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More Bordeaux labels to discover

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.

A functional wine toy

LIKE EVERY wine enthusiast out there, I am fascinated by wine gadgets and accessories — from the Vinturi wine aerator, stemless crystal glasses, to handcrafted decanters — but none of these impresses me more than the Coravin wine preservation system.

Heaven for oenophiles

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.

Saint-Emilion wines stay aggressive in Asia

THE official festivities of the bi-annual VinExpo Asia Pacific Hong Kong normally commence with the staging of the most prestigious by-invitation-only Jurade de Saint-Emilion Gala Dinner (held since 2010) on the eve of the wine fair.

Another milestone for VinExpo HK

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.

Montes Wines: Pride of Chile

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.

Discovering craft sake

IN SEARCH of craft sake, I found myself in Nikko city, in the Tochigi prefecture, just 140 kilometers north of Tokyo. The brewery is...

Understanding saké

LET US face it — most of us are very enamored by Japanese food and cuisine, and why shouldn’t we be? Japanese dishes are,...

Enjoying Japanese Whisky

JAPANESE WHISKIES continue to be the toast of the whisky world. Prices of Japanese whisky brands also keep rising, and in fact there is...

Hakushu: The other Japanese whisky

Three years ago, I visited Kyoto, Japan and went to this proud country’s first commercial distillery (it opened in 1923), the now renowned Yamazaki...

Koshu: Japan’s proudest varietal wine

YAMANASHI, JAPAN -- Admittedly, I never thought much of Japanese wines. I had on quite a few occasions, either it be during my travels...

The tough monkey to get off your back

I TRIED my first Monkey 47 gin tonic in Singapore a few years back, and despite a rather stiff price tag of around SG$18/cocktail...

Why Champagne is the best Valentine’s gift

POPPING open a bottle of champagne on Feb. 14 to share with your special someone is to me easily the best Valentine’s gift of...

Is Kavalan Whisky for real?

It was not so long ago that the mere idea of a premium whisky coming from Taiwan would make hardcore whisky drinkers cringe. Then...

The Titanic and underwater wine aging

WHEN CHAMPAGNE from the infamous sunken Titanic was recovered in 1985 — 73 years after the luxury ship went down on April 15, 1912...

China’s most awarded wine is now here

The 17th edition of the Grand Wine Experience, subtitled “Degustation,” took place at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom on Nov. 24. Once more the...

The cat that sold millions of bottles of wine

Gato Negro -- Spanish for “black cat” -- was born as a wine brand in Chile in 1960, making it probably the oldest wine...

Chateau Angelus soars anew

The first time I wrote an article devoted to Chateau Angelus was sometime in 2010, when savvy businessman and Wine Story founder Romy Sia...

The Pink Phenomenon

ROSÉ, PINK or blush wines are getting more and more popular lately, both internationally and also here locally. In the Philippines rosé wines seem to...

Chateau Kirwan on the rise

CHATEAU KIRWAN has always been a great Medoc wine. There was never a doubt that when then Emperor Napoleon III wanted a classification system...

Whisky Live, the Second Dance

THE SUCCESS of the inaugural staging of Whisky Live Manila last year confirmed the existence of a growing number of Filipinos fascinated with whisky,...

Wine tales for oenophiles

For this column, I will do something different. Lawyers have lawyer jokes, anecdotes, and tales, and so do doctors, athletes, and other professions. How...

The best gin joint in the world

IF YOU are like me, one of those newcomer gin lovers, then the six-month-old Atlas Bar in not so far away Singapore is a...

Pet peeves Pet peeves

EVERYONE has pet peeves when it comes to day to day living. My two major pet peeves include enduring people speaking loudly in movie...

Sweet Canadian victory

WHO WOULD have thought that one of Europe’s most well-kept wine secrets, the ice wine (also written as one word, icewine), would also be...

Common wine myths

(Second of two parts) CONTINUING from where I left off in my last column, there are more wine myths that need to be explained and...

From investment banking to wine

By The Glass By Sherwin A. Lao I MET with one of the most fascinating wine owners last week -- Luis Felipe Edwards, Jr., of the...