An Intimate Affair with Spanish Wine at the ASEAN Merchants Launch

ASEAN Merchants Patricia and David Coll-Piferrer with Wine Sommelier David Pedrol

ASEAN Merchants founders Patricia and David Coll-Piferrer (left) and Wine Sommelier David Pedrol of Maset del Lleo Vins i Cavas. Photo used with permission from ASEAN Merchants.

I was honored to attend the launch of ASEAN Merchants at the Bellevue Hotel in Alabang. It was an exclusive affair, graced by members of the Philippine Association of Wedding Planners, restaurant representatives and selected members of the press.

I was warmly greeted by ASEAN Merchants President Patricia Gancayco Coll-Piferrer and her husband, David once I got to the venue. Since they were still waiting for the other guests to arrive, I managed to chit-chat with Patricia before the event.

About ASEAN Merchants

Based in Barcelona, Spain, ASEAN Merchants was established in 2011 by Patricia Gancayco and David Coll-Piferrer, a husband and wife team extremely passionate about wine. They distribute boutique Spanish wines and olive oils from different parts of Spain.

This year, ASEAN Merchants decided to expand their operations by exporting Spanish wines and olive oils to Asia, starting with the Philippines through their affiliate AMPHORA Merchants.

Patricia explained that they designed their launch to be a reflection of who ASEAN Merchants is: a company that is approachable  that will give their clients the personal attention they deserve.

Out of curiosity, I asked Patricia why did they decide to make the Philippines their first stop out of all the other countries in Asia.

“The decision was easy,” Patricia said. “I am a Filipina. Even though Spain is now my home, the Philippines will always have a special place in my heart. Also, Filipino food has got a lot of Spanish influence in them; so it’s very easy to pair them with Spanish wine.”

Getting Intimate with Spanish Wines

Aside from being a reflection of their company, the intimate vibe of the event is also a reflection what wine is for her and David.

“Wine is not something that you just gulp down,” she passionately pointed out. “It’s meant to be savored and enjoyed. It’s an intimate. You have wine to celebrate an event with friends, have dinner with that special someone, or just on your own. When I want to relax after a long day at work, I’d pour a glass of wine and stare out the window.”

Wine Tasting with David Pedrol

The highlight of the entire launch was the wine tasting event.

For this, Patricia and David flew in David Pedrol—a wine sommelier with more than 12 years of experience in the wine industry, and the Sales and Marketing Director of Maset del Lleo Vins i Cavas wine company in Spain.

Before the actual wine tasting, Mr. Pedrol gave a short, but insightful, talk about how wine is made and how to properly do a wine tasting. It was great not only to have a refresher course on wine tasting, but also learn about how wine is made. It helped me and the other guests to appreciate the Spanish wines they were serving even more.

We were given four different Spanish wines to try, all from Maset de Lleo Vins i Cavas. Three of them were red wines.

Maset del Lleo Vins i Cavas Spanish Wines

Spanish wines supplied by Maset del Lleo Vins i Cavas for the ASEAN Merchants launch

The fourth was a Cava, a sparkling wine from the Catalonia region.

Being the gracious hosts they are, Patricia and David personally poured our wines while Mr. Pedrol guided us through the entire wine tasting process.

ASEAN Merchants' David Coll-Piferrer pours a glass of Spanish wines for the guests to try

ASEAN Merchants’ David Coll-Piferrer pours a glass of Spanish wines for the guests to try.

Of the four wines that we tried, my favorites were the Maset del Lleo Roble Tempranillo and, of course, the Cava. The body of the Maset del Lleo Roble Tempranillo was just right—not too light or heavy. I can easily imagine drinking this after a long busy day of work or with a light meal. The Cava was very light, and very refreshing; perfect to celebrate an successful event like this launch of ASEAN Merchants in the Philippines.

With that, I raise my glass and say “Mabuhay!” to ASEAN Merchants, and to Patricia, Welcome Home!

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About Adeline Yuboco

A natural-born foodie with an eye for detail, I started Life and Leisure to be a place where I can share on how to travel and live in style within your means. At the same time, I cover various events for DigitalJournal.com where I'm a contributing journalist. If you got a great story idea or have an event you'd like me to cover, drop me an email at the Contact page, message me on Twitter, or Connect with me on


  1. Wow what an interesting event. I imagine you had a wonderful night, it sure sounds like it from your post. While I do not personally drink wine, I think that I would really like that Cava though if I did because I like light and I love sparkling juices. I would of loved to hear how the wine was made, I bet that was an interesting class.
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    • Yes, it was a lot of fun. You’ll really love the Cava. It’s quite a celebratory kind of drink. I’ll be writing a post soon about that. Hope you will drop by again to check it out.

  2. Susan Cooper

    What a delightful event that must have been. I would have love to have been there to taste the wines you mentioned. Spanish wines have such a vibrancy about them that make them a great experience. :)
    Be sure to check out Susan Cooper’s most recent post…Guest Post by Patrick Huff – Bitches Brew: BeerMy Profile

    • Yes, they were, Susan. And that’s the other thing I love about wines. It still amazes me that one kind of wine from two different countries can have such unique personalities.

