Tag Archives: provence

Weather, Weather Part 1: Coming Up Rosés

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Is it just me, or did the weather in Manila become more schizophrenic than usual?

We’ve had scorching, sunny mornings that last until the stifling, humid afternoons followed by wet, slightly cooler, rainy evenings.

As a proponent of drinking according to the weather, I was confused as to what to drink (and write) about. I mean, normally I would recommend a nice, rich red wine for a cold, damp night; and a crisp, cold beer during a hot day…

But that’s boring.

So I thought… If I were to reverse it, what wine would I have during a warm weather day, and what beer would I have on a rainy one?

 

Rosé in the Heat

 

One of the most underrated wines in the Philippines is the Rosé. Most iterations pair well with Asian food (we had a successful experiment pairing a light rosé with Vigan Longganisa over the weekend), but are good enough to drink on their own, by the beach or the side of the pool*.

Admittedly, I prefer Provence rosés because every bottle takes me back to our first trip to France.

Cue flashback…

Initially, I had this misconception that the French are all about red wines… But I eventually discovered that it’s not true during the summer. Chad and I marvelled at fashionable Parisian women, cigarette in one hand, gossiping the afternoon away over bottles of pretty pink wine.

Being the cheapskate newlyweds we were, however, we decided to get a couple of these bottles (and some charcuterie) from a nearby Carrefour and down it in our tiny hotel… It was as heavenly as it looked.

Fast forward to the present…

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Whispering Angel by Chateau d’Escalans (with many thanks to Premier Wine)

In Manila, one of my favourites has got to be Whispering Angel from Chateau d’Escalans. I did an event on Provence wines with Le Jardin Manila** featuring this baby a few weeks ago and was thrilled because, even before doing a proper tasting evaluation on it, I was sold with this fact: Some of my wine heroes raved about it.

 

Jancis Robinson: “It’s more palate grabbing by far from the Provencal Pink norm”

James Suckling: “Always delicious”

Steven Spurrier: “Very clear and clean and will gain flavours during the year”

 

Enough said. 🙂

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Domaine des Aspras beauties: Les Trois Frères and À Lisa

Other Provence favourites of mine include a couple of rosés coming from a boutique winery called Domaine des Aspras:

  • Trois Frères (Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle) – Named after the three brothers and third generation of the Latz family currently running the vineyard, Trois Frères Rosé is a beautiful pale pink wine with notes of strawberry, raspberry, mint, peach, and white flowers. It’s fresh, rounded, and fruity on the mouth, with soft textures balancing out a great intensity.
  • À Lisa (Grenache and Cinsault) – The wine was named after the matriarch of the house, Lisa Lutz. I’d say that this is a great benchmark for quality rosés, with its deeper, borderline salmon color, and intense floral notes, with hints of ripe fruit.

 

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Sospechoso, available in Barcino’s

If Provence rosés seem intimidating, the Sospechoso from Barcino’s is a simple, eye-catching rosé with its irreverent bottle design (there are six to choose from!), guaranteed to be a hit in any party. Made from Tempranillo and Bobal, this pale salmon wine has notes of meaty stone fruit on the nose, and is reminiscent of roses on the mouth. Perfect with tapas.

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Cute pink Hoegaarden Rosée (available in Booze Shop, Bel-Air)

Wildcard: A “rosé” beer from one of my favorite Belgian wheat beer makers, Hoegaarden, the Hoegaarden Rosée. This fruity, chic looking pink beer is light and sweet, with prominent flavors of raspberry, and a very low alcohol content at 3%. This has got to be the girliest looking beer I’ve ever had, but no complaints here… Pink is my favourite colour after all. 😉

 

That being said, which refreshing pink drink do you prefer? I’ll see you in the next article, where I’ll be exploring the dark side of the rain (through drinks, of course). Cheers!

 


*Drink Responsibly: Do not drink excessively and swim and/or go sunbathing. It can cause drowning, severe dehydration, and/or sunburn (from falling asleep under the sun).

**By insistent popular demand, Provence Night in Le Jardin Manila will have a Part Two! Please inquire through +639178176584 for the schedule, which should be finalized soon.

 

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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Change in Schedule for our La Vigne de Provence event!

Event is rescheduled on 18 June 2016, 1830, in Le Jardin Manila.

