By Joseph L. Garcia, Reporter

THE seasons are here to remind us of our place in the universe. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter occur due to the Earth’s axial tilt, and humankind’s existence revolves around this cosmic phenomenon. The seasons also remind us of the passage of time, how things that blossom will die someday, and, perhaps, be reborn in the future.

Conrad Manila’s C Lounge pays tribute to the changing of seasons with Perfect Pair, a weekly degustación showing off seasonal ingredients paired with exquisite wines. This month, the C Lounge is showcasing chili peppers, and we can’t wait for next month’s offering of chocolate. Previous months have seen ingredients like coriander in the spotlight.

Apparently, the thrust for seasonality is a global initiative by the Hilton Group, as part of its #EatDrinkHilton campaign. “Every month, we choose to highlight one seasonal product,” said Clement Huguet, Director of Food and Beverage of Conrad Manila.

BusinessWorld attended one such dinner. The menu changes every Wednesday, and for dinner last week, we were presented with an appetizer of chilled papaya salad and tandoori chicken with sweet chili sauce and a watermelon reduction. This was paired with a 2014 Mouton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux, from the Baron Philippe de Rothschild estates. The pairing almost provided a shock, injecting a colorful freshness to the ingredients.

The main course was a blackened salmon with nam cham chili dressing with avocado mango micro salad. Each of the ingredients gave balance to each other: the tart mango and the spicy chili gave life back to the fish, while the avocado slice tempered the whole affair. This was paired with another exquisite offering from the Rothschild estates, a Cadet d’Oc 2013 Pinot Noir, which gave the otherwise light dish some depth and gravitas. The meal ended with a light dessert of warm prosecco sabayon of wild berries with a butter cookie serving as the spoon. The exquisite wines and the carefully prepared dishes all cost the sum of P1,450 nett — factoring in the wines, it’s quite a bargain. The meal is available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday.

Conrad Manila’s C Lounge is located at Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. For more information, call 833-9999.