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Reintroducing wine drinking to Filipinos

October 17, 2019

DRINKING alcohol in moderation is definitely a fun and enjoyable pastime for adults — be it in the middle of the work week to de-stress, on a date or with friends and family gatherings. Among Filipinos, the most common choice of spirits is either beer or gin, and the occasional cocktail mix for the ladies and brandy for the men.

Now if you’ve noticed that wine is missing from the list, it actually is. Because strangely enough, even with wine bars easily accessible to most, a new research still shows that Filipinos cannot be considered wine drinkers compared to many other nations in the world. This even if we have our own versions of wine namely tuba, lambanog and basi.

The same research found that to this day, many Filipinos remain intimidated with the need to know good quality wine from the rest, or which bottle goes well with what food.

These bottles are specifically crafted for the Filipino wine drinker.

Happily, a well-known and well-loved brand has taken the challenge of putting Filipinos at ease with wine-drinking — with the ultimate goal of showing the fun in vino they’ve been missing — via a brand new venture.

Innovation of wine experts

Wine Brothers Philippines — the importing and distributing company of San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation, the packaging division of San Miguel Corporation — aims to be part of everyday celebrations of Filipinos by providing quality wines that can fit any occasion.

With significant holdings in Australia, the company decided to innovate and to create its counterpart Wine Brothers Australasia, serving as the export arm of the company that exports Woomera wines — the very own brand of wine of San Miguel.

“Woomera is an innovation by the expertise of our wine makers and the capabilities of our world-class facilities in Australia and the growing wine market in the Philippines. Woomera wines are quality wines that are specifically crafted for the Filipino market. That’s what sets our wine apart from the rest of the imported wines you can see in the supermarkets because it’s Australian wine. It has an international quality that is actually crafted for the Filipinos. This is the same technique that the Wine Brothers Australasia developed in order to craft the wines,” Wine Brothers Philippines Marketing Head Anais Leynes shared du­ring an intimate media event.

“For those who are unaware, woomera is an aboriginal device that helps hunters launch their spears hitting their targets with more accuracy. And this is what we do. We craft the wines and make sure that it’s fit for the Filipino market to create the perfect flavor and create a perfect drinking experience for the Filipinos,” she added.

Wine Brother Philippines’ Woomera has introduced three types of wines — the Cabernet Merlot (red), Sauvignon Blanc (white) and Rosé.

According to Wine Brothers Philippines General Manager Jonathan Nisperos, San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation ventured into the wine industry a couple of years ago by buying independent fillers or wine filling facilities and began the business in terms of being present in the wine industry. He pointed out that Australian wines are becoming more popular to Filipinos because of their bold, authentic and fun characteristics.

“The rationale is, the more wine we fill in our facility, the better for San Miguel. We believe there’s an industry in the Philippines that’s catering to wine drinkers. Though we’re predominantly beer and hard liquor drinkers, but there’s a certain segment in the Philippines where San Miguel is not yet present and that is the wine industry which is why we ventured here,” Nisperos said.

“The wine market in the Philippines is growing which about 24 million liters a year with growth rate of around eight or nine percent per year. We’re very new in the industry here, but in terms of our facilities in Australia, we do thousands of cases a year. Here in the Philippines we’re starting slow because we’re new to it and at the same time, we would like to introduce our wines slowly to make the market appreciate Australian wines more,” he added.

Food and wine pairing

There are few things Filipinos love more than a meal paired with a great drink. When it comes to wine, there are the standard matches: reds with steak, whites with seafood. But plenty of pairings are awaiting discovery with the varieties of wines in the market, and the wide range of global cuisines that have crossed over to Philippine shores.

This is why the San Miguel Foods Culinary Center and Wine Brothers partnered for “Wine Walkabout: A food and wine journey” at the newly opened Glass Wine Lounge of Sourdough Café + Deli in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

The event name Walkabout pays homage to Woomera’s home, Australia, and the aboriginal practice of setting the young out in the open to explore and learn on their own.

“Food and wine pairing can be intimidating for a lot of people especially to those who are uninitiated. So we want to portray wine drinking as a casual affair. It doesn’t have to be always formal so to speak. We want people to appreciate their love for food more and food flavors that can come out because of how wines compliment flavors,” enthused Llena Tan-Arcenas, San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Services Manager, during the event.

The five-course degustation was centered on letting guests deviate from the usual practice of food and wine pairing, letting them decide which drink they feel suits their meal best. For the said event, guests were able to pair Woomera wines with their meal.

San Miguel Foods Culinary Chefs Pam Obieta and Martin Narisma created with a mouth-watering grazing table for the guests. Meanwhile, Chef Ryan Vergara (executive chef of Sourdough Cafe) and Chef Alvin Ong (chef consultant) prepared a five-course Australian-inspired dinner in collaboration with the San Miguel Foods Culinary Center.

Each course had three portions so guests could try it with all wine variants.

Indeed, wine is perceived as a serious, formal drink; but the reality is, wine is very versatile. Part of Wine Brother Philippines’ mission is to remind everyone that wine can be fun and people can be imaginative and unconventional when it comes to food pairings.

“The aim is to immerse Filipino drinkers into the fun culture of wine drinking. With wine we believe that we can have it either on its own, drink it with food, drink bold or light, sweet or light, fine dining or by pool side. It’s all up to you and your definition of fun,” Leynes ended.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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