Tickets at PHP 5,000.00+ inclusive of a five course meal prepared by celebrity chef Jonas Ng, paired with gorgeous wines from Provence.

See you there!

*event brought to you by 2shotsandapint.com, Le Jardin Manila, and 2 Big Guys Productions

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Photo courtesy of authenticflavours.tours

EuroAsia in Two Weeks

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One of the things I love about wine is that I can virtually travel around the world in one sitting. Each bottle is a reflection of the culture, history, geography, people, and gastronomy of its origins.

For example, every glass of Chilean wine I’ve had always reminded me of the way Chile smells. Most Australian wine blends I’ve tasted made me appreciate the innovations that they have embraced in terms of winemaking. Wine from ancient civilizations (like Georgia, which still sells incredibly robust wine in terracotta jars) highlights their adherence (and respect) to traditions dating back to biblical times.

That ends my superhuman attempt to be (almost) profound for this entry… I would like to chalk that ramble up to my severe wanderlust, thank you very much.

Honestly, I needed a way to be able to introduce the reason I’ve been “wanderlusting” (nope, the word does not exist, humor me here): A severely hectic schedule involving upcoming projects that involve people and wines from around the world.

Here’s a little sneak peek into things that are coming our way soon:

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Featured Wines for Le Vigne de Provence

  • Le Vigne de Provence with Le Jardin Manila
    People rarely feature Provence in wine dinners around Manila. The climate is Mediterranean, and with a theory that they make wines to compliment their cuisine and surroundings (seafood, green vegetables, stews, garlic, and olive oil, all sourced from a sunnier, maritime environment), it should be pretty interesting to explore food and wine pairing possibilities, especially given some shared characteristics with their food and ours.
    People who wish to go into this gastronomic, oenological exploration with us can join us on 18 May 2016 in Le Jardin Manila, starting 630pm onwards. Five wines paired with five dishes, priced at PHP5,000.00 per ticket. Tickets are going really fast, so reserve soon through +63 917 817 6584.

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  • Top Italian Wines Roadshow at the Peninsula Manila
    I have a confession: One of the most difficult wine regions I’ve ever studied is Italy. My difficulty stemmed from the fact that every corner of Italy has its own unique winemaking procedures and rules that wrapping my mind around it (and the magnitude of over 3,000 indigenous grapes) has always been daunting. Their Master Classes should be educational and exciting… I’ve always discovered something new in every Italian wine event I’ve gone to.
    This event is on 20 May 2016 in Manila Peninsula. Register here. Interested participants may communicate directly with Ms. Airene Sarmiento through airene@felicitasglobal.com
  • VinExpo Hong Kong
    One of the biggest wine expos on earth, and I’m finally catching it in my other hometown. Vinexpo Hong Kong is arguably the best wine and spirits trade fair in Asia, and an awesome venue for people who want to go into trade or learn about different wines of the world.
    Excuse me while I break out my passport. #eggcoited
    Click here for more details.

With that in mind (and while I have a little time before I do a hardcore research on territorial changes affecting appellations and wines in Sud de France), let me savor the next few days by the poolside, sipping on either a rosé or a Pinot Grigio, and just chill before I fully immerse myself in these events.

Cheers!

 

Confessions (A Third Year Anniversary Special)

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I cannot write well enough to convey how floored I am after realising that, man… It has been three years since we had the insane idea to start a blog.

I say that initial statement with conviction (albeit with a touch of self-deprecation) because that is the honest to goodness truth, which I feel I can expound on by talking about how the blog started.

See, I never planned to do this. My life goal was to put up a wine school in Manila (either a WSET accreditation school or a lifestyle-esque venue for people who just want to know how to appreciate wine), or work as a freelance consultant for food service and wines (which I’m currently doing).

I was fine, contributing to that goal by teaching in a university and doing personal research to enhance my knowledge (whether by meeting people, going to events, traveling to wine destinations, or going online).

As I went about my business, I discovered a lot of things while going online for wine research: First, the materials available were erroneous, outdated, too complicated for my students, impossible to relate to by a lot of Pinoys, or just plain boring (mostly those written by people who take themselves and wine too seriously). Don’t get me wrong, there are awesome ones out there (I’m totally team Oz Clarke, Natalie Maclean, and Jancis Robinson), but they tend to cater to hardcore wine enthusiasts and can get a bit intimidating for novice wine drinkers.

