Monthly Archives: September 2016

About Last Night’s Gastronomique Adventures…


The wonderful people behind the famous Grey Goose vodka label held a series of events that celebrated the exciting partnership between a skilled mixologist and a master chef.


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#lit (clockwise from top left): Grey Goose bottle illuminated from below, Mayura Onglet, Tomato Meringue with Ginataang Langka, Burnt Kalabaza with Sea Urchin and Orange Kamote, Bahay Kubo (Garden Vegetable Salad), Kilaw of Wild Talakitok, Toyo Eatery Silog



It was a first of its kind, given that it is rare to find an event that focuses on a multiple course dinner of Pinoy food paired with different vodka cocktails made from, of course, Grey Goose.

Grey Goose is one of the leading vodka brands in the world, renowned for its impeccably smooth texture and quality production methods. Made in Cognac, France, the vodka is made from selected French wheat and goes through a five-step distillation process to ensure its exceptional flavour. It is then blended with pure spring water naturally filtered through Champagne limestone. A maître de chai (cellar master), François Thibault, is hands on during the production (from selecting the ingredients to tasting the spirit to see to it that the vodka has reached its optimal taste).

As a treat, we were given a choice of several delicious cocktails that were paired with exceptional interpretations of Filipino food, as prepared and curated by Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery.



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Gorgeous Grey Goose Cocktails




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The evening’s culinary genius, Chef Jordy Navarra

My personal favourite ended up pairing the smooth, creamy Cucumber Fizz cocktail with Chef Jordy’s Bahay Kubo, which was inspired by our local folk song, featuring all 18 vegetables of the song in one dish.

It was made even better by one of the waiters entertaining us with his rendition of Bahay Kubo as we ate.



Speaking of entertainment, on top of the fabulous gastronomique experience, we were delighted by an audio-visual entertainment provided by DJ Paul’s video music (which featured songs from the 70s to the 90s), and live violin music.

Makes me want to drink more Grey Goose at home.



Feeling the Grey Goose blues!

How do you like your Grey Goose? Cheers!


*Special thanks to Masterminds Asia, Chef Jordy, and Mr. Jun for a wonderful evening

Wine-ing on TV Part 1



Granted, my video editing skills are terrible, but I FINALLY managed to fix the video and upload it to YouTube.

At the risk of sounding too full of myself, here’s my first TV interview talking about my passion, wine.

Part 2 coming soon. Cheers!


*Extra special thanks to the fabulous Consul Annette Ablan for the interview, and the wonderful crew of GNN for making me feel right at home. 

Home, Jetlagged, and Procrastinating


Finally home in Manila. I’m a little exhausted from the flight and forcing myself to adapt to the time difference.

I promise to be coherent enough and come out with something by next week.

Admittedly, some days, I just want to delegate blogging to our Yorkie, Schrumpf.

Oh well. 😉 Cheers!

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Schrumpf tries to blog about wine and fails

Lupang Hinirang, Bordeaux Style


I’m fully aware (based on stats from the blog) that we get readers from different parts of the world.

That being said, I’m positive that most readers know I’m a Filipina wino who loves good wine… And I would never shy away from going to the ends of the earth (as long as it’s feasible) to get my fill.

For those who want to have a little insight of Filipino culture, I have a treat.

I would like to present something that is truly close to our hearts, our national anthem.

I’ll do one better: Courtesy of our wonderful friends from the legendary Château Angelus, here is our national anthem, as played by their bells all the way from Bordeaux, France.



That patriotic introduction aside, let it be known that this was one of the most outstanding experiences in my life as a wine specialist. I will never forget this memorable welcome especially for me by Château Angelus for as long as I live… I’m deeply humbled and moved (yes, that was my voice in the background gushing like a fangirl).

I’m still in France, and I’ve finally begun the vacation leg of my trip. This very short article is my own way of giving people a sneak peek into the upcoming French-related articles.

That, and I still owe readers the edited version of my interview with GNN.

How’s that for a teaser. 😉 Cheers!

*Château Angelus is available in Wine Story branches. Price available upon request. Special thanks to the people of Wine Story for making this possible, especially to Ms. Carla Santos and Ms. Jo-Ann Ramos.

Bonjour Bordeaux!



Bonjour from Bordeaux!

