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Tasting France in a glass

WITHIN EVERY bottle of wine is a summary of time and space in which a wine was made: from every drop of sunlight and rain, to the air and the soil from which the vines absorb life.

Why would anyone ever pay $558,000 for a bottle of Burgundy?

WHEN A private Asian collector bid an eye-popping $558,000 for a single bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti at Sotheby’s sale this past Saturday in New York, a world record was smashed. This was not just the highest price ever reached for a 750 ml bottle of Burgundy, but also the highest for any bottle of wine ever at auction.

NYC sale of 172-year-old wine has surprise: It’s still drinkable

IN A chilly wine warehouse in the Bronx two weeks ago, a famous Portuguese wine maker pried ancient corks from five-gallon glass demijohns of 19th century Madeira. Was the wine inside still drinkable? Madeira ages longer than other wines, but 150-plus years?

Cava: More than just Spanish Champagne

THE SPANISH took a page from the French when it came to their sparkling wines. The invention of the bubbly drink known as champagne, the first recorded sparkling wine, was credited to an abbot priest from Hautvillers named Dom Perignon in the 17th century in the Champagne region, France.

Not just organic, but vegan too

A BOTTLE of wine holds within its confines time and space, for a wine maker has distilled into a liquid the soil, the sunshine, and the care that went into making it. An Australian wine maker is proud to say that he has done that, all while embracing nature and minimizing Man’s touch.

Wine Made Easy: Nine cheap Pinot Grigios actually worth drinking

HERE’S a sad truth. Most pinot grigio is so watery, bland, and just plain dull that wine snobs scorn it and sommeliers at top restaurants won’t list it. Asking for “just a glass of pinot grigio” has almost become an admission that you don’t pay attention to what you swallow.

Urban vineyards

GRAPE PICKERS at the Clos des Morillons look like thousands of others at work in vineyards across France at this time of year. But behind them looms a high-rise housing estate and a short walk away is the noisy Paris ring road.

A look at the Jakarta wine scene

I travel to Jakarta, Indonesia, twice a year for business, and it is customary for me to drop by their wine bars. The two most popular wine bar chains I came across were Vin+ (as in “Vin-plus”), and Cork & Screw. Vin+ is owned by PT Jaddi, one of the dozen or so direct wine importers in the country. Vin+ has three strategic branches in Jakarta, and a few more outside of the Indonesian capital. PT Jaddi also uses the Vin+ wine bars as wine retail stores, as easily a third of the space of their venues have wine racks dedicated to displaying wine brands they import directly.

Tasting rooms for the Millennial Era sprout in Napa and Sonoma

OVER THE last decade, wineries have begun to rethink the whole tasting experience and investing in upscale settings, with prices to match.

French Champagne makers see stars aligned for record harvest

REIMS, FRANCE — In the hilly region of Champagne in eastern France, winegrowers are bringing in grapes early this year for a harvest they expect to be one of the best in a decade.

Wannabe wine connoisseurs can now buy instant cellars

DREAMING of being a wine collector with a killer cellar but don’t know how to turn your fantasy into reality? I understand. The whole prospect of assembling the wines can be a shopping hassle requiring time-consuming research and way too many picky decisions. But you’re in luck.

More Bordeaux labels to discover — 2

CLOS FOURTET, previously known as Chateau Clos Fourtet or even its most archived name Camfourtet (Camp Fourtet), has been an original Premier Grand Cru Saint-Emilion classified wine since the Bordeaux right bank initial classification in the mid 1950s. Clos Fourtet was one of only 12 original Premiers Grand Cru Classés, and one of the eight Classe B in the first Saint-Emilion Grand Cru classification. Clos Fourtet has also been spared from any form of controversy brought about by the 2006 classification, which was eventually junked for the latest 2012 version.

Sacre bleu! Blue wine makes a splash in southern France

SETE, FRANCE — A glass of blue, sir? It is a question that may dismay purist wine makers in France, where wine is a way of life rather than simply a drink, but in the southern town of Sete consumers cannot get enough.

Dessert wine will be the new Scotch if sommeliers have their...

BANKING ON the upswell of interest in digestifs such as amaro and sherry, a growing number of sommeliers in the US — both in fine-dining and more casual restaurants — are hoping to tap into today’s taste for after-dinner drinks with dessert wines.

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.

Whose are better?

EVERYBODY LOVES a wine bargain. Retail chains reflect the zeitgeist, so they’re rushing to cash in by creating house brands to keep their costs down and customers buying. The latest is US giant Walmart Inc., which rolled out its new Winemakers Selection collection in 1,100 of its nearly 4,000 stores in May.

A little bit of honesty from wines

THE SOUTHWESTERN region of France has played host to many films, from the classic Grace Kelly-starrer To Catch a Thief, to the comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But while they like to use it as a setting for movies about swindlers and con men, Thomas Dassé, Export Manager of Lionel Osmin & Cie, describes the people there as “more than honest.”

