Wine-and-Golf Pairings Back in Season

The 2012 PGA Tour season is back in full swing, which means Unfiltered’s favorite final-round pairing of wine and golf will be on the DVR menu for many months to come. Last week, Beringer Vineyards, the official wine of the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours, announced its newest partner, golfer Justin Leonard, who won the 1997 British Open and 1998 Players Championship. Leonard, who will appear in various Beringer ads this summer, joins a very long list of golfers who have turned their eyes from the fairway to the vineyard.Ernie Els‘ label has long stood on its own as one of South Africa’s most prestigious wines. Els’ countrymen David Frost and Retief Goosen have wine brands as well. Greg Norman‘s Australian and Californian wines are top sellers. Annika SorrenstamNick Faldo andMark O’Meara all play the wine game. Even all-time greats Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have time for wine. Not surprisingly, golfers took up half the panel at the Athletes and Their Wines seminar at October’s Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience. It seems golf and fine wine have become ubiquitous, with good reason—they’re probably the only two vices that retirees and their cardiologists can agree on.

The Chinese invasion of Bordeaux shows no signs of slowing. A few hours after closing on the purchase of Château du Grand Moueys, a sprawling 420-acre estate in Bordeaux’s Entre-Deux-Mers region, new owner Zhang Jinshan sat down with Unfiltered to discuss his game plan. At first, Zhang, an amiable goji berry spirits tycoon from Ningxia, China, revealed a strategy so predictable that Unfiltered begins to suspect a central committee directive for Sino-Bordelais investments: purchase picturesque historic castle in modest appellation, drop some serious change to repackage as super-premium wine and use vineyard estate as centerpiece for high-volume export business—in this case, a modest 1.2 million bottles per year. Then things got interesting. First, rather than diverting the entire production to China, Zhang will keep 10 to 20 percent of his Merlot-dominated blend in the U.S. and European markets so we can all enjoy the efforts of consulting guru Stéphane Derenoncourt to produce a smooth, fruity, elegant wine, “St.-Emilion style.” Major investments are planned for the cellars. Next, the Gothic Revival château will receive a $5 million facelift, and re- emerge as a boutique hotel and 70-seat gourmet restaurant, run by restaurateur Lei Wu An, who is something of a celebrity in Ningxia for his eight Dong Gan eateries. The decor will be classic, contemporary French, but Lei told Unfiltered that the food will be an authentic, modern fusion of French and Chinese, with ingredients and chefs flown in to do the job properly. Think Peking duck roasted over fragrant jujube and pear tree wood, served on a terrace overlooking 145 acres of vineyards following nine holes on the new golf course. Zhang envisions bringing contemporary Chinese culture—cuisine, art exhibits, concerts—to Bordeaux, East meets West in luxurious wine country.

It’s become nigh impossible to avoid reality (TV) in the wine world these days. A few weeks ago we told you about Kendall-Jackson’s Rick Tigner going Undercover. On Feb. 10, inventor Eric Corti presented his Wine Balloon to the investor judges of ABC’s Shark Tank. The Wine Balloon is a hand-pumped inflatable rubber balloon inserted into a half-emptied bottle of wine and inflated, displacing the oxygen and theoretically preserving the wine for several days. The Sharks bit, offering Corti as much as $600,000 for full ownership of his invention (he passed). And this past Friday, Wine Spectator reported that original Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel‘s wildly popular Skinnygirl brand is introducing three California wines next month. Of course, the undisputed king of the reality TV wine world is the winemaking BachelorBen Flajnik of Sonoma’s Envolve winery. This week was the seasonal “hometowns” episode, in which our hero visits the homes of his final four lady friends and meets their families. Fittingly, Flajnik watched the episode from his own home, in Sonoma, with his sister, Julia, and their mom. Flajnik, who does all the cooking at the San Francisco apartment/bachelor pad he shares with his two partners, made chicken parmesan, and they opened a bottle of Paul Dolan Deep Red Mendocino County 2007 (the Bachelor is very into biodynamic wines; most of Envolve’s grapes are sourced from organic or biodynamic vineyards). It was the first time Ben watched an episode with his mother, who awkwardly laughed her way through the make-out scenes. It’s down to three suitorettes for Ben now—includingUnfiltered’s episode 1 pick, Nicki—and they’re off to Switzerland this week. The Bachelor tells us he’ll be keeping it real with a Swiss wine this Monday night, Cave des Tielleuls Réserve.