I’m currently having a blast (and getting infinitely starstruck) with the places, people, and wine I’ve seen/met/had here in Bordeaux. My mind has been blown away by my experiences and I’m eager to scribble them down at the soonest… It’s just not currently possible as of the moment. I am, however, keeping the Instagram account updated (as much as I could), so my adventures can be seen there in real time.

Will post something more concise as soon as I could.

Meanwhile, I’d like to thank once again the lovely people of Wine Story for helping put this together… To experience Bordeaux in Manila, people can purchase bottles from their stores in Rockwell, Serendra, and Shangri-La Mall.

Better yet, they have awesome classes available for all levels of wine enthusiasts.



Sundays in Paris


Hi everyone!

I’m in beautiful Paris right now eating and drinking my way through the city doing research, so I won’t be writing as much.

That being said, I’m constantly updating the blog’s Instagram account, so follow my adventures there!


Follow us on Instagram: @2shotsandapintofficial

I’ll be visiting legendary Bordeaux Châteaux next week, and I’m way too excited for that. Look forward to an article when I get back.

Off to redefine “Market Research” in a bit. Cheers and Santé!

*Special thanks to: Carla Perez Santos and Jo Ramos of Wine Story for making one of this lowly wine writer’s dreams come true

My Idea Of The Best Threeway


I’m a firm believer in consistently indulging in a sensory, adventurous, no-holds-barred, highly experimental threeway.

Before anyone thinks I’ve turned my blog into some form of literary smut, let me clarify… I am referring to a three-pronged oenological exploration involving three crucial elements: Food, Wine, and Person.

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The three elements of a perfect threeway: Delectable food, pleasurable company, and delicious wines.

I went to one of the best threeways of my life during a fabulous dinner hosted by the lovely Edna Diaz of BBB, which featured gorgeous wines by the ultra risqué Ménage à Trois from California, and Joel Gott from Washington.

With emphasis on finding the best food to pair with their gastronomically friendly wines, Ménage à Trois is a brand that is determined to push the envelope and challenge conventional thinking. Their provocative branding and winemaking philosophy are both head turning and ingenious.

It made sense that they decided something equally unconventional to showcase their wines: a dinner with some of the best Chinese food in town, courtesy of Jasmine in New World Hotel Makati.

The evening started off with a perfectly “flirtatious” (as the winemakers described it) Sauvignon Blanc. Elegant grassy aromas rounded out the citrus notes of lemon and lime of this earthy take on a crisp white. It went perfectly well with the evening’s seafood fare, and even on its own as a cocktail.

I was clued in on what the mysterious White Blend was… It turned out to be a mix of Chardonnay, Muscat of Alexandria, and Chenin Blanc… A cacophony of citrus and tropical fruits, it paired fabulously with the wok-fried seafood in X.O. sauce (featuring scallops flown in from the U.S.).

Then came one of my favourite parts of a Chinese meal, the roast. The evening featured a mouth-watering roast duck (which this constant Hong Kong traveler recommends). The way it paired with the Zinfandel was simply divine, with hints of smoky black pepper coyly hiding behind unabashed notes of blackberries and vanilla… The flavours played off beautifully with the duck.

The wine that followed, simply called the Red Blend, was a mélange of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon… The phrase “gentle explosion of ripe, fruity jam in my mouth” was all I was able to write in my tasting notes… It was probably a last attempt to gather my thoughts in the aftermath of an amazing pairing between the wine and an Asian take on U.S. tenderloin (with cashew and pine nuts).


Featured wines for the evening: Ménage à Trois and Joel Gott

As a dessert wine, we were treated to exquisite rounds of Muscat. The gentle aromas of flowers and fresh hints of eucalyptus, which then finished off with a fragrant bouquet of apricots and peaches was a fitting ending to the dinner, along with the scrumptious Chinese petit fours.


As a highlight, we were also presented with glasses of Joel Gott Washington Red Blend. The thing about warm-climate grapes coming from colder regions is that there is always an element of elegance to it, and such was the case with this surprisingly classy blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is reminiscent of cherry pies and cola, and some of its subtle sweetness harkens thoughts of blackcurrant and ripe berries.

So, to recap my checklist: Sensuously delicious wines? Check.

Delectable Asian cuisine? Check.

Pleasurable company? Check.

