Drinking wine in Manila has gotten so much easier in recent years, especially since Filipinos have developed a taste and curiosity for alcoholic beverages outside of the usual San Miguel beers, and Emperador brandy. While it has gotten exponentially simpler to get a good buzz around the metro, finding places that truly serve based on quality might be a little harder. With the abundance of unlimited wine “promos”, and ridiculously priced by-the-glass rates, we rounded up a list of ways and places in which you can find your money’s worth in drinking and enjoying quality wine.
Restaurants with wine consignment normally have the right wine for their food
Restaurants around Manila who also serve wine go through a fairly meticulous screening process when choosing bottles to include in their menu. The wines are often chosen by head chefs based on the recommendation of wine suppliers and after a few tasting sessions. Ideally, a good restaurant would want quality wines to go with their food, so if you find yourself in a restaurant with a selection of wines, ask one of their trained servers to help you find the right bottle for your meal. Their partnerships with various wine suppliers in the Philippines gives them access to extensive tasting notes and guided tasting sessions with wine companies, so they are equipped with the proper knowledge to guide you in pairing wine with their food.
This option is naturally for those who have a higher budget, as restaurants mostly serve wine by the bottle (though there is often a separate selection of more affordable wine that they can serve by the glass). Some restaurants in Manila that have a meticulously chosen wine selection are Smith Butcher & Grill Room, Bondi & Bourke, and Ilustrado.
Specialty wine bars and boutiques are constantly popping up around the metro
If you’re the type who enjoys sitting wine with proper ambiance and a hefty selection, then you’ll enjoy trying some of the new wine bars that are starting to infiltrate Manila. Bars and boutiques who specialize in bringing wine in the Philippines are the best places to try a glass of wine, as these establishments are committed to bringing unique, high quality wines that aren’t found in the average Filipino grocery or liquor store. These are also great options as wine bars/boutiques normally are very particular about their “brand,” that they ensure that their wine menu positively reflects that same character and quality.
While unlimited wine promos gain a lot of interest in social media, we would recommend against them as these promos aren’t cost-efficient as they seem. Several establishments offer unlimited wine for about Php 400-650 per head, yet the wine they’ll be serving only cost about Php 250 a bottle. An average person can only consume about a single bottle of wine in one sitting, so in an “unli wine” promo, you’re paying more than you can consume.
Online wine stores are often more customer-friendly than physical stores
Online wine stores like Winery Philippines are also gaining a lot of traction in the online wine market, mostly because the service is found to be more customer-centric than physical wine stores. The prices are noticeably more affordable, as an online store eliminates the expense of high commercial rent and utility fees. Here at Winery Philippines, we also have a wine subscription program that allows you to have a minimum of 3 bottles delivered to you every month at discounted prices. You can pick the wines you’ll be receiving, or have our trained sales staff choose the bottles for you. More importantly, we have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee that allows you to return bottles you don’t enjoy and get your money back.
If you’re concerned about not being able to assess or try the wine prior to purchasing a full bottle, we hold several wine tasting events throughout the year so you can taste our wine before buying a bottle! Discounts and private sales are also given often to subscribers of our newsletter, so you can be sure that you’re saving money, and enjoying great wine.
So there you have it! High quality, and value-for-money wine is all over Manila—you only need to go to the right places! Of course, if you stick with Winery Philippines, we can guarantee that you can’t go wrong with our top-rated boutique wines. To stay up to date with discounts and value-for-money wine events, be a kavino and join our fortnightly newsletter! #WineItUp!