Wednesday, 25 October 2017

1st Wine Blogging Wednesday Media Night "Prelude to the 17th Grand Wine"

The Grand Wine Experience, a celebration now on its 17th year, now proudly brings you “Dégustation,” a culinary journey that will take you through a vast spectrum of exquisite flavors from all around the world. 

Celebrated in a manner befitting royalty, it pays tribute to the grape elite, who traverse a gustatory wonderland that completely engages all their senses from beginning to end, with a red carpet treatment. 

Ronald Lim Joseph (director, Philippine Wine Merchants), Robert Lim Joseph (chairman, Philippine Wine Merchants), Bruce Winton (Marriott GM), Ralph Lim Joseph (president, Philippine Wine Merchants) and Raymond Lim Joseph (director, Philippine Wine Merchants)

Marriott Hotel
The Grand Wine Experience was founded in 2000 by the four Joseph brothers (Ralph, Robert, Ronnie and Raymond) of the Philippine Wine Merchants (in turn, founded in 1975), one of the biggest wine importers and distributors in the country, with strong market presence in both on-premise and off-premise sales.  

Mainly aiming to raise local awareness about wines and spirits, it will be held on November 24, 2017, Friday, 5 PM at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel, Newport City.

An invitation to wine and dine ......

The Wine Museum Hotel & Resto
From a humble gathering featuring just 11 countries, the Grand Wine Experience has, since then, transformed itself to become Southeast Asia's most illustrious and grandest wine event,  now featuring wines and spirits from 22 countries.  Check out video here.

Just a month before this grand event, lifestyle bloggers were invited to the 1st Wine Blogging Wednesday Media Night "Prelude to the 17th Grand Wine" held at the Wine Museum Hotel & Resto.  

Here, they heard wine industry players Mr. Christopher Quimbo, Mr. Francis Tosei Hasegawa, Ms. Rhodora “Dada” Gatdula-Villola, Mr. Mattheiu Lerat and Mr. Koji Takaku, at the same time sampling some of the products they promote.  Also present was Ms. Normita "Nhorrie" Franco-Wang (VP for Retail Operations - Concession Department) and Ms. Dawn Rosary Ignacio (Off-Trade Head), both of PWM. 
Mr. Christopher Quimbo (President & GM of Calabria Company Limited)

An array of Novellino Wines
Mr. Christopher "Chris" Quimbo, President and GM of Calabria Company Limited, introduced us to Novellino Wines, the most popular, locally produced, wallet-friendly sweet, soft and effervescent wine that has captured a third of the Philippine market. 

Using a process that made wines suitable for a sweeter palate, Novellino has found a creative way to popularize wine appreciation in the country which is still a young market in terms of wine consumption and appreciation. Though they can’t grow grapes locally, Novellino has recreated the complexity necessary for wine making by importing grape juice from traditional wine making countries such as Spain and Italy. Their 15 different brands of wine are produced in their Canlubang, Laguna winery.   

Mr. Francis Tosei Hasegawa 

Four varieties of Mars Whiskey
Mr. Francis Tosei Hasegawa, bartender and co-owner of Lit, a newly-opened, 25-pax bar at Serendra that serves Japanese whiskey,  narrated the history of Japanese whiskey, notably the tale of Mars Whiskey. 

Kiichiro Iwai (1883-1966), founder of Mars Whiskey, dispatched Masataka Taketsuru (both were fellows back in Osaka University) to Scotland to learn whiskey making based on traditional Scotch. After he came back to Japan, Masataka’s report helped Kiichiro later plan the Yamanashi Distillery in 1960. 

In 2016, a second distillery began operations in Tsunuki, Kagoshima.  Francis presented 4 of Mar’s  products – Cosmo Blended Malt Whiskey, Iwai Tradition Blended Whiskey (2010), Twin Alps Blended Whiskey and Komagatake Single Malt Whiskey (1996).
Ms. Dada Gatula-Villola

Ramon Bilbao Crianza,
Zonin Prosecco Black and
Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec
Ms. Rhodora “Dada” Gatdula-Villola, Business Unit Manager of Best World Beverages Brands, Inc. (now on its 19th year anniversary), an importer and marketer of wines and spirits in the Philippines, introduced us to Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, Zonin Prosecco Black and Ramon Bilbao Crianza. 

Trivento is the most diversely distributed Argentine wine brand in the world. Its Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec is a concentrated garnet-red wine whose lively red fruit aromas and silky tannins make way for a flood of sensations on the palate. 

Prosecco (pronounce Proh-sehk-koh) takes its name from a quaint hillside town near Trieste, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Its Zonin Prosecco DOC Black Edition is made from Glera grapes blended with Pinot Noir to create a sparkling wine, where the intense aromatic notes of Glera are accented by the finesse and the elegance of Pinot Noir. 

