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A Filipino natural wine that can take the heat |


A Filipino natural wine that can take the heat

Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
A Filipino natural wine that can take the heat
The Bb. Sunshine label by Paulina Paige Ortega was inspired by the 1980 film Temptation Island with the name taken from the fictional pageant they enlist in.
JL Javier

You’ve got to have guts to launch your own natural wine in the Philippines. Here, where the popular (sometimes only) choices are either red (typically Cabernet Sauvignon) or white (when you ask, it’s usually a Chardonnay), natural wine purveyor Bombvinos’ first label Bb. Sunshine is as refreshing as a bite into a ripe, succulent fruit on a hot summer day.

The spirits were alive during the launch. Hosted in the ancestral home Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, we toasted matriarch Gregoria de Jesus’ unabashed gumption as the Lakambini of the Katipunan revolutionary movement. We also thought back to the lockdown days of the pandemic, where many of us imbibed the exuberance of the women of the 1980 cult classic Temptation Island as we tippled spirits of the alcoholic kind — whether to cope or to celebrate. Stranded on a deserted island, the Miss Manila Sunshine Beauty pageant queens went, “Walang tubig, walang pagkain, eh di magsayaw nalang tayo!”

“The scene resonated so well with us and with people during that time because it basically reflected the mindset I think many of us adopted to try not just to survive, but thrive during trying times,” recalls Joey Osmeña, one half of Bombvinos, thinking back to the time they grew their business during the pandemic from selling on Instagram to a brick-and-mortar shop with a restaurant in Makati helmed by Don Baldosano.

“We realized that chefs were looking for natural wines that could complement Filipino food, and while doing tastings with chefs like Jordy Navara of Toyo, it dawned on us that most of the wines in manila were red wines that tend to be a little heavier,” says co-creator and co-owner Paolo Monasterio. “We felt, hey, has anyone ever developed a wine with the Filipino palate in mind?”

Osmeña and Monasterio tapped winemaker Konpira Maru. “We wanted a wine that could stand up to the salty, sweet, savory and sour flavors of Filipino food and complement it,” Monasterio says. “We wanted a wine that could be more approachable, given that natural wine in the Philippines is kind of new; not too funky compared to what other natural wines tend to be.”

It also had to have a good acidity but not be too sour. “A daytime drinking wine that’s good for the hot and humid Filipino climate,” he adds as we fan ourselves, Bb. Sunshine in hand.

The result is a light-orange wine made with a blend of five different grape varietals. The initial combination of Riesling, Merkel Vineyard, King Valley, Victoria and Chardonnay, Eminence Vineyard, Whitlands, King Valley, Victoria are now at 30% and 25% respectively; while the addition of 30% Arneis, Cavicchiolo Vineyard, King Valley, Victoria; 10% Sauvignon Blanc, Aradale Vineyard, Grampians, Victoria; and 5% Picolit, Bendigo and Victoria each add a distinct sweetness to the well-rounded blend.

The first sip is light and bright, mellowing to a subtle note of citrusy and sweet towards the end, with tasting notes of green mango and pineapple, along with stone fruit and floral aromas.

Is it strong enough to co-exist with Euro-centric pairings and rules? Bb. Sunshine proves strength need not be heavy. When it gets too hot, sometimes all you need is a cool summer breeze; sometimes that comes in a chilled wine glass.

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Bb. Sunshine is available at the Bombvinos Bodega in The Zone Sports Center, 7224 Malugay Street, Brgy, Makati and online at

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