When being offered with wine, the most logical response should be “wine not?”. I mean c’mon, it’s probably the healthiest way to get drunk, not to mention that you instantly feel a lot classier when you’re holding a wine glass.
I have a friend who once worked in a wine company and I was able to learn a few things from her like how swirling the wine in the glass brings out the aroma, and which food goes well with which each variety. But aside from these, I’m not really that familiar with the complexities of wine drinking.
If you’re like me who loves to enjoy a glass of fine fermented grape juice, without having to be too mindful of the “rules”, we might be seeing each other at Planet Grapes. They take pride in their “easygoing and wine-friendly ambiance”, where diners can loosen up and enjoy their dinner, without having to worry so much about the dos and don’ts. I experienced this first hand when I took part in the Wine not Whine blogger event prepared by Nuffnang Philippines together with Planet Grapes.
What sets Planet Grapes apart from other similar establishments is that the combinations they offer for wine and food goes beyond the traditional pairings. Apparently, they also offer wine together with local favorites like chicharon, squid balls, and balut! This is a place where fine dining meets street-food.
Allow me to take you through the unusual combinations we had during our visit:
Vinum Chenin Blanc 2012
Cape Dreams Colombar 2014
The Winery of Good Hope Unoaked Chardonnay 2013
Ghost Corner Semillon 2012
Squid Balls -Php 165.00
Chicharon with Tinapa Dip – Php 215.00
Quail Eggs – Php 45.00
Who would have thought that these street-foods would go so well with white wine? Maybe it’s because the crisp and zesty hints of citrus and tropical fruits is a good contrast against the strong salty tastes of our starters.
The Winery of Good Hope Pinotage 2012
Cederberg Merlot-Shiraz 2011
Lion Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Radford Dale Shiraz 2012
Grilled Chorizo – Php 135.00
Planet Grapes Super Sisig – Php 21.00
Chorizo Burger – Php 310.00
Now the food of our second set isn’t exactly what you would consider as street-food, but it’s still very familiar to the Pinoy palate nonetheless. Out of the three, I liked the grilled chorizo the most, and it’s the one that went with red wine the best too. My personal favorite among the “reds” is the Cederberg Merlot-Shiraz 2011. It has a rich aroma of blackcurrant and ripe plums, that gives it a strong fruity aftertaste.
Planet Grapes lets us enjoy wine without the drama, but just in case you also wish to know the basics of wine drinking, here are the 5 “steps” to enjoying your wine, as shared to us during the event by Ms. Carla Santos – a wine educator who has at least six years of experience in the wine industry. Let’s go through each one, shall we?
Observe the Color of the Wine
Expose the wine to air, and let it “breathe”
Identify the different aromas
Taste the flavor of the wine
SPIT OR SWALLOW
Now I know what you’re thinking with your kinky thoughts, but it’s not that. Apparently, there are some instances where you may want to spit out the wine, especially when you need to try others during wine tasting.
I should have listened more carefully because I swallowed every glass of wine that was laid before me that night! As expected, I started feeling woozy and tipsy, but I didn’t mind because it allowed me to enjoy the night some more. And I can tell that the other guests were having a great time too! Especially during the Bingo game, which just like our food and drinks, was also an unusual yet creative combination to the stylish and classy ambiance of Planet Grapes.
Planet Grapes’ wines may be had by sip, half-glass, full glass, or by the bottle. Price ranges may be around Php 160 – 500 per full glass, or Php 700 – 6,000 per bottle, depending on the variety of wine you’re having.