Words and photos by Howi Bakunawa
Picture this: It’s a February day in Metro Manila. The weather is warm but not too hot, windy but not too blustery. It’s absolutely perfect. Manila is at its loveliest this time of year. There’s a certain kind of romance that surrounds it — it makes you want to ride around the city, hop in and out of the bars with good friends and a glass of wine by your side. It’s just the kind of experience that you’ll find at the Jeepney Wine Tour.
Just a small sample of the different kinds of wine at the Jeepney Wine Tour this year.
The Jeepney Wine Tour was born from a simple yet daring idea: Wine is meant to be enjoyed. Contrary to what some people will have you believe, wine isn’t just a drink for high-end and lavish occasions. Most wines are about bringing people together and having a good time. In the same spirit, the organizers of the event have been using one of the most everyday and commonplace of objects here in the Philippines to get their message across: the jeepney.
Last February 22, 2020 the Jeepney Wine Tour made its much-awaited return here in the Metro. Participants of the event bar-hopped across restaurants in BGC: Gallery By Chele, Las Flores, 205, and L’ Entrecôte Bistro and Upper Room. Guests were able to sample as much wine they could handle from the USA, Spain, Argentina, and France over the course of the tour as well as dishes from each of these countries’ national cuisine.
It is a known fact that as you drink wine, the more you will get hungry; and as you eat, the more wine you will drink. It’s a vicious (or should I say delicious?) cycle in the best possible sense.
Guests were also given a specially-designed lanyard to hold their wine glasses for maximum convenience.
Here are some of the wines we tried at Jeepney Wine Tour:
Anna de Cordoniu Rosé NV
What you see before you is a rosé cava from the Anna de Codorniu vineyards in Spain. I know that might sound like a lot to take in, but stay with me: if there is a kind of wine that is suitable for Filipino tastes and drinking habits, it could very well be rosé.
It has a dry kind of sweetness and delightfully piquant floral notes. It’s because of this that the wine tastes light and refreshing. It pairs exceedingly well with the intense and saucy flavors of Filipino cuisine or, because of its lightness, it’s a drink that can be enjoyed all on its own.
Indigo Eyes Chardonnay
This next little number is the Chardonnay from the Indigo Eyes winery in California. If in your previous experiences with wine, you’ve tasted only either sweet whites or sour reds, this Chardonnay is bound to be a surprise. It’s a rich and full-bodied white wine with creamy and buttery flavors. The Jeepney Wine Tour makes it a point that their guests don’t just simply drink, but also discover and learn something new. This wine is a prime example of that. Of course, whether or not you remember those lessons during the morning after is another matter entirely!
The previous wines alongside the Septima Malbec and the Ferraton Saint Joseph.
So far, we’ve had rosé and Chardonnay, but what would any wine tour be without the classic red wine? Allow me to introduce to you two wines from the Jeepney Wine Tour’s fantastic selection: the Septima Malbec from Argentina and the Ferraton Saint Joseph from France. Grown in the high altitudes of Argentina, the Malbec has a light, mild, and subtly sour taste. On the other hand, the Ferraton Saint Joseph is a biodynamic wine produced from solely organic farming methods. Its crisp taste packs a refreshing heat toward the back of the throat and makes it a wine that is best enjoyed alongside food.
What’s best about the Jeepney Wine Tour is that you get to try each of these wines, alongside many others, in order to familiarize yourself with them. What was once previously intimidating becomes simple and uncomplicated by the end of the night, as all good wine should be.