A night of fine wines

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
A night of fine wines
(From left) Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago, Australian Ambassador to Thailand Paul Robilliard and wife Hanan, Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce executive director Brendan Cunningham and Treasury Wine Estates GM for Southeast Asia Yodi Mootoosamy.
Photo by Pepper Teehankee on a Leica C Digital Camera

Australian wine Penfolds has captivated wine lovers globally. It has a rich heritage and commitment to fine wines for nearly 175 years.

I recently went to Bangkok to witness the unveiling of The Penfolds Collection 2018 at an exclusive event held at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. The unveiling, hosted by Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago and set against the backdrop of the Chao Phraya River, was also headlined by the 64th consecutive release of 2014 Grange.

We sampled the new vintage release of The Penfolds Collection 2018 and it certainly did not disappoint!

Peter said, “We have been in Southeast Asia for decades and today, I am honored to unveil Collection 2018 at the crossroads of the region here in Bangkok. The Penfolds Collection 2018 is nearly 175 years of cumulative endeavor and one reason to celebrate.”

The flagship Grange, which we were also able to try that night, is the result of discovery, faith, doubt and triumph of the wine company. The 2014 Grange release is true to what Penfolds’ first chief winemaker and creator of Grange Max Schubert first imagined it should be — a wine that can stand on its own two feet throughout the world and will be capable of improvement year on year.

Peter added that Wrattonbully grapes appear in Grange for the first time in the 2014 Grange release, and already, the iconic wine has been garnering critical acclaim from wine critics worldwide. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has given the 2014 Grange a 98 points rating (out of 100), noting that the wine is “rich, concentrated and intense, the 2014 Grange delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from this Penfolds icon wine.”

Each wine within the collection has its own individual “style.” There is no better representation than the 2016 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz with Peter saying, “This 2016 vintage release retains style yet pushes Cabernet/Shiraz blend boundaries, ever so deftly.”

The white wine Reserve Bin A has reaped its own personality and style. As Penfolds would describe it, it is “wonderfully complex yet linear and focused.”

The Bin 311 Chardonnay is a reflection of the winemakers’ mantra: “We always go where the fruit grows best and where it best suits style.” In 2017, the fruit sourcing moved to multi-regional cool-climate regions: Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and Tumbarumba. Peter noted, “Add a little new oak to interlock any regional irregularity to seal the deal, our Bin 311 encapsulates reinvention, rebirth and resurrection.”

The wines went well with the carefully chosen Thai bites passed around the whole night, which included skewered Hokkaido scallops, minced pork wrapped in cucumber, fish cakes, grilled chicken and, of course, Pad Thai (Thai noodles).

The Penfolds Collection 2018 is now available and would make a perfect Christmas present! 

(For more information, visit www.penfolds.com.)

A memorable Spanish dinner

Chefs Ferran Tadeo and Alfredo Rodriguez. Photo by Pepper Teehankee on a Leica C Digital Camera

Guests at BCN by Rambla recently experienced a special one-night-only Spanish dinner by Spanish chefs Alfredo Rodriguez of Rambla and guest chef Ferran Tadeo of La Rambla in Hong Kong.

Dinner standouts included the delicately flavored scallop in spinach cream topped with pine nuts, and a paella dish with my favorite carabinero prawn.  I also loved the canelon (the Spanish version of the Italian cannelloni) filled with Iberico pork and topped with mushroom béchamel, and the smoked monkfish in rouille sauce.

Ferran and Alfredo seemed to work very well together as I enjoyed all the dishes they prepared. It was another memorable dinner for me at BCN by Rambla.

(BCN by Rambla is located on Bolanos Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.)

‘Power of Two’

Shine Resurreccion, Rainier Dominic Villanueva and Tina Bautista.

Powerful online sites Property24 and OLX recently celebrated a night of camaraderie and appreciation for their trusted partners, top agents, realtors and property developers at Discovery Primea in Makati City.

The partnership of these online sites brought together the country’s top real estate portal and the biggest buy-and-sell community. This means that posting on Property24 entitles the real estate seller to cross-sell with the massive audience of OLX.

OLX Philippines head of real estate Tina Bautista led the ceremonial toast. She said, “The real ‘Power of Two’ is not just the combination of these two websites. It’s really the partnership between us, your real estate portal, and you, our clients, the real estate sellers. It is because of our partnership that we’re able to help property buyers across the country.”

Top partner companies who took part in the momentous occasion included PSBank, Robinsons Communities, Vista Land, Laguna Technopark and Regus Philippines.

Property24 is the fastest growing property portal in the Philippines. An effective online platform for real estate developers, agencies and brokers, it allows property sellers to showcase their listings to a wider audience of qualified prospective buyers.

Sumptuous festive treats

Suckling pig.

The holiday season will definitely be merry as Shangri-La at the Fort’s Canton Road offers its special Festive Menu on Dec. 24, 25 and 31 and Jan. 1. The ala carte items will remain available as well.

Canton Road chef Wei Qing Wang brings a modern touch to his authentic Cantonese cuisine at the restaurant. With over two decades of experience, chef Wang has perfected cooking traditional Cantonese dishes as well as Fujian-style dishes. Prior to joining Shangri-La at the Fort as Canton Road’s executive Chinese chef, he worked in Shanghai and Fuzhou, China. He also worked as the chef de cuisine in charge of the Chinese kitchen at Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou in 2004.

The restaurant’s Christmas family lunch dim sum set menu can be had for a certain price with a minimum of three persons. There are also three special Festive Set Menus for 10 people inclusive of free-flowing iced tea and soft drinks.

Festive specialty dishes include suckling pig stuffed with black truffle and dried scallop fried rice, pan-fried US scallops and prawn mousse glazed with crab roe, and braised seafood soup with crab roe and fish maw. 

There is also a Dinner Menu, inclusive of free-flowing iced tea and soft drinks, that requires a minimum of three persons. This menu includes my favorite dishes: crispy wasabi-coated prawn ball, mango pearl and braised 12-head abalone and lotus leaf rice.

You have four days this season to have a taste of Cantonese cuisine at Canton Road at very special prices! *

(For inquiries or reservations, call 820-0888.)

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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