Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts

Friday, March 2, 2018

David Bowie wine bottle

There's this bottle of wine that we got quite some time ago. It's a good thing I took photos of it then as the wine was consumed and the bottle inadvertently thrown away with the garbage. We usually kept bottles such as this one for posterity but somehow it was disposed off.

The bottle beside the bag bearing the name of the place where we got it.
Certificate of authenticity for the bottle and its sale's intended use. The bottle is Bowie's design.
"Whatever it takes" is something a lot of people need to do to succeed.

It was one of the bottles we opened to celebrate our daughter's and my brother-in-law's birthdays. Somehow, it was mixed with the other bottles of wine. Perhaps there's more of this where we got it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Yamanashi wine

About ten years ago, I was gifted with this wine from Yamanashi. I had kept the wine initially at my office where I have reserved an enclosed and secure part of one of my cabinets for a few bottles of wines that I have purchased. I took it home after we moved to our current house in 2014. I have been waiting for the moment to open it and was thinking about what to celebrate until I remembered the 10 years since we got the wine.

A bottle of white wine from the University of Yamanashi. This was a gift from a Japanese professor who is a good friend of ours. He was posted at UP as a visiting professor about 15 years ago and have maintained contact since.
We were wondering if the wine was still okay after 10 years as the wife pointed to the color. I replied that it was stored properly so it should still be good.
Here's another photo of the label. Yamanashi is a famous wine region in Japan with the climates perfect for growing grapes and apples. It is also famous for the mountains and the testing facility for Japan's magnetic levitation (maglev) trains.
Details on the wine in Japanese at the back. It is easy to read the alcohol content at 12%.
The seal on the bottle that we stashed away with the cork.
This was the first time for us to use the nice wine bottle opener that made removing corks much easier. This was a gift from our Ninang on the occasion of our 15th wedding anniversary last December.
Here I am sampling the wine. The color was just right and the verdict on the wine is a two thumbs up!
We still have half a bottle of wine in the fridge. The wife used some of the wine for cooking, which was the main reason we wanted to open a bottle of white wine in the first place. :)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Wines for special occasions

My brother-in-law was in in town last week. He came home with his wife from their home in Montreal, Canada to spend some time with us before heading to Bacolod where they attended a debut of a relative of his wife. While at our home and exchanging stories after almost 2 years of not seeing them, we decided to open a bottle of wine to further sweeten the "kuwentuhan".

We usually open such a bottle for special occasions and my bayaw's homecomings are always considered such.
I got this bottle from a very good wine shop (Bacchus). We've had excellent wines before and have not had a bad bottle of Margaux. This one did not disappoint and was well worth the price tag from a year ago. I would probably get another bottle soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dessert wines

We enjoy drinking wine from time to time. I think this started not too long ago in 2011 when we were living in Singapore. We usually bought good wine from the duty free shops at Changi Airport after arriving from trips, mostly from Manila. I had "commuted" between Manila and Singapore at least once a month from January 2011 to June 2012 when the Clairvoyant was posted there by her company. 

One particular type of wine that we do enjoy are dessert wines. And we bought at least one bottle of De Bortoli Noble One from Australia. This was De Bortoli's Botrytis Semillon, which is basically grapes that were infected with a disease that made them especially sweet. I discovered that we still had a bottle of this wine from 2012 when we came home from Singapore for good. This was a bottle of their 25th Anniversary vintage.

This dessert wine from the New World has a more prominent and older relative (ancestor?) is something from France. Sauternes from the Bordeaux region is enjoyable to drink whether with chocolate, cheese or by itself. We found a relatively inexpensive bottle by Dulong at our favorite deli and have been getting a bottle or two for our stock.

I have a more expensive bottle of Sauterne in stock for special occasions. The last time we were in Singapore (March last year), we didn't find any Noble One's. Hopefully, we can get this wine again soon and hopefully, too, we can find it in Manila.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mantellassi San Giuseppe Morellino Di Scansano 2013

I bought three bottles of wine last July the one time I was able to find the Bacchus wine shop in Alabang. One of the bottles was an Italian red wine that was their feature for the month - Mantellassi San Giuseppe Morellino Di Scansano (that was a mouthful!). I tried the wine at the shop and ended up drinking 3 glasses (on the house, of course) as I went about deciding on the 2 other bottles I wanted to get. The shopkeeper who was very helpful (not to mention very patient in answering my questions) in my choosing wines gave some helpful tips with this Italian wine including to let the wine breathe for about 30 minutes after opening the bottle.

