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I HAVE to hand it to Wine Story for being the runaway choice for the best and most compelling Bordeaux wine selection in the country. Bordeaux will always be the preeminent wine region of wine lovers. But Bordeaux is not as easy to approach, especially for the non-hardcore enthusiasts, as any New World wine region, either it be Napa Valley, Barossa, or Marlborough. For one, Bordeaux has over 120,000 hectares of vineyards, this is just 80,000 hectares less than the vineyards in California (which contributes 90%+ of US Wines). Bordeaux has over 8,500 wine producers, compared to California’s much fewer 400+ wineries. Bordeaux is also four times the size of fellow French wine region Burgundy and 1.5 times bigger than Rhone.
I was enthralled no end gazing at unopened bottles of some of my dream wines to taste — Chateau Latour 1936, Chateau Petrus 1961, Domaine de Romanee Conti La Tache 1978, Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982, and Screaming Eagle Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 — all in one room. These five bottles are worth over P4,000,000 (... yup, not a typo), and are some of the most outstanding wines ever made, not to mention, their rarity given the old vintages. But there is much more as these wines are just five among the over 2,000 wine labels the uberly luxurious Okada Manila Casino Hotel carries in its wine list.
THE Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai, Hong Kong was buzzing for three days — from May 29 to 31 — during the VinExpo Asia Pacific. I was one of the over 17,500 visitors who sweated it out (the weather was very warm and humid in Hong Kong) to attend the 2018 edition. This year’s turnout saw a modest 2% increase from the last HK VinExpo in 2016, but the biannual exposition remains the undisputed leader of wine and spirits fairs in all of Asia. The success comes despite stiff competition from Prowein, the German based wine and spirits event organizer, which has done fairs in China and, more recently, in Singapore.
AURELIO MONTES needs no introduction. He did the unthinkable in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he catapulted a new wine label from Chile to the premium wine export scene with much success. The founder and wine maker of the world famous Vina Montes was back in Manila last Saturday, and I was very fortunate to finally get a chance to meet this iconic man. I have always considered Aurelio Montes as the Robert Mondavi of Chile for his trailblazing contribution to Chile’s wine quality image, as what the Napa maverick did for California.