Thursday, May 20, 2010
A Taste of Wine and Spirits 2010
Last week, I was invited to attend the press preview of Wine and Spirits 2010- Mandarin Oriental Manila’s annual wine and food festival that gathers the country’s top wine dealers to showcase their premium selections of the world’s most sought-after vino. On its third year, wine and food lovers will get to sample an impressive line-up of wines from Wine Depot, Future Trade, Le Cellier, Barcino, Philippine Wine Merchants, Brumms, BBB, Sommelier Selection, Moet-Hennessy/Rams House of Wines, Manny O., Titania Wine Cellar, Inc., Straits Wine, among others, with the delectable cuisine Mandarin Oriental is famous for.
As I walked into the Blondel Room on the 3rd floor, I was welcomed by Mandarin’s witty PR and Events Officer Erica Aquino, and her very charming boss, Charisse Chuidian. A few food writers and magazine editors were already munching on the mouth-watering spread of coldcuts, cheeses, hot and cold tapas, and desserts prepared by Executive chef Rene Ottlik. I loved the assorted Spanish cheeses and cold cuts, the delicious gazpacho, and the Croquetas de Jamon Iberico Belotta. This was merely a fraction of what will be served on the actual event, the massive chef (as in MMA fighter “massive”) from Leipzig, Germany explained. Aside from the coldcuts and appetizers, there will also be a raclette station, a quiche station and a risotto and pasta station. Honestly, if I wasn’t a lush, I would still go just for the food.
Don’t think I forgot about the wines, though. I tried my best to sample as many of the almost a hundred bottles from the hundreds more that was selected by the hotel’s resident wine expert, the adorable Mirko di Giorgi (Note: He’s single, ladies. For now, at least). The Italian-German from Frankfurt was busy refilling everyone’s glasses and answering wine questions. Since it was incredibly hot and humid that day, I was happy to drain their supply of sparkling and white wines. Some of my favorites were the Chandon bubblies, Gunderloch Riesling Kabinett 2005, Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling 2008, Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer 2008, Martin Codax Albarino 2008, and Bott-Geyl Les Elements Muscat 2007. These are very easy to drink, approachable wines that are perfect for the scorching Manila summer. I also spotted some Riojas and Italian reds that I would have wanted to try, but the heat just made it impossible. Another great reason to go to the actual event in June, I suppose.
I had a really fun time chatting with fellow foodies and writers- author and PDI columnist Mickey Fenix, Editor-in-Chief Ana Marie Ozaeta of F & B World, Atty. Freddy Pio de Roda of Metro Society, FHM columnist Chef Toto Erfe of CACS, my former editor Aissa Gonzalez of Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants and Margaux Salcedo of Sunday Inquirer Magazines. I hope to bump into them again in June 4, 2010, 7PM, at the Mandarin Ballroom.
Actually, why don’t we ALL go? It’s going to be fun. There’s going to be live Jazz music and a bunch of prizes up for grabs. Cheers!
Tickets to Mandarin Oriental’s third annual wine event are available at the hotel’s Lobby Shop at P2,200 nett (so worth it!) and include entrance to the event, as well as free-flowing wine and food. For more information, call the hotel at (632) 7508888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.