That, my friends, is how I like my threeways.


How do you like yours? Keep it classy in the comments section. Cheers!

Ikonic Moments



So… This happened. Having seen myself talk about my passion live on national television was incredibly surreal.

We’re in the middle of editing the show so we can post it on the blog for those who missed it. Catch IKONS IN CIRCLES on GNN, 9pm Thursdays with replays 10am Fridays, Sky Cable channel 213, Destiny Cable channel 8, and live stream

Special thanks again to the fabulous Consul Annette Ablan for letting me guest on her show.


The Icon From Down Under


No other wine captures the true essence of Australian wine making better than Penfolds.

The label could trace its roots from two immigrants in 1844 through the husband and wife team of Dr. Christopher and Mary Penfold. Dr. Christopher was a pharmacist, and their initial purpose of putting up a vineyard was so that he and Mary could concoct wine tonic to cure anaemia (as the old saying goes, “A little wine for thy health’s sake”).

They purchased what was then known as the “Makgill” (now called “Magill”) estate and concentrated on sherry and port production. They planted a combination of vine cuttings they brought from South Africa, and some that they bought from William Macarthur (sourced from France, Switzerland, and Northern Italy before being planted in Camden Park).

Years after establishing their vineyard, Dr. Penfold died in 1870, leaving behind his widow Mary to continue winemaking. During her time, the Penfolds winemaking was dictated largely by Mary’s taste, and they ended up with a diverse selection that concentrated primarily on sweet wines.

It slowly started to change after Joseph Gillard, Penfolds’s cellar master (and the man responsible for urging Mary to continue the family business) started winning awards, particularly one in 1893 for the Penfold’s No. 1 Claret.

Her daughter, Georgina, married Thomas Hyland, and together, they continued the business after Mary’s death in 1896. Their son, Herbert (fondly known as Leslie), managed the company. His brother, Frank, studied winemaking in Europe, and then established Penfolds’s cellars in 1901.

Over the years, and after several acquisitions of vineyards in different parts of Australia, they slowly established Penfolds as the wine of the land down under… Largely, by hiring the most phenomenal winemakers at the time.

Among them were Alfred Scholz, the “father” of the famous Grandfather Port; and Ray Beckwith, whose discoveries in preventative winemaking set precedence for applying science in winemaking. He also established wine production methods that are still being taught in wine schools (and applied by present-day vignerons globally).

Perhaps the most legendary Penfolds winemaker was Max Schubert. He joined Penfolds in 1931 when he was just 16 years old, and showed such an amazing talent that Frank Hyland’s widow, Gladys, sent him to London to study sherry production.

Max Schubert’s name, however, is forever associated with his production of the Grange Hermitage, the top-of-the-line Penfolds icon wine. He was inspired to make the first Grange after studying Bordeaux wines and having the idea of making red wine capable of “staying alive for a minimum of 20 years”. This style of wine (and the methods used to create it) was unheard of during the time in Australia, so he was not without naysayers. Amazingly, he pressed on, and proved everyone wrong.

Today, Grange is considered one of the best wines in the world, and has consistently secured a spot in the top 10 wines of the world.

Schubert has gone on to garner several accolades himself, including “Man of the Year” (1988, UK Decanter), and was considered amongst the 100 most influential winemakers of the 20th century (2001, Sydney Morning Herald). He lives on after his death in 1994 through the creation of a new political electoral district in the South Australian parliament, which was named after him.

As his name is forever linked with his contributions in Australian winemaking through Penfolds, it was only fitting that he would have a range named after him.


A bottle you just can’t miss: A shiny red Max’s Shiraz Cabernet 2014 by Penfolds

The Max’s range of wines from Penfolds is a collection of delicious and accessible wines that gives a fitting homage to Max Schubert’s amazing innovations and pursuit of excellence during his years with the label. The deep, dark crimson wine has complex notes of dark, sour cherries and savoury smells of sage and bayleaf. On the palate, it calls to mind red berries and the signature pepper characteristics from the Shiraz, with a creamy texture and an amazingly long finish.

I will talk about the different tiers of the Penfolds brand, including the Grange and the BIN series, in a future article… For now, I think I’ve whetted my appetite enough and am craving for a bottle.



*some information sourced from the book “The Rewards of Patience” by Andrew Caillard, MW