine and the perfume offer a svelte symphony of matches!
A few dabs of Shamama Kashmiri can herald your presence at a sprawling banquet hall with an unabashedly audacious deja-vu of an age-old Indian icon ‘Shamama’ -a warm, spicy winter scent and favorite of the erstwhile royalty.
Shiraz is our favorite varietal, so a classy blend with Cabernet Sauvignon adds fragrant magic, much like this regal perfume. The Indian blend ‘Grover Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz’ makes classic symphony with deep garnet shades, intense black currant nose and hints of thyme, balanced tannins that go well with strong berry fruit, pepper and smoky, burnt wood flavors, -stunning contrasts, there indeed.
Hina Shahi is a journey into a forest of dense trees and intense herbs. Sweet and spicy, it tones down the choppiness and tang of piercing notes with a sandalwood type base. A classic crossover fragrance that bridges Arab and Indian traditions.
Creating a delightful combo with that fragrance is the superlative Austrian Domaene Gobelsburg Kamptal Gruener Veltliner with spicy, tangy aromas with a pleasant tartness on the nose, smoky undertones intertwined with typical mixture of garden herbs, subtle and refined with mid to full-bodied richness of yellow fruits. This astounding white wine celebrates the grandeur of lush green forests and meadows as a floral tribute to natural beauty, on the nose and on the palate.
Romantic and exciting, Aphrodesia is like a date with a woman of many colors and talents on a warm Parisian morning! Unpredictable as she can be, she is eloquent, charming, emotional and enigmatic, like the interplay of clove, black pepper, cinnamon that serenade a deep and dusky rose.
To go that flirty distance with assertion, the Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite Chateau D’Aussieres (Corbieres) from Languedoc packs a fine punch in Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre grape varietals, creating intense spiciness on the nose, well integrated oak flavors and balanced structure, tight and silky tannins and long fruity finish. That we would applaud as tres bon Francais!
Adding candid companionship along the aromas is the Grovers Art Collection 2014 Merlot, one of India’s premium reds displays crisp and overwhelming berry and oak wood nose, sauntering after tastes of light pepper, black currant, light vanilla brilliantly sum up the dusky-musky character.
Deeply calming, Majmua (collection in Arabic) is among India’s finest floral blends. A meditative symphony of rose and Kewda (pandanus), India’s indigenous magical flower, Majmua is an integral part of spiritual rituals as is, a serene sanctuary of solace for connoisseurs and collectors alike.
A subtle oakmoss compliments notes of basil offering a mildly green and sour tone, palmarosa adding to the overall sweetness.
Another svelte white wine, the ‘Grover Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc’ from southern India is blessed with unmistakable peach, lily and lemon fragrances and impressive lemon rind and sweet lime and light Indian basil palate which roll on as perfect synergy with Majmua.
In the glorious sunshine moods crafted in Domaines Barons de Rothschild Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc the complex bouquets of fresh lime, prickly pear, pineapple, white peach, green apple, lychee and mango add up to a heady springtime blast! Smooth persistence, lively wine with exceptionally good volume and silkiness as its attributes.
A deep, evocative floral blend, Alishan captures your senses instantly with a calming harmony between rose, musk and vanilla. While two formidable heavyweights amber and labdanum offer depth without intruding on its feminine gentleness, musk offers wholeness and soft refinement.
A thrilling floral bouquet that dedicates itself to garden mysticism that can be experienced in the fantastic Nederburg Winemasters’ Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa –with distinct herbaceous and gooseberry aromas, gentle vanilla and white rose on the ascent as you quaff, wonderfully balanced palate and lingering finish. Stunning synergy in that!
While floral distillates are commonly known, this is a one-of-its kind in the world natural fragrance which is literally, ‘distilled earth’! Known as ‘Attar Gil’ (perfume of the earth) or ‘Mitti Ka Attar’, Krishan Mohan creates enchantment by distilling broken but fresh earthen pottery over a sandalwood base to reincarnate the effect of moist earth after the first shower of the legendary Indian monsoon!
The fragrance of moist earth envelopes you specially during scorching summers and cools you down by the time the attar has dried down to a rich, woody Indian sandalwood. Attar Gil is truly a rare combination of natural woody and earthy notes.
