If you’re the least bit interested in wine, you probably know that the grape variety and region from which a particular bottle was made shows the history and culture behind it. If you’re looking to find a good bottle from the best wine-producing regions, read on to know quick tips on finding the right places to get your favorite wines from.
However, if you’re new to wine or simply looking for a bottle you can call your favorite, knowing the regionsthat are best known for producing certain varietals can help you gage two things: value and quality.
There are countless wine-producing regions all over the world, and each region has a set of varietals that they are truly proud of and are known to produce. While the Philippines isn’t known for producing wine, we are lucky enough to have access to buy some really good wines from the most well-known wine-growing regions, either through physical shops or online wine stores.
The Cab Sauv seems to be the red wine of choice for the Filipino palette, as any local wine store would always have an excess amount of this varietal. This could be because this varietal matches the bold flavors that Filipinos normally prefer in food, as Cabernet Sauvignon is known for being that full-bodied, and highly tannic red. It also tends to have strong flavors of black fruits, and black pepper—an ingredient that is often used heavily in local dishes.
This variety is also readily available here in Manila, as it can be a good choice for those who find Cabernet Sauvignon a little too bold for their taste. As opposed Cabernet Sauvignon’s strong flavors, Merlot is medium-bodied and has softer, medium tannins, yet still has a fair amount of acidity with hints of red fruits, like cherries and raspberries.
Due to its toned down flavor, it can be more versatile in terms of pairing with food. You can have it with white or red meats, even fish and seasoned vegetables.
To ensure that you’re picking a Merlot made by a brand committed to good quality, try bottles from Orange, Australia and/or Apalta, Chile.
If you prefer a lighter-bodied drink, then white wine might be a better choice for you. A classic white varietal is Sauvignon Blanc, which usually has green apple, passionfruit, and green bell pepper notes to it.
Despite having notes that are known for being sweet, a good Sauv Blanc is usually on the drier side, which makes itpair well with dishes seasoned with green herbs, like cilantro, parsley, and rosemary. You can also have it with white meats or fish.
Think of Chardonnay as Sauvignon Blanc’s big sister. This varietal is fruity as well and just as dry but it’s medium-bodied, and tends to have a more pronounced flavor. Chardonnay commonly has pineapple, mango, honey and hints citrus with a creamy finish.
You can have it with food that also have some creaminess to them, like carbonara, chicken cordon bleu, and even fish with herbs.
Champagne, Prosecco, Asti
Sparkling wines are always best to have during celebrations and special occasions. While winemakers always have their distinct styles in producing bubbly wines, the types you can buy here in Manila will usually have flavors of honey and pear with some zesty notes.
The most well-known sparkling varietal would arguably be Champagne, the strictly French, bubbly wine. Champagne is simply sparkling wine from France, and ranges from bone dry to sweet, depending on the winemaker’s style. Other sparkling white wines, specifically, Prosecco and Asti are usually on the drier to brut side.
If you’re looking to have sparkling wine on your next celebration, only have Champagne from Champagne, France; Asti from Piedmont, Italy, and any Italian-style Prosecco from Australia.
Riesling is a recognizable and easily accessible white wine in the local market. It is often sweet but there are certain regions that produce it with drier taste. It commonly has hints of nectarine, apricots, and lemon.
Due to its high acidity and sweetness, it can pair well even with appetizers, and spicy, Asian food, like those with curry and Sriracha.
For sweet Riesling, it would be best to choose a bottle produced in Mosel, Germany but if you prefer a dry Riesling, try those from Alsace, France or King Valley, Australia.
Always keep in mind that when choosing wine, it’s always best to choose one from a region that has long and reputable history of making specific varietals. This ensures that you’re paying good value for expertly made wine. As we always like to say here in Winery Philippines, there’s always great wine for every budget.
Of course, the best way to know the best wine for you is to drink often, and drink well. There are many opportunities here in Manila--not just to buy good wine but to also learn about it. Be a kavino and join our growing community for more tips on drinking and shopping for wine here in Manila. Cheers!