Ramon Bilbao Crianza, from Rioja, Spain, is a 100% Tempranillo that spent 13 months in American oak. Aromas of cedar, tobacco, violets, black cherry, and blackberry inform the nose of this medium-bodied, spicy, nicely proportioned Rioja.
Mr. Koji Takaku

According to Mr. Koji Takaku (Sales Manager of Sapporo Premium Beer), Sapporo beer is the top selling Asian beer brand in the US. The oldest beer brand in Japan, it was founded in 1876. 

Its Sapporo Premium Beer is a refreshing American Pale Lager style beer with a crisp, refined flavor and a clean finish, perfect to pair with any meal whether it be sushi or Chinese food meals.  

Light-bodied, refreshing, clean on the palate, this rice-based lager has a nice dark gold color and smells incredibly bright, vibrant and fresh.
Mr. Mattheiu Lerat

A Hennessy VS cocktail
Mr. Mattheiu Lerat, of Moet Hennessy Brand Philippines, is the Heritage Brand Manager for Henessy VS, Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey and Belvedere Vodka. Hennessy VS, one of the most famous cognacs in the world, has an iconic bottle shape. The “VS” stands for “Very Special” and means that the youngest eaux-de-vie in this blend is at least 2.5 years old. 

Belvedere Vodka, marketed as the world’s first super premium vodka, represents the pinnacle of the Polish rye vodka making tradition. Named after Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw, whose illustration appears on its bottles, it is produced exclusively in Żyrardów, Poland and was launched in the United States in 1996 as a"luxury" liquor. 

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, aged for 18 years and finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, is made using malt barley.  It earned the Double Gold Medal at the SanFrancisco World Spirits Competition in 2010.

Standing: Mr. Koji Takaku, Ms. Nhorrie Franco-Wang, Mr. Renzo Joseph (Ralphs Wines & Spirits), Ms. Dawn Rosary Ignacio.
Seated: Ms. Rhodora Gatdula-Villola, Mr. Matthieu Lerat and Mr. Christopher Quimbo

G' Vine Gin de France
These well known and outstanding brands are among 500 of the world's most notable wines and spirits, fully ripe for drinking, that will join winemakers, wine connoisseurs, oenophiles, celebrities, dignitaries and the like in a single event, with a bounteous, never-ending buffet of the finest, most expertly curated dishes of Marriott Hotel Executive Chef Meik Brammer that will, once again, leave them absolutely breathless.

Despite the lavishness and luxury of the event, PWM has never forgetten their social responsibility.   Every year, to share their success and blessings, proceeds of the Grand Wine Experience are donated to ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc., to Project Pink and to T.E.A.M. (Tourism Educators and Movers) Philippines. Chairman Robert Joseph, a well-known tourism advocate in the country, also uses this event for his advocacies in promoting the tourism industry of the Philippines with the help of the Department of Tourism.

Montes Alpha
This event is held in partnership with Resorts World Manila, Marriott Hotel Manila, Department of Tourism, Citem, Department of Trade and Industry, Robinsons Supermarket, Hennessy, Robert Mondavi, Premier Wine & Spirits, Inc., Nissan, Johnnie Walker, Grand Cru, Whyte & Mackay, Concha y Toro, Yellow Tail, Novellino Wines, Camus, Don Revy, Best World Beverage Brands, Inc., Starbucks, Rustan’s, Marketplace by Rustan’s, Stores Specialists, Inc., Shopwise, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Airlines La Isla, Stolzle, NAPA Technology, Lifestyle, Food Magazine, Metro Society, and ABS-CBN

For advance registration, call telephone numbers (02) 853-9894, (02) 851-0172 and (02) 831-7951, e-mail or online at

Philippine Wine Merchants: 2253 Aurora Blvd., Pasay City 1300, Metro Manila.Tel: (02) 853-7423.  Email: Website:

Best World Beverages Brands, Inc.:  Julia Vargas Ave.cor. Garnet Rd., Ortigas Center, Pasig City.  Tel: (02) 637-8491 to 93. E-mail:

Calabria Company Limited: Unit RD-F, Vernida I Bldg., 120 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City.  Tel: (02) 814-0800. Mobile number: (0917) 834-8682 (Mr. Christopher Quimbo).  E-mail: Website:

Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific: 6766 Stock Exchange Plaza Ave. cor. Paseo de  Roxas, Makati City.  Tel: (02)750-1608.

The Wine Museum Hotel & Resto: 2253 Aurora Blvd. (formerly Tramo Rd.), Tramo, Pasay City, Metro Manila.  Tel: (632) 239-4278.  Fax: (632) 853-5894. E-mail: Website:

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