Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tried and Tasted: Wines from Marks & Spencer

Kampai! Cheers! Tagay! - There are different ways to toast with your friends. In most of these occasions, we are celebrating a joyous event. Today, I'd like to share with you my wine tasting experience after attending the Marks & Spencer Wine Tasting Event at Greenbelt 5.

Marks & Spencer Wine Tasting Iaadamlim
Marks & Spencer Wine Tasting Event, Greenbelt 5

What I think about Wines...

I really don't like to drink because I don't like the feeling of getting drunk. However, I love drinking wine especially with a good meal. It started with Kahlua, a coffee liqueur, which I pair with fresh brewed coffee, chocolate chip cookies (preferably Soft Batch), and the smell of pine trees on a foggy morning. Then, I graduated to Novellino wines. My favorites are the Luscious Peach wine and the Classic sweet white and red wines. Except for Chardonnay, which I take when offered, I really don't buy any other wines. Wait! I just remembered that I bought Bugnay wine from the Global Pinoy Bazaar because it came from Adam, Ilocos Norte and I want to open it together with the Adam's family. (Smart eh!)

On the other hand, if we are talking about wine for my own pleasure for years I have stayed with what I've "tried and tasted". Every time there is an opportunity to try new ones, I jump at the chance. And yet, every time it only made me realize how much I love what I've always loved. If there is anything I got out from the years of trying, it must be my increasing alcohol tolerance. I used to feel tipsy with a glass of wine. Now I can finish three glasses before my world spins.

Finally, thanks to an exclusive event for Nuffnang bloggers, I heard about the Marks & Spencer Wine tasting event. I was reading Ms. Chie Gatchalian's interview for Yahoo News and even posted the article "How to Pair Wine with Pinoy Food" on my Facebook wall with a caption "This will come handy some day". Lo and behold, I didn't realize that in a few days I will actually meet Ms. Gatchalian and ask her about my wine questions. What a blessing!

Dessert Wines White Wines M&S Wine Tasting Event Iaadamlim
Dessert Wines & Red Wines
(With Ms. Chie Gatchalian for M&S Wines)

I also visited Ms. Chie's page, 5 1/2 Twists, where she offers Enderun Classes for Wine 101. It will be an interesting workshop to go to which I hope I can attend one of these days.

Back to Mark & Spencer Wine Tasting Event: I was still feeling disoriented from finding Greenbelt 5 when alas I came to the right Mark & Spencer store. I quickly scanned the place and the first thing that caught my interest is the dessert wines. The first one I tasted is the sweet nectar of the Moscatel de Valencia. I tried also two other dessert wines namely: Rich Cream Sherry and the Finest Reserve Port but I just couldn't forget the taste of the Moscatel wine.

The next table I visited displayed the red wines. Remembering Ms. Chie's advice on pairing wine with Filipino food, I was curious to try a Sauvignon Blanc, but I didn't find one readily so I tried the Rockridge Cabernet Sauvignon instead. (Later, I found out that Sauvignon Blanc is white which should have registered to me because blanc is French for white, silly me). As for the reds, I guess it will still take some time before my taste buds will grow its affinity for these wine because I think that shot made me dizzy. But I'm proud of myself for finishing the contents of my glass and rewarded myself with another glass of Moscatel de Valencia (or so I tell myself).

Sparkling Wines White Wines Red Wines Dessert Wines M&S Wine Tasting Iaadamlim
Take Your Pick: Sparkling, White, Red or Dessert Wines

As a consumer, I know what I want to buy. For me, the Moscatel de Valencia will make a good addition to my growing bottles of wine. My bottles at home don't really last that long because I tend to drink the ones I like. Right now, what I have is a 2006 red (I am reserving this for a very special occasion) and the black currant wine (Bugnay wine). I have two other bottles my husband received as a Christmas gift but I keep them only as display (dressed as a "he" and "she" Chinese bottles) until I think of some dish to pair it with or use it as an ingredient.

Anyway, after trying the reds and the dessert wines, I've decided what I want so I went to the wine section of Marks & Spencer and got myself a bottle of my newest favorite, Moscatel de Valencia. It was offered at 20% off so it was a steal. Before leaving, I got myself another glass of Moscatel (one for the road, hehehe). Don't worry I'm not driving.

But wait there's more. To my eagerness, I did not realize that there are two more tables with different classes of wine: sparkling wines and white wines. By this time, I know I can only afford to drink one more glass or else I won't be able to walk straight. I can already see bubbles floating on the air and that's not a good sign.

I assessed the situation. The sparklings look amazing but maybe I have enough bubbles in me but the white wines have Reisling and Sauvignon Blanc. The latter is my reason for attending this event in the first place so I instantaneously asked for that one. However, the sommelier or the wine waiter informed me that they ran out of Sauvignon Blanc. I mean, come on!

Do you believe that sometimes missed opportunities can turn around to be great ones? Well, I guess  its true. I tried the Riesling and guess what, I LOVE IT! So folks out there, if you're visiting our home bring a bottle or two (with Moscatel de Valencia preferably).

I think wine tasting events are important if you want people to buy wines. I wouldn't have diverged from my tried and tested dessert wines if I didn't have this experience. There is so much to learn about wine and Filipino food. Still, I would like it better if there are wines produced here in the Philippines that we can support, like the Bugnay wine. Yet, we cannot discount the fact that we live in a global market where influences from around the world can easily reach us. So I think, I can easily accommodate two slots for my newest favorite bottles on top of our locally-produced wines.

The road to my wine exploration is just beginning but it looks very promising.

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