  3. Looks very classy. We have several wines at home; but my hubby’s the one who really enjoys them.
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  4. I’m now looking forward to more Spanish type of Wine in the Philippine Market.
    Be sure to check out Franc Ramon’s most recent post…San Fab Vacation House AgainMy Profile

  5. Hi Adeline,
    Great article and what fun! Wine tasting is so much fun, And you’re right, it’s not just about the tasting, but also the quality .. and the “legs”! Did you see any? Delightful!
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  6. I have been to many local wine tastings but none as elegant as the one you attended. Some Spanish wines are wonderful. And I just learned a new word Mabuhay.
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  7. I agree that drinking a glass of wine is an intimate moment. It’s not like you just pop open a bottle and chug it. You savor it, you enjoy it. That event sounds wonderful with experienced wine experts.

  8. “When I want to relax after a long day at work, I’d pour a glass of wine and stare out the window.”

    This statement from your article made me stop and think about how I relax. I don’t often stare out a window–I more often stare into the window of my soul: my hopes, my dreams, my memories, and my moments of joy. Reading your blog is one of those moments.
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  9. I love red wines, I sometimes substitute this with soda during dinner time. You are lucky to attend a Spanish wine tasting.
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  10. its nice to be involved in events like this, someting very important to our country. nice event! :D

    Rovie, The Bargain Doll

  11. Hi Adele,

    Wow, two things I consume every single day, wine and olive oil!

    Why? well, for one thing I’m from France and wine is consume like water there. Not that people get drunk everyday, no, none of that, but they drink wine with lunch and dinner. Wine is very good for you too. Frankly my family is pretty much disease free, young and old and wine is on the table each day.

    Olive oil comes from my Italian side of the family, my father’s side. Cooking with olive oil is much healthier than any other oil. And I just love it!

    Thank you for this information about such great company :)
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    • Nice to see you again here, Sylviane.

      Yes, that’s what David and Patricia explained to me. It’s more to accentuate the flavors and just enhance the entire dining experience. And I agree, they are both healthy and so good for all of us.

  12. One of this days I want to master the art of wine tasting. It’s gonna be fun learning that process.
    Be sure to check out Franc Ramon’s most recent post…The Zombie Journals: Outbreak Enchanted KingdomMy Profile

  13. Wine is not merely for FUN but intimate relation to yourself. And for other countries WINE is LIFE, as WATER CONSUMPTION.
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  14. Cheers! thanks to Patricia, our country is the first stop. And I definitely agree on her that Filipino foods are strongly influenced by the Spanish. Perfect pair!

  15. Wow, I totally envy you right now! I love to drink wine and a possible attendance to this kind of event seems like heaven to me. LOL. Great to know you had a blast!

  16. So is this true? Wine is valued by its price, not its flavour. by Anthony Trollope
    Lucky you to be part of that event! :)
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    • Thanks so much, Gemma!

      As for your question, my answer will have to be no. Like what David and Patricia explained to me, wine is all about the experience. The price may be a factor to the experience (especially knowing that you are drinking a really expensive wine). But it’s not more important than the flavor. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

  17. A good read this hot and humid afternoon. Sure you did have a fun and an intimate experience attending such affair and yes wine tasting.
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  18. How does Spanish wine taste as compared to our local wine? For 32 years, I’ve no idea anymore how does different wines taste for I’d stopped drinking liquor, spirits until now. Anyway, at least, you’ve been there and you’ve “spirit” experience with Spanish wine. Viva España!
    Be sure to check out Gil Camporazo’s most recent post…School Heads Keep The Wheels on TurningMy Profile

    • Hi Gil,

      Comparing Spanish wine with the local wines produced here will be like comparing apples with bananas. We use different ingredients (e.g. sugar cane or coconut). The way they are fermented and stored also differs.

  19. wow! what a classy event! lucky you to have experienced it!

    so how’s the wine? i can no longer remember ang lasa ng wine.. di na ako nakatikim simula naging mommy na ako.. :(
    Be sure to check out Grasyah | The Island Mom’s most recent post…Bloggers Wanted ~ iPad Mini Holiday EventMy Profile

    • Well, like I mentioned in the blog post, the wines had their own personalities. Of them, I liked the Maset del Lleo Roble Tempranillo and the Cava. Both were light, refreshing and very friendly on the palate.

  20. What an impressive tandem. It’s nice to know that a Filipina such as Patricia Gancayco Coll-Piferrer thought about getting into the wine business with her husband, and involving her country still. Now, I may not fancy drinking wines at all. I guess I haven’t really gotten a taste of the good ones yet. :P
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  21. I have yet to try a Spanish Wine myself though I’m more of a beer guy. ^_^
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  22. Looks really high end and classy. I love red wines. I will have to check the ones you mentioned above in the malls. I hope they’re not that pricey too.
    Be sure to check out Ness’s most recent post…Caffe Ti-amo: Italian Gelato and Coffee in Greenbelt 5My Profile

  23. This must have been quite an event . I’ve only tasted quite a few wines in my life so it’s interesting to read descriptions about it’s taste as well as the experience.
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  24. Lucky you Adele. How I wish I can do some wine tasting my self. Really great event. =) .
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  25. I know nothing about wines, All I know is the Pinot Grigio and I love how the crisps of it. Lucky that you have tasted different wines.
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  26. Goodness, I can almost taste the wine! It’s relaxing and fun just to read your post. Wine is an experience unto itself and a sensual one at that – the smelling, the feel of the glass, the look of it and of course, the taste. Many layers of delight …
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  27. I don’t know, but I’m like comparing wine to poetry and classical music. Mysterious. I don’t know much about wine, but the media showed me how the wine experts treated it, that there’s more to it than just being an alcoholic drink.
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  28. Hello there,

    This is an interesting event. I like to drink wine. And I’m so envy this wonderful event.
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