Tag Archives: rustans

An Excerpt from The Diary of an Alcohol Specialist (Part 2)


Part 2!

30 July 2016, Saturday


No rest for the wicked: I got inquiries as to where to get Whispering Angel. Emailed the wonderful people of Premier Wines & Spirits, Inc. (I love working with them, their products are pretty exciting), and got the information… I’ll put it on a blog post on Monday.

Spent the day with Chad… I think we totally needed a weekend together. He has a lot of product launches over the next couple of weeks… A vacation is an absolute must.

I have a secret: People often think that I drink 24/7, but honestly (and especially during the weekends), I avoid alcohol altogether. It gets frighteningly easy for me to get my hands on alcoholic drinks, and I’m trying not to get sick of it or drink to excess.


31 July 2016, Sunday

Did I mention having no rest for the wicked?

I received word today that I needed to speak with Chef Jonas Ng for the Metro Magazine event on Tuesday. No complaints, but I knew I need to beef up the research I did on food and spirits pairing.

Thankfully, I got the confirmation when I was in Rockwell. I passed by Shu Uemura to book a makeup session for the event through EJ Mallorca, one of the best makeup artists in the business.

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Harry Potter and a Cognac before I go off to bed!

Got one of the last copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child… Here’s to hoping I could actually sit down long enough to read it.

It’s Sunday, so it’s laundry day… Hopefully I could give the dog a bath later and tidy up the condo.


1 August 2016, Monday

Wow. It’s August. Time flies.

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Food Pairing (from What to Drink With What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen A. Page)



Finalised research on food and spirits pairing and sent it to Chef Jonas.

Here’s what I got: Gin and Bagna Cauda (anchovies and crudités) to play with the dryness of the gin and the saltiness of the anchovies. Chardonnay and Tuna Avocado (because Chardonnay pairs wonderfully with both tuna and avocado). Single Malt with Smoked Salmon Rillette to complement each other’s smoky flavours. Cognac with Boudin Noir as an homage to a classic cognac-Foie Gras pairing.

I spent the morning holed up in my office. Yaya and the plumber had a final showdown. I wrote a play by play on my (personal) Facebook feed… It was hilarious. Needless to say, yaya won, and our toilet is finally working properly.



Tested a food and beverage theory that regional drinks match food from that region (Tteokbokki + Soju = yum!)

Had some time for a proper breakfast (a rarity for me these days) with the last of the pomegranate juice I got from Hong Kong. I had a foot spa in Mich and Myl (their team is amazing), and a Tteokbokki dinner with some Soju. I liked how the extreme spice and touch of tartness paired beautifully with the Soju, but man… It was lethal for my tongue and liver.

Preserving my energy for tomorrow.


2 August 2016, Tuesday

It was one of those really, really busy days.

I got to Le Jardin Manila around 11 am for a meeting with Chef Jonas and sample the cheeses Rustan’s gave him. They were exquisite… I’ve always been partial to creamy, stinky blue cheese and goat cheese (some of which were included in the samples); so I knew I was going to buy some more from Rustan’s Marketplace after the event.

I dropped by the new Poco Deli branch in Fort BGC (behind Rox). I’ve always loved the vibe of their restaurants in Kapitolyo and Ayala Triangle, and the BGC branch was just as cozy. Their artisanal sausages were once again on point, paired well with affordable wines and excellent beer.

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The always entertaining Chef Jonas Ng of Chef Next Door (Lifestyle Channel every Wednesday nights!)



I went back to Rustan’s Marketplace in Central Square BGC for the Fête du Fromage event. I got to meet the CEO, Philippe Olivier Deplanck, who regaled us with wonderful stories about Rustan’s direction on their deli (so many exciting things happening!). Chef Jonas was entertaining during his discussion on cheese and wine pairing.

I went to Rockwell, had my makeup done by the fabulous Irene of Shu Uemura, and headed to 8 Rockwell for the Metro event. It was well attended.

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Deliciously crisp The Botanist Gin (available in S&R, and in Elbert’s, Curator, Mandalay, Exit Bar, Bondi & Bourke, Blind Pig, Pablo’s, and Hooch)



A few highlights: I fell HARD for The Botanist Gin. Distilled from handpicked juniper berries coming from one specific place in Islay, the gin was deliciously crisp. I went with the evening’s Russian bartender’s suggestion of having it with a slice of lemon and tonic water.

It changed my life.


Bruichladdich (available in S&R, and in Elbert’s, Curator, Mandalay, Exit Bar, Bondi & Bourke, Blind Pig, Pablo’s, and Hooch)

Then, there was the Bruichladdich. First, I couldn’t pronounce it with the same conviction as Chef Jonas did (while he channeled his inner Sean Connery). Apart from that, it was a beautifully complex Islay scotch. See, whenever one talks about Islay, “intense smoke” and “peat” find their way into describing a typical glass… But this one was different. It was “unpeated”, so it still was floral, but with a subtle hint of smoke characteristic of the region’s scotch.