The blue blood, grandmaster among top red wines is the superlative Wolf Blass Bilyara Shiraz, Barossa Valley, South Australia with heady aromas of faint oud in measured proportions, dark berries, rich spice racing with raw leather and tobacco notes with subtle oak underplaying. Intense flavors with vanillin oakiness and a soft lengthy finish make it the right match for Attar Gil.
Another beluga among Latin reds is Pampas Del Sur Reserve Malbec –Argentina –Brilliant intense bluish violet tinges, plummy aromas that mingle elegantly with vanilla notes from oak barriques. The assertion is spicy, peppery with clove and cinnamon distinct on the palate. Well balanced, it exhibits sweet tannins with a velvety finish.
Reminiscent of Europe of the late 80’s, a very unique blend for an Indian fragrance, Natural Cologne is not typically bright and lemony. An effervescent opening of refreshing bergamot captures you instantly especially on grimy, sultry summer afternoons . But instead of proceeding with a citrus heart, jasmine takes center stage ! A deep and steady patchouli accompanies the jasmine offering it depth and toning-down its otherwise loud and imposing profile.
The discreetly suave ‘Grover La Reserve Blanc’ from India with Viognier combo offered delicate aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, lilies and fresh pineapple all purveyors of summery style!. On the palate, the wine makes merry with citrus, kiwi fruit and passion fruit overtones. Way to go….
Leveling up on a high pitch is the fabulous Framingham Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand with a classy fragrant complex nose of tangelo, honeysuckle, jasmine, green tea and lemon citrus, with wet stone-like minerality. It’s intense, concentrated yet smooth while displaying the right juicy acidity of Clementine orange, lemoncurd and stone fruit, hints of ginger, honey and beeswax complete with a stony, mineral long and lingering finish. The orchards couldn’t have had it better than this! Literally, a cologne goblet, Kia Ora!
As an evenly playing sonata, the much acclaimed, chilled Indian ‘Grover Art Collection Chenin Blanc’ opens up its remarkable guava, green grass, pineapple bouquet, with smooth and dry bamboo, citrus and green apple flavors. That’s another incarnation of a fine cologne-esque sensation.
To cap up the waltz in the garden of fragrances, the classic jewel of a French Chardonnay in Maison Albert Bichot Puilly Fuisse, Bourgogne bows to the sensory experience with its delicate nose and discreet smoky wooding, white fruits and light spices, excellent minerality and translucency in flavors.
A magnificent blend featuring oud and aquatic notes, 1001 Nights is like a mysterious journey into the realms of the unknown.
Subtle, gentle yet towering in its own right, the aqua feel is given depth and soul by the subtle touch of oud that also sprinkles a bit of the Middle East into the overall effect. While aquatic fragrances often spell citrus and oceanic, 1001 Nights unveils a wholly refreshing aqua avatar!
The exceptional Indian VA Reserve Collection White – a superb barrel fermented Viognier with its unmistakable peach, apricot, vanilla and honey fragrances, impressive lemon rind and sweet lime palate uplift as a cooling yet commanding olfactory sensation. The musky light green woodiness lingers most unusually.
Exciting, balmy nights light up with Donnafugata Anthilia IGT Sicilia Ansonica and Cataratto from Italy, the fruity floral sensations with distinct yellow peaches and plums and herbaceous vegetation of the Mediterranean surrounds lend round, elegant, softness that all come together to synergize.
In contrast you have the eclectic Indian Grovers Art Collection Rose displaying light spicy and tangy aromas in lemon and moist grass bouquets, lily and red cherry tinges, smart guava and kiwi hints and long, exciting grassy finish.
The subtle nose of fine Oud plays out the magic in unusually deft floral and fruity matches in a splendid white wine! Banrock Station Chardonnay, from South Australia with its splendid lifted peach and pear aromas, citrus overtones and spicy vanillin oak has woody and fresh green bark overtones! This medium bodied wine with fresh fruit flavors, creamy and persistent mouth, clean lingering back palate adds verve to savoring the best among Chardonnays with the fine characteristics of the aquatic marvel called 1001 Nights.