“Cebu Trade Wine Tour”
Dr. Nestor Alonso II (The Freeman) - July 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Recently, members of the local media and other guests were invited by Happy Living Philippines Corporation and Terry’s Selection to an evening called “Cebu Wine Trade Tour” at the Circa 1900.

Happy Living is a wine and spirits importer that is now celebrating its 25th year of wine distribution in the Philippines. It has re-launched its business in Cebu with a new warehouse facility managed by a Cebu-based team. Its partner, Terry’s Selection, is also celebrating its 20th year as a classic Spanish restaurant as well as a wine and gourmet food importer.

Happy Living Executives led by general manager Julian Gagliardi, managing director Griffith Go, marketing communications manager Ina Chua and Cebu operation manager Peter Militante welcomed guests to the professional wine tasting and the Wine Trade Master Class at the Casa Uno. The wine tour began with a registration, where a wine glass and a brochure are given to guide attendees in their journey.

It was best to taste the white wines first that were displayed in two stations, the Old World Wines (France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal), before moving to the New World Wines (Argentina, Australia, Chile and USA).

In tasting wines, there are four recognized stages: appearance, “in glass” or the aroma, “in mouth” sensations, and the “finish” or aftertaste. There are specific words to describe the perceived aromas, flavors and other qualities of the wine, and these terms are constantly evolving. In the 2013 film documentary “SOMM,” about Master Sommelier Examination, there is a wine note of “freshly opened can of tennis balls” that sent me looking for a friend who was a tennis player.

For the second part of the journey at the recent “Cebu Trade wine Tour,” I tasted the red wines beginning with the Old World wines before visiting the New World Wines. The trip was punctuated with visits to the Food Stations, because all those wines did stimulate the appetite. The food on display were Mini Croissants Filled with BBQ Pulled Pork & Bacon Onion Jam, Chicken & Mushroom Satay with Peanut Sauce, Various Breads with Spreads like Olive Pesto & Liver Pâté (Pâté was excellent!), Fried Paella Balls with Roast Vegetable Salsa, Tomato & Buffalo Cheese Bruschetta, Chocolate Stout Cake, Strawberry Purée etc.

I took a peek at the Master Class 2 where Europe and Notions of Terroir were discussed and where the origins of these wines were identified: Duval Leroy Brut Reserve, G.D. Vajra Barbera D’Alba, Protos Reserva 2012, Marques de Caceres Reserva 2012, and Vega Sicilia Pintia Toro DOC 2013. At the time I had already tasted, excuse me, 17 of those 46 white and red wines and it would have been a miracle if I correctly identified the origins of just two wines!

Much later, I saw the Master Class 1 Course Outline, Judgment of Paris Blind Tasting. It replicated the wines in the film “Bottle Shock,” where California wines defeated French wines in a blind taste test. Had I known that it was part of the “Cebu Wine Trade Tour,” I would have been the most eager student in that class!

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