Established in 2002, YATS WINE CELLARS is a wholly-owned business unit of Hong Kong-based Yats International which owns and operates resort, wine shops, wine bars and fine-dining restaurant properties in Clark Freeport in The Philippines.  YATS WINE CELLARS and its wine stores in Manila, Angeles City, Clark, Pampanga cater to a clientele of discerning wine lovers from all over the world.  This wine shop is generally regarded by wine lovers to be the best place to buy wine in Manila.  Besides a good selection of wine for everyday enjoyment, YATS wine stores offers a unique selection of aged vintage wines made available to wine enthusiasts at remarkably affordable prices.  Vintages span over a century and the selection of old- and new-world wines covers all major wine regions.

To enable wine lovers in Asia to learn more about wine, public wine tastings are held from time to time in Clark, Pampanga and sometimes in Manila.  Tickets range from p500 to p1500 for these themed events that are professionally run –no wine merchants sponsorship, pushy wine salesmen or tacky banners to ruin the evening.  Each wine tasting ticket contains a certain number of stubs that can be redeemed for a tasting pour of a wine among those on a line-up which often contains wines that are quite old and expensive.   This is another reason why Yats Wine Cellars is generally regarded as the best wine supplier in the Philippines.  This is one of the wine stores that do more than just sell wines to wine shoppers in Manila.  Yats Wine Cellars offers a chance for wine lovers to enjoy the wine lifestyle in Philippines.

Wine-paired dinners are organized either at fine dining Y A T S Restaurant in Clark or in collaboration with other restaurants and organizers.    Private wine dinners can also be organized for groups of 14 or more.  Even Asian cuisines can be a part of a Yats Wine-paired dinner.

Wine stores of Yats Wine Cellars offer interesting gift packs for all occasions.  Wine gift baskets from these wine shops have to contain something more interesting than just a colorful packaging with very mediocre content.  The wine has to be a bit more than marginally drinkable.  Last year many people were disappointed with the wine gifts they received when they went around to drinking the wine.

Wine from all major wine regions are available, including fine wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Loire, Sauternes Barsac, Champagne, Chablis, Meursault, Cote Rotie and Romanee Conti are all available here.  In addition to French wines, this leading Philippines wine supplier also has a good selection of wines from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Australia.  The selection of Brunello, Chianti, Rioja, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner and Ice wine are impressive.

Yats Wine Cellars Philippines

3003C East Tower, Philippines Stock Exchange Center (Tektite)

Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Metro Manila, Philippines

(632) 637-5019   0917-520-4393  ask for Rea or Kristine

For inquiries and orders,

Click here to for inquiries and orders

For wine lovers in Hong Kong, Macau and China:

Yats International HK Sales Office,

Room 1302, 13/F., The Centre Mark

287-299 Queen’s Road Central Sheung Wan,

Hong Kong SAR

Tel:  (852) 2788-0738  ask for Miss Eva Leung

If Philippines is part of an upcoming travel and holiday plan, wine lovers might want to visit Clark Freeport Zone just 70 minutes from Manila.  This bustling new city that is slated to replace Manila as the new capital of the Philippines has the largest wine shop called Clark Wine Center.  For more information, log on to

Clark Wine Center

Bldg 6460 Clark Observatory Building

Manuel A. Roxas Highway corner A Bonifacio Ave,

Angeles Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga 2023

0922-870-5173 0917-826-8790 (ask for Ana Fe)

Getting to this wine shop in Pampanga Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Philippines from Manila

Getting to the Clark Wine Center wine shop from Manila is quite simple:  after entering Clark Freeport from Dau and Angeles City, proceed straight along the main highway M A Roxas. Clark Wine Center is the stand-along white building on the right, at the corner A Bonifacio Ave.  From the Clark International Airport DMIA, ask the taxi to drive towards the entrance of Clark going to Angeles City.  From Mimosa, just proceed towards the exit of Clark and this wine shop is on the opposite side of the main road M A Roxas.

You are welcome to post your comments and questions about any topic related to wine on or email with your comments, suggestions, questions, purchases or inquiries on wine and wine-related topics. Don’t forget to register yourself on our mailing list to be informed of the dates and venues of the Yats Wine Experience public wine tasting events.