This wine is young at 2013
Information about the origin region in Italy
The wine from this bottle was as good as the three bottles I consumed when I was shopping last July and the wife was also very pleased with the wine. Of course, we didn't finish the entire bottle in one go as we enjoyed a glass each for a few nights after dinner. We enjoyed the wine sometimes with cheese, sometimes with chocolate and sometimes with both. I will likely get another bottle if I ever see one somewhere. So I am posting this here to help me remember. I only regret that I wasn't able to take photos of the wine on glasses.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On wine and chocolates

I mentioned in previous articles that I liked to browse the wines and chocolates at shops like Santis. I discovered another shop on an overnight in Alabang where I attended a conference. I have heard and read about Bacchus but haven't been to their shop until last July. And so seeing their shop nearby our hotel led me to some wine tasting that concluded in my purchasing 3 bottles of wine and several bars of chocolates.

A bag full of wines and chocolates from my Bacchus 'expedition'
This was the featured wine that day at the shop and I consumed more than enough to decide to get a bottle for consumption at home.
I will write about the wines and the chocolates soon as each deserve a separate post. We recently opened the bottle of Mantellasi in the preceding photo and it was as good as I remember when I sampled a couple of glasses at the wine shop. The write-up for this wine will probably go first among the others.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sampling Sauternes - Grand Vin De Bordeaux Reserve Dulong

I was browsing the wines at a branch of Santis and found among the sale items bottles of Sauternes. Sauternes are sweet wines and are commonly used for dessert (dessert wines) together with cheeses, chocolates or fruits. The term Sauternes comes from the region in France where the grapes are grown, harvested and transformed into wine. Similar dessert wines may be found elsewhere and in the New World our favourite is the Botrytis Semillon from Australia (try De Bortoli Noble One). Sauternes are quite expensive in the Philippines and you will usually find them inside wine display cabinets along with other more expensive bottles of wine. The key to taking a chance with a bottle like this was to have a basic knowledge of wine labels and what they tell you. That I learned from my Japanese professors when I was a student in Japan. One professor was married to a connoisseur and the other just loved wines and preferred them to hard drinks like brandy and whiskey.

The 50 cl bottle of the 2010 Dulong Sauternes packs 13% alcohol
The label along tells us that this is a good, legit wine being a Grand Vin de Bordeaux
More information at the back describes the taste or flavors to be found in the wine.

The wine was perfect with cheeses or with chicken or seafood. It is a dessert wine so it should be perfect with fruits or chocolates (or both!). I forget how much a bottle cost us but from what I remember when I picked up the bottle, it was definitely a steal compared to the usually expensive Sauternes in the shop cabinet. I hope we find a bottle or two the next time we're at Santis. It is usually good to keep a bottle in reserve for when you're entertaining guests or to give as gifts to family and friends who enjoy wines.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Leftovers and New Year's Day meals

It's the day after New Year's and I'm sure there are still a lot of leftovers at many people's homes much like the food left after Christmas Day. In our case, there's still some including the round-shaped fruits though I won't call the fruits leftovers. As usual, we had grilled food for media noche as well as some wine. This year we didn't have pasta for media noche, opting for lumpia and leftover Christmas ham in addition to grilled tuna, chicken and hotdogs. The new thing was that we happened upon this Israeli wine at a nearby supermarket before Christmas that we decided to try out, even laughing that the pedigree for the wine went back to Bibilical times. We forgot to bring the bottle to my in-laws' home for Christmas lunch. The bottle ended up as part of dinner at a friend's home as the Clairvoyant brought it as her contribution for their informal reunion in preparation for their High School Homecoming later this January. It turned out to be a good bottle of Emerald Riesling, a semi dry white wine, of 2009 vintage that was bottled by Carmel Zion/Askalon apparently just before it was sold by the original owners.

Wine and grilled food for media noche, and puto, fruits and native chocolate for the morning after
It's the simple breakfast of puto (steamed rice cake) and tsokolate that I miss from vacations in Iloilo from when I was a child. It's simple for most people now but for me it's unique in a way due to the sentimental value that I put into such memories that hopefully I can still recreate. The puto manapla in the photo above was a pasalubong from my father who went home to his hometown in Iloilo recently. It is popular in the Visayas and we regularly get these in Iloilo and Negros for breakfast or merienda. It's very good with coffee or chocolate.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pasta al tonno and greek wine

We recently passed by the Greek store in our village to confirm some orders for Christmas. We ended up getting a bottle of sparkling wine and immediately paired the wine with our dinner of pasta. For our small advance celebration (our anniversary was due in a week), we even took out the pair of champagne glasses we got in Singapore where we enjoyed some wine once in a while to go with our dinners together at our home there.

