Food and Leisure

My holiday wine guide

FEAST WITH ME - Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi - The Philippine Star

There’s nothing worse than being in a festive mood only to find that the drink selection is, well, less than optimum. Overly oaked cheap chardonnay or a red wine that smells suspiciously of plum sauce rather than ripe plums.

When choosing a wine, always consider the number of guests, the occasion, your budget, and, of course, what kind of guests. A friend who prefers beer and a rum Coke will not appreciate your fancy Bordeaux, while one that is a bit of a connoisseur may scrunch their nose at your basic supermarket chard. Each occasion has a particular profile and choose your wines accordingly.

The most common question I get over the holidays is what wine to serve at cocktail parties. Here’s a roundup of reasonably priced wines that would work well in several kinds of festive occasions.

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot, P1,555

An easy-to-drink Bordeaux blend with dark fruit, a plush texture, well-rounded and full. An all-around crowd pleaser that would be perfect for your Noche Buena dinner.

Call Moet Hennessy at 0917-522-8951 for orders.

Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec, P1,090

This spicy, intense wine is brooding and moody. Full-bodied with dark red fruit and a hint of violet and clove, this would be a perfect match for a grilled steak dinner or a festive Christmas barbecue. Think nice charred flavors of inihaw.

Call Moet Hennessy at 0917-522-8951 for orders.

Saint Jacques de Siran, P789

A classic Bordeaux that is well-priced and familiar. A great option to serve at cocktail parties.

Available at Santis.

Keller Riesling Trocken, P1,150

Dry, crisp, beautiful citrus and slightly floral notes, an absolute joy to drink. Truly one of my favorite wines on the market right now. A great bottle to bring for a reunion dinner at a Thai restaurant or while enjoying most Asian cuisines.

Available at Premium Wine Exchange. Call 812-3823 for orders.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, P1,850

Your easygoing best friend, reliable and trustworthy. This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect white wine to serve for seafood dishes or as an aperitif. Gooseberries, passion fruit, crisp with a nice mineral quality. Try it as well with your cheese dinners —sauvignon blanc is a classic pairing for goat cheese!

Call Moet Hennessy at 0917-522-8951 for orders.

Ribbonwood Pinot Gris, P748

Beautiful baked apple and custard giving a really cozy, comforting nose, but with a surprisingly dry and stony palate. A well-priced, rather sophisticated wine that would be a nice conversation starter. Also an excellent choice for Asian cuisine or seafood.

Available at Santis.

By Ott Rosé, P1,200, and Camas Rosé, P680

Rosé all day! If you are having a big party — particularly a merienda cena — a good rosé is probably your best bet in terms of value for money and drinkability.

By Ott Rosé is available at Bacchus Epicerie; Camas Rosé from Sommelier Selection.

Moet & Chandon Brut Ice Imperial, P3,990  

Ice in your Champagne? Oh, yes! The French call it a piscine, or swimming pool. Take the plunge with this specially formulated Champagne by Moet & Chandon meant specifically for drinking on ice. Most of the time, Champagne is never chilled properly, anyway, and gets warm really fast when outdoors.

This is a perfect way to bypass that whole process and just enjoy the party!

Call Moet Hennessy at 0917-522-8951 for orders.

Batasiolo Prosecco Brut NV, P650

Fresh and fruity Prosecco is always a great alternative to Champagne if you are looking to serve large crowds. Just look for Brut or you may end up with something too sweet.

Available at Santis.

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