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Philippines 7th Wine Classics Dinner

Manila, February 3, 2015

Wineries with links to Filipinos or the Philippines

For the first event of the New Year, the Ordre Mondial group in the Bailliage of Manila held its 7th Wine Classic Dinner at the Solaire Resort’s Strip Steakhouse. The suggestion and arrangements for the dinner were made by our confrère Gerald Savigny, who is connected with Solaire Resort.

The theme chosen was ‘Wineries with links to Filipinos or the Philippines’. To accompany the wines was a fairly simple but well-executed menu of crab cake to go with the sparkling wine, roasted veal loin with a selection of side dishes (the macaroni and cheese was particularly good) for the first two reds, a cheese course for the third red and a very fine and complex banana pie with dulce de leche tart, apple caviar and raisin purée.

The menu was specifically constructed to make sure that the wines would be the focus of the evening. Each wine was introduced with a short explanation as to its links to Filipinos or the Philippines. The first winery showcased was Domaine Huet, considered by many as the leading winery in the Vouvray appellation of the Loire Valley. This was represented by the Petillant Brut 2009 which was quite vibrant, fresh, and slightly peppery. Domaine Huet is owned by Anthony Hwang who was originally from China but settled in Manila. Although he makes his home now in the US, he still has family in the Philippines and is an occasional visitor.

Two reds were then served side by side with the veal. Château Siran 2009 from Bordeaux’s Margaux appellation was fairly powerful, with a thick texture and a great deal of black fruit. Ripe and extracted, this wine has a long life ahead. The château is owned by the Miailhe family which has commercial interests in the Philippines dating back to the Spanish Colonial times. The current proprietor, Edouard Miailhe, until recently, made his home in Manila.

The second red was the Eden Canyon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. This is made by the Villamin family which immigrated to the US in the ‘70s. They have their own vineyards in Paso Robles and their wines are consistent medal winners in regional wine competitions. This Cabernet had full red berry character and was comparatively leaner than the Siran although the fruit in the American wine seemed sweeter.

The last red which went particularly well with the torched Brie on the cheese plate was the Corte Riva Mabuhay 2007. This is the flagship Cabernet of Corte Riva Vineyards in Napa. Corte Riva is named for the Cortez and Rivera families which make the wine. They also immigrated to the US in the ‘70s and started out as farm hands for various wineries working their way up until about 10 years ago they were able to establish their own winery. Corte Riva wines have been highly rated by Robert Parker.
The last wine presented was the Kiralyudvar Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2003. Like Domaine Huet, Kiralyudvar is also owned by Anthony Hwang. In fact he purchased Kiralyudvar before Domaine Huet. This was an outstanding Tokaji. Honeyed and syrupy with typical marmalade, apricot and candied fruit flavours. Although extremely sweet, this was impeccably balanced by the high acidity which provided a great deal of freshness and prevented the wine from being cloying.

It was a successful dinner having been sold-out well in advance with several people on the waiting list. What’s more the event clearly demonstrated that Filipinos and the Philippines have made an impact in the world of wine.

Jay Labrador
Vice-Chargé de Missions