We’ve all experienced wine dilemmas at some point. “Which wine goes with what dish? What do I pour for dinner?” It gets pretty confusing with all the choices out there. Next time you find yourself scratching your head in a wine shop, remember that choosing a bottle should be as enjoyable as drinking it. Ask your retailer if you could have a sampling portion, and go with what tastes good on your palate! Better yet, take your cue from these handpicked selections that are sure to get glasses clinking and heads nodding in approval.
1. For that serious wine and steak party
On your way to a fancy gathering where wine snobs and self-proclaimed sommeliers abound? Fret not and pick up a bottle of Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s got some mighty accolades under its belt—the Washington State brand has been named Winery of the Year an astounding 21 times and the wine has been consistently rated 90+ points by the most prestigious industry publications. Uncork this complex, silky red to pair with saucy lamb, juicy rib-eye or rich Valrhona chocolate.
2. For a casual backyard barbeque
Perhaps no other country in the world takes its time-honored tradition of barbequing more seriously than Argentina. For these grill experts, cooking meat in authentic brick parrillas is never complete without a Malbec wine on hand. Malbec grapes tend to have more intense flavors than other reds, so this regional wine varietal goes great with roasts. On your next outdoor cook-off, take a bottle of Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico with you. This brand from Mendoza Argentina tastes notes of pepper, black berries, and dark plums.
3. For Sunday brunch with the family
Sundays are for your favorite heirloom recipes and equally crowd-pleasing wines. Cool a bottle (or two) of the Auqui Sauvignon Blanc for a versatile white that goes with everything on the table. This best-selling Chilean wine has subtle hints of lemon and pineapple. Not too sweet, not to dry. It’s one of those Sauvignon Blancs that’s so good, you won’t mind letting it warm in your glass.
Retails at: Php390/bottle (Lemuria
4. For al fresco sunsets by the sea
If you’re hosting a culinary feast where ocean fare takes center stage, chill a bottle of Villa Maria Private Bin Range Riesling. This fresh and crisp wine from Marlborough New Zealand bursts with just the right amount of acidity and citrus flavors to cut through seafood dishes.
5. For everyday relaxation at home
If you need to keep one bottle of red at home that’s a pleasure to drink, you can’t go wrong with a fruity red like Grant Burge Benchmark Shiraz. Pour this affordable New World wine for a friend and he’ll think he’s sipping on some pricey Bordeaux. This full-bodied Australian Shiraz hails from the Barossa region which is known globally for its signature Shiraz grapes. This gem needs no cellaring so you can enjoy it straight away.
6. For that perfect dessert complement
If you haven’t heard of the iconic De Bortoli Noble One yet, then it’s time to get acquainted with one of the most-awarded wines in history. With hundreds of international trophies and gold medals to its name, this half-bottle sensation is the pinnacle of dessert wines. It gets its saccharine quality from its Bortytis-stricken Semillon grapes, which give the wine its honeyed, creme brulee taste, and toffee and vanilla bean aromas. Relish this wine with a cheese platter, fruits, cakes, ice cream crepes, and almost any sweet course you can imagine.
7. For that celebratory toast
Special occasions call for something festive and effervescent in a crystal flute. Salute to good health and prosperity with no less than a Grand Cru sparkler. Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut pours to a bubbly wine that is reminiscent of old world elegance with its pale golden color, almond-pear notes, and fine foam.
Retails at: Php4,500/bottle (Titania
8. For an afternoon with the ladies
Channel the coastal charm of Abruzzo, Italy with a refreshing Rosé that’s sure to win over the ladies. The Ilauri Rosé Spumante flaunts an attractive pink hue and delicate aromas of red berries and cherries. This blushing Spumante (meaning “bubbly” in Italian) is an invigorating midday aperitif. With just the right amounts of fizz and sparkle, it has a velvety mouth feel that’s not too sweet.
9. For a romantic evening
Set the mood for an intimate rendezvous with the easy-drinking Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot. It smolders with a dark ruby color, aromas of blackberries and plums, and flavors of chocolate and spice. It’s a polished choice that’s sure to compliment most cuisines with its smooth finish. It is best served at a cool room temperature.
10. For game nights or movie marathons
You’ll want a fun, uncomplicated wine to go with those nights for kicking back. D’Arenberg The Stump Jump Red Blend, as its playful name suggests, offers a balanced and tasty alternative to the usual single-grape varietal wine. It’s a brilliant mix of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre grapes that amounts to a simply mouth-watering wine.
At the end of the day, keep two things in mind: price doesn’t always mean quality, and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a wine. The key is to taste as much as you can and revel in the experience. As the saying goes, “The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.”
Bonus Tips from ShoppersGuide!
Did the wine information above make you want to learn about bartending and mixology? You can do just that by enrolling at ABV Masterclass. ABV Masterclass is “a premier bartending and mixology program for different enthusiasts from beginners to bar professionals, brought to you by some of the top bar men in the Philippines including Mr. Ken Bandivas – the Philippine’s representative in the global competition held by Diageo.”
On May 14, 2016, Saturday, there will be a seminar on “Fundamentals of Craft Cocktails Volume 2: Built and Muddled” at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Then it will be tequila day with “iHola Tequila! An Introduction to Tequila” class on May 21, 2016 also at 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Classes happens at ABV Cocktail and Absinthe Bar, Basement Floor, 22 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati City. For questions and inquiries, you may visit masterclass.abv.ph or contact Justin Qua at +63 917 790 7134.
Check ShoppersGuide’s Directory listing on wines and liquor store in Manila by clicking here
Note: Prices are subject to change without prior notice.