Champagne glasses for the sparkling wine

Greek pink sparkling wine

Specs for the wine

A toast to dinner at home

The sparkling wine was good and went really well with the tuna pasta. It was sweet and fruity and definitely enjoyable so we look forward to getting another bottle soon. But of course, for Christmas and New Year's we already have reserved a bottle we brought home from Singapore and another from our San Francisco trip. Cheers!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Noble rot

The Clairvoyant and I love sweet wines and there is always a bottle of a dessert wine in our home in Singapore either opened and currently being enjoyed or waiting to be opened even without an occasion to celebrate. While we have tasted wines together and individually in various venues, I think we fell in love with dessert wines after a good friend of my brother-in-law introduced us to Botrytis. He was hosting us one day in his Antipolo home and was relating about their family's vineyard in Australia. They have won many prizes for their wine but he was quick to point out one in particular that he said was quite difficult to produce because it required a certain species of grapes to develop an infection. The infection, termed the Noble Rot, is actually a fungus called Botrytis cinerea and one can read about it here. Our group consumed that bottle of Botrytis in one sitting and it was perfect with the cold cuts and cheese. Since that time, we tried to find Botrytis in Philippine stores but couldn't find a bottle of the Australian product.

It was in Singapore that we finally found a good supply of Botrytis, Botrytis Semillon to be exact. From what we found, two brands carry this sweet wine - De Bortoli and Wolf Blass, both originating from Australia. Below is the photo of a bottle of Noble One from De Bortoli that we usually buy at Changi Airport, where it is significantly cheaper than in Singaporean stores. We take advantage of our frequent trips between Manila and Singapore to get our bottles duty free. The other bottle is a dessert wine produced in Napa Valley, California in the USA. It is a late harvest wine that 

De Bortoli's Noble One and Castello di Amorosa's Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

Botrytis Semillon appears conspicuously in the Noble One label and this particular brand is fast selling in Singapore.

We actually have another bottle of the Noble Rot variety at our home in Singapore. After doing a little research, we found that the French produce the sweet wines under the name Sauternes. These are produced in the Bordeaux region of France, which is famous for its excellent wines. I discovered bottles of Sauternes at Changi while shopping for red wine as a gift to a friend back in Manila. It is supposed to be difficult to produce and thus tends to be more expensive. I decided to purchase a bottle upon my return to Singapore and it is still unopened a few months after.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Castlemania 2 and other photos from Napa

I'm posting more photos from our adventure at Castello di Amorosa. These were taken by our good friend Norie.

Marian and Norie amongst the wines in the cellar

One can see the plains and the hills beyond from the castle keep

Lower the bridge and open the gates!

A toast to good wine and good health

It is easy to fall in love with Napa with views like this

Posing with the flock of 2

Details on the doorway

Can't have a castle complete without a moat


Portrait shot for the anniversary taken at the gardens of Brix

Post castle coffee at Bouchon Bakery a short drive from the Castle with Norie and Aina. One should not miss their chocolate bouchons!

The gardens of Brix

Monday, December 12, 2011


Our trip to Napa Valley wouldn't be complete without the wine tasting experience. After brunch at Brix, we set off for what we thought would be the first among three vineyards that were in the original itinerary - Castello di Amorosa.

The way to the castle set the tone for our wine tasting adventure

The rains that morning brought out the color in the trees

Entrance to the castle grounds

A somewhat modern gate to the main grounds

It was uphill from the gate

Grapevines to the left and right

The view from the parking lot of the surrounding land

What the castle looked like from the parking lot

Sheep taking time out on the lawn

There were also the pheasants in place of the peasants

Photo op along the pathway to the drawbridge

Yup! That's a moat partially hidden by the growth

Perfect photo for printing or Facebook!

Hoping this inspires the Clairvoyant to paint

A moat in defense of the castle

Still on the moat

Gargoyles guarding the castle

Gargoyle solo

The knights were absent during the daytime

Posing at the rectangular table

If only he were our first? :) That's our friend Jane's son posing with us.

King Jopas holding court

Modern knights had to be reminded where the exit was

Enigmatic hallways

Evidence of a forgotten past?

Nice place for a party

What looked like a chapel in the castle grounds based on the cross on top

The kids also had a blast with their own activities while the grown-ups sipped wine

Wine tasting with friends Norie and Aina. That's our host Mr. Constanza on the right.

The Castello had a good wine selection.

Lounging on the lawn

Here's an even better shot of the sheep

Another view of the hallways...from another hallway

Warming up

Take one - too bright!

Take two - The palace grounds seem deserted


No, the clouds weren't threatening

Party venue?

The men and elves probably had a drink while watching out for orcs

Dragon guarding the main door

What's with the basket? So they did take outs back in the day?

Take two - with the basket

Stones and clouds


The other sheep mooned us.

This one was content to pose

The path

More sheep!

Grape vines from the parking lot

Lamp post and vines

Group photo!