Wine tasting events have always been viewed as uptight, formal gatherings that only the rich and socialites can enjoy. So when Enderun Colleges held their wine event last Thursday, they went to the opposite direction. Cleverly entitled “Not for Wine Snobs” Wine Market, this wine tasting event was completely casual and laid back that could be enjoyed by the young and the young at heart.
Arriving at the Wine Tasting Event
I admit, I was a bit hesitant about going to this wine tasting event. I am not a wine expert, and being my first time to attend this sort of event, I didn’t have the slightest clue on what to do. Thankfully, I saw Yvette from Enderun’s External Department by the registration table. She immediately remembered me as one of the food bloggers that attended their Discover Cuisine food bloggers’ event two weeks earlier. I whispered to her about my little predicament, and she was more than happy to explain to me more about the wine tasting event.
Upon registering, Yvette handed me a small booklet. It contained some information of the nine different wine distributors taking part in this rather intimate wine tasting event. Inside the booklet were stubs that you have to give to the representative of the wine distributor so that you can get a serving of their wine.
As I entered through the door, the Atrium was already filled with people, eagerly moving from booth to another, sampling the vintage on display.
With my little booklet in hand, I grabbed my wine glass and began my journey through this wine tasting event.
Highlights of Enderun’s Wine Tasting Event
Wines, Wines, and More Wines
I started my wine tasting experience here by sampling by going over to the booth of Barcino Corporation for two reasons: it was the closest booth to the entrance, and nearly all of the guests were gathered around here.
Barcino had three different wines that they have available for us to sample. I decided to try their Constancia. This was a robust red wine from Spain. Not only was this the very first wine I tried during the wine tasting event. This was also my first time to try out a Spanish wine.
Constancia was very bold, strong and rather dry. The smell and the taste reminded me of cherries. It was also very rich, something that I’d probably have with a hearty bit of steak for dinner, or as a night cap before I headed off to bed.
My next stop was the booth of Zen Asia, Inc. There were not really that much people here, but I was still curious of the different wines that they offered. They had a long line of different kinds of wines that are available for guests at the wine tasting event to try out. As I scanned their rather wide selection, I came across a bottle of Moscato by Deakin Estate in Australia, and chose this to be the wine I’d try out from their booth.
The Moscato by Deakin Estate was very light and delicate white wine with a bit of a crisp to it. This is a very sweet wine, with a taste that was very much like ripe, juicy apples. The alcohol content of the Moscato is rather low. This is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a light desert wine, or you’re not really much of a wine drinker but would like to have some bubbly to enjoy in a party or gathering.
Up next was the booth of the Straits Wine Company. This was one of the booths that I really enjoyed visiting during the wine tasting event, mainly because of the friendly bunch of people that were manning the booth. Instead of just merely getting your wine stub and pouring you a glass of wine to try, the staff of their marketing department really too their time to chat with the ones trying out the wine from their selection.
While I was here, I managed to get to chat to Rachel, the General Manager of the Straits Wine Company here in Manila. She was even gracious enough to invite me to their 2-day Wine Fiesta Philippines event later this month. She even allowed me to sample the other wines in their selection, even if I have already used up my stub on their Cape Zebra wine from South Africa. Next to the Moscato, this became my favorite wine here in the wine tasting event.
I also got to have a chat with Andrew Buenvenida, Straits Wine Company’s wholesale manager, who told me a little bit more about the beginnings of Straits Wine Company here in the Philippines. It was no wonder then why their booth was one of the busiest booths during the entire wine tasting event.
Happy Living Wines was one of the two booths during the wine tasting event that was offering Rose wines to the guests to taste. The other booth that offered Rose wine for the guests was the Premium Wine Exchange. Unfortunately, when I went over to sample the Rose wine at the Premium Wine Exchange booth, the representative told me that the Rose wine was included in their premium wine list, and for me to taste it, I needed to buy another kind of ticket that cost P50 for me to try it out. Since Happy Living Wines were allowing guests to sample this for free, I decided to try out the Rose here, which was rather light. Personally, I found it to be lacking something. Given my lack of skills in wine tasting, however, I really can’t really put my finger on what it was missing.
While visiting the booth of Happy Living Wines, I noticed their rather attractive booth display. Of all the different booths here at the wine tasting events, this was the only booth that offered Christmas packaging and gift items. It was a definite come-on for the attendees of the wine tasting event to visit the booth, try their wines, and even buy a package or two for the upcoming holiday season.
After visiting Happy Living Wines, I decided to take a break and made my way to one of the empty tables in the middle of the venue to fix up some of my notes. On my way there, I was approached by Daniel Perez, Enderun Extension’s Director, who was kind enough to have a quick–and rather impromptu–interview about the wine tasting event.
Daniel Perez on the Enderun Wine Tasting Event
Mr. Perez told me that the wine tasting event is to serve as a launch to Enderun Extension’s wine tasting and appreciation classes, which is one of the many short courses offered by Enderun Extension, the resource for continuing education for Enderun Colleges that offers a number of certificate and short courses.
The second purpose of this wine tasting event is to promote wine tasting as a social event that yuppies in the Philippines can enjoy. That’s why the event did not have any dress code. It’s meant to be a casual, laid-back and lively event where you can learn to appreciate different kinds of wine that are currently available in the Philippines.
Food, Glorious Food
Of course, what event would be complete without any great tasting food? During the wine tasting event, guests were treated to a number of canapes and cocktail food prepared by Restaurant 101–the application restaurant at Enderun Colleges.
But the one that really drew the crowd here was the freshly carved serrano ham offered by Terry’s Selection, which was the only wine distributor booth that offered both food and wine.
Guests at the wine tasting event patiently queued as delectable slivers of ham were served. I took one plate and it was just delicious. It just melts in your mouth. The best thing about it? It was completely free, and you can come back as many times as you want…or while it lasted.
Party to the Evening
As the sun began to set, yuppies and business executives from the nearby central business district of Makati to take part of the festivities in the wine tasting event. The entire Atrium came alive with music and lively conversations from the people going around.
I’m really glad that by the time that they started pouring in, I already had my fill of wine for the day. Every single booth was full of people eagerly wanting to sample the different kinds I’ve tried. The food was also flowing in and out there from the kitchens of Restuarant 101. A few of the guests that came during the evening even bought some wine bottles to take home with them.
No doubt, the entire wine tasting event was a huge success. Although I love drinking wine, I’ve always thought that they pretty much tasted the same. But, I was delightfully mistaken. Each kind of wine from a particular region has its unique characteristic that you can taste from their vintage. I’ve also come across a lot of different wines that had very unique tastes and smells that I’ve never thought wines would even have, like the red wine from the Philippine Wine Merchants that had the smell and taste of vanilla, and the Clos des Verdots–a French wine from Sommelier Selection–whose scent and subtle notes smelled of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
More important, this wine tasting event completely changed the way how I viewed wine events in general. No longer do I view this as an uptight event only for the elite. It is a social event that people can come to relax and unwind over a good conversation, and great tasting wines.
And for that, I congratulate Mr. Perez and the rest of the staff of Enderun Extension for a job well done.