A Toast to Pinot Noir

In celebration of Pinot Noir Day, wine sommelier and brand ambassador Abhinav Dewan takes us to Marlborough, New Zealand where we discover the elegant and slightly spicy aroma of the Brancott Estate Pinot Noir, and how it fares best with chicken tikka and crispy paratha.

  • Lifestyle Insider
  • Brancott Estate Vineyard - View from the visitor centre overlooking the vines

    Pinot Noir, the world’s most popular, bright ruby-coloured wine, loved for its red berry fruits, vanilla, and warm oak aromas, is celebrated every year on August 18th. Celebrating Pinot Noir Day gives us the opportunity to broaden our palate and indulge in our favourite variety of red wine from one of the world’s best terroirs: Marlborough, New Zealand.

    Until the 1970s, the conventional wisdom held that the South Island was too cold to grow grapes, but Brancott Estate’s founder, Frank Yukich went against the grain and the first plantings of the variety in Marlborough took place as far back as 1973. This decision proved to be an inspired one, setting the scene for a global phenomenon unprecedented in the wine world, with the release in 1979 of the first Marlborough Pinot Noir.

    Brancott Estate Pinot Noir is a regional blend capturing the essence of Marlborough and highlighting the personality of the three sub-regions (Awatere valley, Wairau valley, and southern valleys). After harvesting, the Pinot Noir grapes are crushed into temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks; fermented with daily tasting and irrigated with juice pump-overs to extract colour and flavour. After pressing, the wine is matured on a selection of French oak with malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity. The components are then blended to achieve a harmonious and fruit-driven wine that is bursting with flavour.

  • Lifestyle Insider
  • Brancott Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir

    Over the years, I have travelled to various wineries and wine regions in Australia and New Zealand to meet the grape growers and winemakers, and to get a deep understanding of the grapes, the vineyards, the winemaking processes, the wines and the brands. It was in 2018, that I first experienced the Brancott Estate Pinot Noir, at the Brancott Estate winery itself, in Marlborough, New Zealand. It was at a special tasting hosted by Global Winemaker Patrick Materman. Getting to know the Marlborough terroir while sipping on the wine was a surreal experience. I specifically love the balance between the fruit-forwardness and the spicy undertones of this light, elegant wine. This wine presents aromas of warm spicy oak, blackberries and truffles. Lively plum, cherry, and raspberry notes are balanced by a savoury core with hints of nutmeg. This is also perfect with Indian cuisine where moderate alcohol, and silky tannins don’t enhance the heat or spiciness of the dishes. It is ideal to pair Pinot Noir with duck dishes, creamy cheeses like Brie, barbequed meats with a hint of smoke, and mushroom or green herb-based pasta dishes.

    Pinot Noir has always been one of my favourite picks when it comes to red grape varieties; simply because of its elegance. It’s uniquely complex and delicate at the same time, and never really overpowers your palate. Two Indian dishes that I relish with Pinot Noir are Tandoori Garlic Chicken Tikka and ‘Matar’ Mushroom with crispy ‘Parantha’!

    Marlborough is the largest of New Zealand’s 11 wine regions and accounts for over 50 percent of the annual Pinot Noir harvest. Brancott Estate has estate vineyards in all three sub-regions enabling a wide blending options and consistency, vintage to vintage.

  • Lifestyle Insider
  • A panorama of the Brancott Estate Vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand

    (A wine enthusiast, educator, and sommelier, Abhinav Dewan serves as the Brand Ambassador for wines at Pernod Ricard India. Born and brought up in New Delhi, Abhinav spent two years in Adelaide, the wine capital of Australia for his Master’s degree in Wine Business before joining Pernod Ricard Winemakers in Sydney in January 2018. Prior to moving back to Delhi in December 2019, Abhinav hosted wine tastings and dinners in over nine countries and now is working towards building a vibrant wine culture in India. He is a WSET Level 3 in Wines and an Introductory Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. He’s also worked a wine vintage with Jacob’s Creek and St. Hugo Wines, 2018 in Barossa, South Australia)


    Priya Kumari Rana

    Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

    Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

    It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

    A bit about me:
    A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

    Priya Kumari Rana

    Founder and Editor

    Contact Us

    Mail us @ lifestyleinsiderindia@gmail.com