Aussie winemaker blending in fiery Chinese liquor

NOTHING IS sacred at Treasury Wine Estates Ltd. in the pursuit of profit.

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.

French discover new pleasure… adult comics about wine

PARIS — It is no secret that the French love wine. But they are also the world’s second biggest consumers of graphic novels after the Japanese.

Hidden luxury from pantry: wine and tuna pairings

FEELING A little stressed out but unable to take the weekend off for a vacation? Pamper yourself at home with good bottle of wine, a couple of cans of tuna in the pantry, and a few odds and ends in your refrigerator.

WineGame app brings the Master Sommelier experience to the masses

LAST WEEK, Rob Wilder, the co-founder of ThinkFoodGroup, announced the release of WineGame, a simple app that instantly turns any bottle into a fun, multiple-choice blind tasting game. Even if you don’t know Wilder’s name, you certainly know his partner’s: star chef and humanitarian Jose Andrés. The game began as a late-night lark between Wilder and Andrés who would challenge each other to blindly taste and then correctly name the wine hidden inside a paper bag.

Drinking the Pope’s wine

POPE FRANCIS is a popular Pope, and while he answers ostensibly to God, he is like a normal celebrity: he has pictures taken with other famous people, people pay attention to what he wears, and he has to deal with some of the intricacies that other celebrities face. When he visited the Philippines in January of 2015, crowds swelled to the thousands to greet him. Like most celebrities too, what wine he consumes is of some interest, and on June 12, guests at Chef Jessie’s in Rockwell were treated to glasses of the very same wine that Pope Francis drank during his visit.

Now’s the time: 3 bottles of 1774 vintage wine on sale...

STRASBOURG, France — Tucked away in a vaulted cellar of eastern France for eight generations, they may be the oldest bottles of wine available...

These bad new pink wines prove that Rosé has gone too...

By Elin McCoy, Bloomberg NO MATTER what you do or where you go this summer, you won’t escape rosé. The pink boom just keeps expanding....

The very best (and worst) wines from the 2017 Bordeaux vintage

By Elin McCoy, Bloomberg WHEN I headed to Bordeaux to taste barrel samples from the region’s 2017 vintage, I was not hopeful. I’d followed reports of...

South Africa wine production drying up in water crisis

PARIS — South Africa is set for a steep decline in wine production in 2018 as the country grapples with a water crisis ravaging...

French Crémants are a delicious, sparkling alternative for Champagne

MADE BY the same method as Champagne, French crémants are the latest buzz-grabbers in the expanding bubbly universe — and a wise choice if...

Bignay and duhat wines get the gourmet treatment

THE FRUIT trees in your backyard, or the ones lining the highways you cruise down during road trips apparently yield excellent wine. Bignay, duhat, and...

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...

Robots, giant bottles, and bubbly will define the wine world in...

By Elin McCoy, Bloomberg MOST OF the wine world was happy to wave goodbye to 2017, a year of vine-killing frosts, hail, drought, and destructive...

Organic Champagne making a slow fizz into glasses

REIMS, FRANCE — A bubble it is not: the organic movement is only slowly taking root in France’s Champagne region, although its proponents believe...

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...

On the road to being a ‘super second’

Château Montrose: bridging the huge price gap between the first growths and the rest. WORDS  SHERWIN A. LAO Château Montrose is one of only two Saint-Estèphe appellation...

Thanksgiving gift and menu ideas

Thanksgiving party is the perfect time to gather family, friends and dear ones who have become a special part of your life. It is...

From grape to table, Dutch community toasts urban vines

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS — As a high-speed train rattled past their heads, amateur Dutch wine makers were busy gathering the last of the season’s...

World’s earliest evidence of winemaking found in Georgia

MIAMI — The world’s earliest evidence of grape winemaking has been detected in 8,000-year-old pottery jars unearthed in Georgia, making the tradition almost 1,000...

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...

Tapas and wine

Every Friday and Saturday of November, wine and Spanish cuisine lovers will find a treat at the Lush Bar and Lounge of Luxent Hotel....

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...

Italy plies visitors with wine as it eyes tourism catch-up

BOLGHERI, ITALY – Eating lunch in Italy’s Bolgheri wine country, it is not hard to understand why the number of international visitors to this...

World’s smallest wine vintage since 1961 may lift booze prices

THE WORLD may produce the least wine this year in half a century, after small grape harvests in Italy, France, and Spain, a global...

Bordeaux wine makers optimistic on 2017 quality after frost damage

BORDEAUX wine makers harvested healthy, ripe grapes this year even after the worst frosts in a quarter-century hit vineyards in April and significantly reduced...

No longer just a man’s world

A SMILE CAN sell, and the wine scene in Manila has seen boatloads of handsome men from wineries promoting their wares. But a woman...