Sufi Wines: A Romance Between Indian Food & Wine

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Guests gathered at Devi Restaurant for the launch of Sufi Wines

The Sufi Wines launch at Devi in Manhattan

Sufi Wines – A Love Poem to Indian Food


It’s true – there’s hardly an Urdu couplet without the mention of wine, yet wine has rarely been part of an Indian meal. So it was only a matter of time before you had an entrepreneur looking to fill this gap. Sam Bhatia has just introduced a trio of offerings under the name of the poet Mirza Ghalib to the American market. He says: ” Mirza Ghalib is well known for his poetry. He poems invoke the senses. He wrote poetry about wine, so we decided to the name the wine Mirza Ghalib as a homage to him.”

The name of the company is even more ambitious – Sufi Wines. Says Bhatia, “The Sufis were people who celebrated life, art and poetry, We wanted our wines to invoke that kind of creative spirit in the people who drink it, and so we named our company Sufi Wines.”

Well, if Sufi wines makes us more creative, we are willing to drink it by the caseload! And even if it doesn’t make us more creative it will certainly make us enjoy our Indian food more since you do need a special wine to match the complex and rich flavors of desi dishes. The three wines being introduced are the Cabarnet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah blend, as well as the Viognier, all of which are from the Pays D’Oc region of France and are especially blended to complement the richness, complexity, and spicy nature of Indian foods.

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Mirza Ghalib Wines = French wines + Indian Food

“Every cuisine requires a special wine, if you wish to truly experience the true flavors of that cuisine,” says Bhatia.  “We have created a wine that complements Indian food and it comes from a country well known for wine – France.  These wines are made under the perfect French soil, climate and terrain of the Pay D’ Oc region. The special qualities are that it complements Indian cuisine instead of  burying the flavors. In the past, we would have a beer to cut the spice content of the food, but this would also inhibit the flavor of the cuisine.”

Sufi Wines introduced the Mirza Ghalib wines at a packed launch at Devi Restaurant where the movers and shakers of New York’s desi society turned up to sip and toast the new nectar. The wines which were first introduced at Devi are now served at  over 20 Indian restaurants and can also be ordered online at www.sufiwines.com

So any thoughts on taking it to the rest of the country  – or back to France, for people to enjoy with Indian food? Bhatia says Mirza Ghalib, which  is available in NY, NJ and Connecticut currently,  will be available nationwide mid-year. As for France – it’s been available there since 2012 and is already in the majority of Indian restaurants in Paris.

À votre santé!

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Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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