On Clubs…

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Wine clubs, that is. I feel too ancient to even be seen in a club at this rate. 😉

Dictionary.com defines the word “club” as “a group of persons organized for a social, literary, athletic, political, or other purpose”. I’ve seen so many of these… In fact, if you grew up in Manila like I did, certain Catholic schools (like mine) required you to join one.

Clubs, of course, are better enjoyed if you are willingly with a group of like-minded, pleasant company (and not forced by a class adviser). But what are the options for an educated alcoholic like myself?

I lucked out when my husband and I were invited to join the La Mascota fan club dinner in Titania, Yakal.

Backtrack: I met a couple of lovely gentlemen during some of my wine lectures. Consistent attendees, they were passionate about the nitty gritty details of each topic. This always guaranteed an interesting, intelligent, strongly opinionated conversation (my kind of people).

After a glorious night which involved them bailing me out of pronouncing German terms (thus preventing me from twisting my tongue more than necessary), they talked about La Mascota wine (and their club) with such gusto. It intrigued me enough to accept their invitation to one of their regular dinners.

My husband and I enjoyed ourselves in the company, conversation, delicious food (courtesy of their in-house Cordon Bleu chef)… And the wine.

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La Mascota is available in Titania stores and Rustan’s Supermarket

La Mascota is a fabulous, consistent 98 point (Robert Parker) wine from Argentina, using the country’s signature red grape, Malbec. It has rich, rounded flavors of blackberries, prunes, and rich preserves (very wonderfully new world). It is well polished around the edges, with aromas of violet and a whiff of spice.

Added bonus for cheapskates like myself: Can you believe a bottle of this fantastic wine costs under two thousand pesos in Titania?

Admittedly I was momentarily awestruck when the legendary Tita Trillo joined us during the dinner. See, I like wines with a story, and each wine Tita carries are like her babies… And like a doting mother, she knows the story and history of each one. Amazing woman.

Another organization dinner I had a blast attending was the Chaîne de Rôtisseur’s Kaiseki dinner. Chaîne dinners are often thought to be so formal (well, maybe for the induction nights), but the BYOB (bring your own bottle) Kaiseki dinners are awesome. Normally held in a hotel’s Japanese restaurant, the dinner consists of multiple exquisite courses of Japanese food, bottles of wine and sake shared between you and the people you happen to be in a table with (or beyond, if a guy from the other table feels generous). Conversations range from food, wine, business, media, the DLSU basketball game, and hormone tea.

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Clockwise from the top: LOADS of booze, Grace Koshu wine from Japan, Sake with gold flecks

The recent one we attended was held in Umu, Dusit. A fun drink find for the night was a sake with golden flecks in it, not unlike a Goldschläger. Another one was a white wine from Japan, which a seatmate of mine and I agreed could be the love child of a Sake and a Chardonnay. Also, in keeping up with my experiment on Burgundy wines and Japanese food (an advice I picked up from Beaune), I brought a Chablis, which one of my seatmates swore went well with the food.

Wine indeed is best shared with good company. Here’s to you finding your own good bunch of drinking buddies. Cheers!

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