That being said (and here comes my confession), during one of these online researches, I kinda picked a fight with a higher-ranking guy overseas in a thread after he failed to see the humor on certain statements I made. Not my finest hour, I admit, but I came from a perspective that while the alcohol industry is indeed serious business, the people who are only beginning to learn about them get too scared with such seriousness.

Fine. I may have said really stupid things to defend my point, but hey… I was young. I just (passionately) knew that beginner winos get overwhelmed by technical talk (and the insistence on certain preferences over others’) that they never get encouraged to explore, or give up wine altogether (sidenote: that being said, there is a MASSIVE untapped market out there).

Anyway, I ranted about the argument to my poor, hapless husband who, using that beautiful marketing-trained brain of his, suggested that I stop complaining about the lack of accessible (and friendly) resources and make some.

Seriously, make my own? This was during the time in my life when I was starting to slowly navigate through my introversion and fear of rejection… I thought, wouldn’t putting myself out there (at the mercy of cyber bullies and grammar fiends) be counterproductive?

So, I decided to take a deep breath and just post. I totally refused to take it seriously (after all, I had a day job), and had each article edited by a friend (who I would also like to credit for helping me come up with a name for the blog over coffee and booze).

This is why, if someone tries to look at the archives, I only wrote sporadically when we started. I just did not want to emotionally invest in it… So much so that I didn’t even bother to fix the layout (hah!).

All of this changed about a year later. I suddenly met like-minded people (read: anti wine snobs), legit people who believed in what I did (and prompted me to edit the living daylights out of the blog from April 2013 to about June 2014, then told me to at least write once a week but twice would be better), supporters, and partners who encouraged me to actually launch this thing.

So here I am, three years later… A non-writer of an educated alcoholic who chucks out about 1.5 articles a week… A crazy, barely creative, self-effacing freak with a bizarre sense of humour that actually had an article published… Someone that normally shies away from social media but actually put up a Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest account for the blog (kicking and screaming)… A neurotic, chaotic geek who wound up halfway around the world and got to meet (and befriend) some of the best winemakers in the world… A disbelieving wine professional that constantly pinches herself just to realise that working with fabulous people is a reality and not just a dream.

I’ve harped so much about the people around me because I really don’t think I could have made it through the years without them.

Chad, my husband, is a given (and I’ll save everyone the cheese by not gushing about him online). Mark was awesome for getting me started along with Gerry’s breathtaking graphics. CJ was marvellous for solving the banner issue (because I cannot code to save or end my life). Tin was splendid for constantly sharing my work and guiding me around the inner workings of Philippine media. Paul is incredible for letting me use him as some sort of a grammar sounding board (and bearing the brunt of one of the blog’s first haters).

I’m so grateful for supportive partners as well: The Embassy of Chile in Manila (especially Ms. Fernanda Vila) for taking a lowly, startup, non-writer like myself and sending me on one of the most amazing adventures in my life. I’m thankful for the team of One Mega Group for legitimizing my work and actually publishing it. Urbangeppetto is super cool (especially Garp and Lois) for patiently working on gorgeous designs for us (despite my head and my schedule being all over the place… Which is why it’s taking time for the new layout to materialise).

I’m stoked about working with equally cool friends (that I sometimes consider family) as well: Poco Deli has been wonderful for hosting wine dinners with us, with the same intent of getting wine neophytes to start on their own road to great wine adventures.

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Come one, come all! Artistic wines from Provence, featured in Le Jardin Manila’s Wine Dinner on May 18, 2016 at 1830. Tickets at PHP5,000.00+ each, which includes five wines and a five course meal. Limited seats available, please reserve yours through +63917-8112171 

Le Jardin Manila (led by the phenomenal celebrity chef Jonas Ng*) has been a great partner with their desire to introduce high quality French food and wine in an accessible yet intelligent manner. We’ll be working with each other again for a Provence dinner event on May, showcasing breathtaking, unusual wines from Provence with delectable food to match.

Lastly, I’m happy that we get to reach out to people in different parts of the world (I mean, seriously. Our stats tell us we have readers from Russia, constant readership from Brazil and Austria… I’d love to visit those places one day, and I’m glad the blog has had a head start).

So, here’s to three years (and beyond). Cheers!

*Catch his show Chef Next Door on the Lifestyle Channel… Reruns are playing constantly but new episodes will start June. That, or see him around Le Jardin. 😉