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A once in a lifetime opportunity to sample Hublot cheese #nomnoms

There was Hublot (yes, the watches) cheese, which we found out never goes on sale. Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, makes about five tonnes of cheese in his farm in the Swiss Alps yearly, but refuses payment. He only gives the cheese to people or restaurants of his choosing. The cheese was elegant, flowery, and as exclusive as Hublot watches.

Brutally exhausted. Tomorrow, I have to map out a schedule for the blog (hopefully I get to follow it this time, eheh), help a friend move into the neighbourhood, and maybe catch up with my friend, Ines.

Phew! That was exhausting.

Speaking of busy, excuse me while I RSVP to a few events I’m looking forward to in a couple of weeks (all of which will be posted on the blog).


An Excerpt from The Diary of an Alcohol Specialist (Part 1)


Hello, my name is Gail and I’m a slasher.

Not the kind that gets locked up behind bars because of bloody violent tendencies… But the kind that, as an acquaintance pointed out, wears so many hats that my job title requires a lot of “slashes”.

Technically, I’m a beverage specialist/blogger/restaurant consultant/housewife/student. Explaining that to people I’ve just met normally requires a long story, so I decided to dedicate a couple of entries to taking an in-depth look into my life.


26 July 2016, Tuesday

Manic-edited and released article about Korean beverages. Felt the effect of my absence from the blog, my stats dipped slightly… But I think it was good to have taken a break. It has been a nutty few weeks, and taking my friend’s suggestion of just being a couch potato was great.


This of course means that I have a backlog the size of Everest.

Edited my article on Rosés, but I have to go out tomorrow and buy that Hoegaarden Rosée I saw from a friend’s feed… It’s so pretty!

When I decided to avoid getting freebies to make sure my articles are 100% unbiased, I knew there was a hell of a price to pay to maintain some semblance of integrity. It was even worse when I decided to make sure that all the photos that come out in the blog either came from me, a friend (with permission), or any source with explicit consent.

With that in mind, I have to finish my dark beer shoot… Thank goodness our home/office has great lighting and windows. I’ve never had any lessons on photography or photo editing… I’m grateful for my Samsung Note’s camera and Fotor.


27 July 2016, Wednesday

Made a mad dash for Bottle Shop along Jupiter Street to get the bottle of Hoegaarden Rosée.


Must tell the marketing manager about my thoughts (all positive!). Heaven forbid I forget, I’ll send him the link to the article (and blame it on the alcohol)*.

Thank goodness I left when I did, I think our yaya almost throttled the plumber for his incompetence.

I have to make sure I give her an extra hug when I see her again on Friday.

My business is practically a one-woman show, and I’ve been infinitely blessed with wonderful people who I get to work with on a regular basis (suppliers and clients alike)… However, I’m especially thankful for the people that work for us and keep me sane. Our yaya is indispensable (I call her a 5’1” bouncer), our driver is amazingly patient with my direction and schedule-challenged self (and would take a bullet for us), and our ironing lady is a fabulous mix of formidable and sweet (she gives me hugs and cries tears of joy whenever I do any favour for her).

Got inquiries for cheese suppliers… I honestly get mine from Rustan’s Marketplace. They have a wonderfully diverse, delicious selection of about 270 cheeses from different parts of the world.


Kitty from the Park

Walked around the neighbourhood (need the exercise!) with Chad and met one of the sweetest street cats, which we named Kitty from the Park.


28 July 2016, Thursday

I had to do an intense, manic research on beer styles for the dark beer article. It took me about an hour and a half to find decent text on Russian Stout, and a lot of the literature I found emphasised the difficulty in producing this style of beer. It made me appreciate the guys of Baguio Craft Brewery even more for their ingenuity.

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Exhaustive Research!

Here’s the thing about my articles: I never, ever release any without research, preferably from books. I get practically obsessive in getting the details accurate… After all, the goal of the blog is to provide an entertaining resource. It isn’t a lifestyle blog (and I’d rather kill myself than spend 80% of an entry talking about myself and 20% on the beverage), although I do try to entertain (my French teacher, Olivia, says I should work on putting a bit more of myself in my articles).

Speaking of Olivia, I gotta finish my French homework.


29 July 2016, Friday

Released my Rosé article… I can’t get over the fact that the Sospechoso from Barcino’s worked well with the longganisa our friend, fashion designer and chef Ryan Madamba brought over.


I love having friends over for dinner… It makes for excellent conversations, challenges my food and wine pairing and mixology skills, and… Food. Cooking is therapeutic for me.


The gratin I made for friends during one epic dinner (over tons of alcohol and food!)

Speaking of friends, one of ours is in Korea… Her adventures are making me envious. Maybe it’s time to schedule a trip to Korea.

Olivia came over for my lessons. It was also her birthday! We gave her an H&M gift card, and had dinner with her.

People wonder why I’m still continuing my French lessons. Honestly, I need to know a Latin-based language to help me decipher wine terms, and I decided on French during the time when Chad was working for a French company (it was useful for both of us). I’m not a total pro at it, but the French winemakers I’ve met so far were kind enough to meet me halfway and correct me when needed.


End of Part One. The next article will showcase what normally happens when I have events. 🙂


*I eventually forgot, eheh…