Red, white, pink and sparkling are the established options in wines. Now red, white or purple, wine lovers will soon be asked at fine dining restaurants in Telangana. astonished? Well, Telangana-based ASAV Wines founder Kishan Pedpalli announced the launch of Jamun Wine – Wine from Java Plum (Indian Blackberry, popularly called Kala Jamun) during the NRAI Conclave in Hyderabad last week. The wine has a distinct purple color that comes from the rind of the fruit.
Feedback from wine lovers at the wine appraisal session at the Conclave included a smooth mouth feel, an attractive nose of berries and spices, and a lingering taste of tannins, berries and dark berry flavors. The wine pairs well with Italian and Indian food; Flavor profile enhanced with spicy food.
Apart from being a novelty in the Indian market, Kishan claims that the jamun gives many health benefits to the wine drinkers. After all, berries are considered beneficial for diabetics. “I wanted to experiment with berries for wine because it’s a very healthy fruit.” However, Kishan advocates that everyone should drink alcohol responsibly.
It took two years for the winemaker and his team to extract the perfect wine from fresh berries. Kishan explains, “It took a lot of R&D work, which involved locating the right jamuns from different locations and farms. Finally, I ate jamuns from a farm in Nashik, Maharashtra. Our Jamun wine is made from single estate Jamun. Asav’s Jamun wine, priced at ₹2,000 per bottle, has been placed in the premium category.
Not surprising given the laborious process involved in making wine. First, the pulp of the berries is separated from the seeds mechanically. The extracted pulp is then made into a juice which then undergoes fermentation and other processes. “The skin of berries is a key ingredient that helps convert the juice into alcohol, a step that takes about six months.”
In the past two years, Kishan has produced two batches of liquor; One of the first batches had to be abandoned because the mature wine did not match what he expected. “The idea is to bring the best wine. As a wine connoisseur and a winemaker, one of the first batches didn’t feel right, so we left it unattended.”
Being a seasonal fruit (flowering begins in March and lasts until April. Fruits ripen during June-July or with the onset of rains) the availability of berries is limited, so the infusion can only make a limited number of bottles. Asaw will first sell its Jamun wines in Telangana before entering other states.