Chad and I rarely go to Ortigas/Pasig… We have precious few moments to spend with each other during weekends, and somehow, braving the legendary Metro Manila traffic is not the way we want to bond.
What made our trek to Shangri-la Mall last weekend worthwhile (apart from watching the latest installment of Mission Impossible) was Epicurious. It’s a part-restaurant, part-deli concept that sells a surprising selection of items, perfect for the thrifty (read: #kuripot but #hardcore) wino in you.
Here are some of our finds:
- Egot (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot)
This bottle made me realize that when it comes to certain wines, I have no EQ. I impatiently opened the bottle the evening after we bought it, just because I heard of the brand ages ago and was dying to find out what it was like.
The smell and taste had the usual suspects (in relation to what was stated in the bottle): the blackcurrant smells from the Cab, unmistakable hints of raspberry from the Merlot, a touch of masculine scents like cedar and oak (quintessential old world touches)… Stark acids that gave way to a smooth, light bodied texture after a couple of minutes of aerating.
I checked the back of the bottle and I encountered the word Rubicone for the first time.
Rubicone (or Rubicon in English) is a river in Northeastern Italy once famously crossed by Julius Caesar (thanks, Wikipedia). This means that it’s in the Emiglia-Romagna region of Italy, famous for making sparkling reds (sparkling Lambrusco, to be specific), and affordable Sangiovese.
The wine is interesting, multi-faceted, and a good bang for your buck (less than 700PHP for the bottle).
- La Castellina Wine
I am partial to this wine for many reasons:
- Chad and I actually visited the cellar by accident in Castellina di Chianti during our honeymoon. I find that wines smell like the places they come from, and this particular Chianti (apart from the notes of cherries, violets, vanilla, herbs, and spices from the Sangiovese) is no exception. There’s a tiny whiff of masculine, damp wood and earth that slowly creeps up on you… A scent that reminded me of the actual cellar, and the “I don’t care if it’s not breakfast food” homemade Tagliatelle we had in a little alley (which was where the cellar was located) we randomly picked from our GPS (thanks Tomtom).
- Traditional Chianti bottles are made in the Fiasco style, which makes them short, round, and encased in a straw basket. I personally love these bottles because they look so nice to use as home décor. La Castellina’s vintage (year of harvest) is handwritten on the bottles, which adds to the charm.
- This is cheap! Under 700PHP for a half bottle. Not bad.
- Schott Zwiesel Decanters
The main purpose of using a decanter (decanting) is to separate sediments (a grainy material that settles on the bottom of a wine bottle over time) from the “clear” portion of wine. Sediments don’t change the taste of the wine, but the grainy texture can be a disconcerting while drinking wine.
I like traditional decanters. Schott Zwiesel is a good brand for glass decanters and wine glasses. It is an investment, but absolutely worth it.
What’s your favourite recent wine buy? Cheers!