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Sipping On Ancient Flavours Of Home Made Wines from the Bow Barracks

Written by Amrita Ganguly

They say wine is the only artwork you can drink and it is during the month of December when Anglo Indian residents at Bow Barracks start brewing their palatable and acclaimed home-made wines. One needs to take a closer look at this exquisite place amidst the much talked about seven-day celebration during Christmas, to feel the authenticity and sublime beauty of people as well as their wines.

The ancient Bow Barracks that still stands high with all its rich history and traditions

Vallery (name changed), a middle-aged Anglo-Indian is a prominent wine-maker of this locale. When asked about the arduous process of making her vin de table, she avows “I have been making wine for the past fifteen years and the key to brewing crystal clear wine is to preserve it better. I start preparing wine in the month of January and by December my wine is ready.”.

Her secret to fine vinification is the recipe which has been passed on to her by her grandmother. “We all follow similar recipes but our wine tastes diverse and that is because our process of fermentation and preservation is different. Personally I keep the foggy part of my wine separate and use it to brew the next year’s wine” , Vallery attests in a tranquil voice.

Every year people from all over the world come to this macrocosm to take home the best wine obtainable. Auntie Klara(name changed), another prodigious winemaker says, “You will have to keep stirring the wine to derive the most flavour out of it and we make it for home consumption during holidays.”  These astounding ladies are apt at making ginger wine and grape wine. Want to have warm wine in winters? Try the ginger wine which is hot in contrast to the grape wine.

The Ginger wines and Dragonfruit wines are an absolute delicacy during the winters!

Vallery who loves to make wines and cakes also is an expert at experimenting with different types and varieties to come up with exquisite flavours. She shares her experience about her new discovery of making wine out of dragon fruit and voices that how a man who grows dragon fruit came to her in 2019 expressing his desire to make wine from it. That is when her love for experimenting with flavours made her try the fruit and thus began the journey of a new kind of wine called the dragonfruit wine. “I have heard that this fruit is good for our health too” Says Vallery, beaming with pride at her new discovery.

The authenticity of these wines come from the talent of brewing and preserving it for a long period of time which creates a richness in the taste of wine. Most recipes of winemaking have a long history, which has been passed on to these women through generations and that is what makes Bow Barracks even more entrancing. Thus to bask in the flamboyance of Christmas celebrations, one has to be present in this place every year on 23rd of December to witness the quaint locality decorated with aesthetic lights, a glistening  Christmas tree in the centre. Let’s not forget the people in the Barracks sipping unique home wines as they bask in the revelry of Santa’s cheer.

Homemade Cakes and Wines are a speciality of the Anglo Indian families staying at the Bow Barracks.

About the author

Amrita Ganguly

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