Burgundy Wine in the Philippines
It is the dawning of the age of Burgundy. Is Burgundy Wine just a fad in the Philippines? Is ordering a bottle of Burgundy something chic to do order in a restaurant in Manila? Let’s hope there is more to Burgundy than just an insignia on the table.
BURGUNDY WINES – THE DARLING OF WINE DRINKERS IN PHILIPPINES
For Burgundy to really be accepted into this society, Philippines wine lovers need to have a better reason to make it the love of their lives, because Burgundy, like Champagne, never comes cheap. In fact, even the most humble and common of red wines from Burgundy will set you back over p1000. The Burgundy equivalence of an entry-level Bordeaux red wine would cost over p2000 in a wine shop in Manila. A Cru would cost you another 1000, and after that the sky is the limit.
Perhaps that’s why most wine shops prefer to steer clear of these wines and instead, fill the racks with red wines from South America, Italy, Spain, Australia and even certain parts of France. However, the fast-maturing wine-drinking communities in the Philippines demand a higher level of sophistication. So here we are, in the same dog house that all connoisseurs bury themselves after that long journey, in the lands of Burgundy.
Now that we are here and it looks like we aren’t going anywhere else very soon, perhaps it is time to find out a little bit more about the wines of Burgundy, at least the aspects of it that matters most to wine drinkers in the Philippines.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF BURGUNDY WINES
Burgundy wines can roughly be represented by 2-dimensional table where the rows are the producers and the columns are the names of wine-producing places. The reputation and stature of the producers have a direct impact of the price of the wine. Likewise certain wine-producing places are more expensive than others. In addition to that, there are several official classes in Burgundy, namely, village, premier cru and grand cru, the latter two are rare and naturally very expensive. At the village level, the wine is identified (on the label) by the name of the place from which it came, for example, Meursault or Volnay Within each village, there are certain vineyards that are designated as premier crus, for example Meursault Les Perrières or Volnay Santenots. A very small number of exceptionally propitious vineyards are given the highest (and strictest) designation of Grand cru. Grand Cru labels often mention only the name of the vineyard and not its village, for example, Montrachet, La Tache and Musigny.
Generic Burgundy wines also come in several classes, the lowest being the all-encompassing Bourgogne designation which essentially tells us nothing except that grapes were from somewhere in Burgundy. Going up a bit, we have regional wines like Côte de Beaune or Côte de Beaune. The appearance of these names on the wine label already enforces credence of the wine’s quality. Up a notch we have Hautes Côte de Beaune or Hautes Côte de Beaune which, can be a really nice wine except that they are not intended to exude the nuances and peculiarities of wines from special places.
VINTAGES OF WINES IN BURGUNDY
One of the things that make wine a little bit more interesting than most of the other alcoholic beverages is the impact of the vintage on the quality and style of the wine. The climate of the growing season as well as the conditions of the harvesting set the tone for the resulting wine.
When considering which vintage of Burgundy wines to choose from, it should be remembered that this is not a rating game. There are great vintages and there are difficult ones. It doesn’t necessarily follow that so-called lesser vintages should be avoided completely. To the contrary, it is fun to appreciate Burgundy wines made under different kinds of vintages.
Recent great vintages include 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1992 and 1990. There are many good Burgundy wines coming out of vintages outside that list.
WHERE TO START
For Manila wine drinkers it is really not necessary to start from the bottom – generic Bourgogne Pinot Noir or Bourgogne Chardonnay. A good place to start is the village level. Wine shoppers in the Philippines can choose Burgundy wines from less famous villages such as Fixin, Marsannay, Beaune, Aloxe-Corton, Morey-St. Denis for reds and St. Aubin, St. Romain, Pouilly Fuisse and Mâcon Village for whites. Once we get a hang of Burgundy red and white wines, we can splurge a little and go for a wine from a more famous village, for example Pommard or Volnay for red and Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet for whites.
As for the Premier and, God forbids, Grand Crus, they will forever be a treat, one that is to be appreciated with all due respect. When food is involved, then extra care has to go into selecting recipes that are delicate enough to avoid masking out the special aspects of these great wines.
ATTEND WINE TASTING EVENT IN MANILA
Wine drinkers in the Philippines who are still unsure about the wines of Burgundy can take an even safer baby step by attending public wine tasting events in Manila or Pampanga that features wines from Burgundy. Wine tasting events such as the Burgundy wine tasting held in Ortigas, Metro Manila by a leading wine supplier in Philippines earlier this year offered a good introduction to the fine wines of Burgundy.
Another wine tasting event in Manila that wine drinkers in the Philippines can attend to increase their exposure to the fine wines of Burgundy is the wine tasting in Oakwood Premier Hotel organized by a leading wine supplier in Philippines called Yats Wine Cellars. In this wine tasting event, the wines fo Burgundy are pitted against the wines of Bordeaux. In doing so, participants of this wine event in Manila can compare these wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux side by side.
BURGUNDY WINES FOR RESTAURANTS IN PHILIPPINES
Good restaurants in Manila scramble to upgrade their wine lists to avoid losing more customers to wine-savvy competitors. New restaurants open up on a weekly basis around the dining centers of Manila such as Bonifacio Global City or BGC, Greenbelt, Mega Mall in Ortigas, Mall of Asia, Greenhills and Manila Bay area. These new restaurants in Manila offer a good wine list with a balanced selection of wines that attract wine-drinking customers to their establishments.
The wine lists of most restaurants in the Philippines do not offer many selections of wines from Burgundy. Most restaurant wine lists in the Philippines comprise mainly of new-world varietal wines, many are easy to drink, quite cheap but often lack interest to a clientele with growing sophistication in wine.
Burgundy wines are not often available in wine suppliers for restaurants in Philippines. One of the leading suppliers of Burgundy wines in the Philippines is Yats Wine Cellars which is well regarded by wine drinkers in Manila as one of the best sources for red and white wines from Burgundy. This wine supplier in Philippines also offers a line of fine Champagne-like sparkling wines from Burgundy called Cremant de Bourgogne. These sparkling wines from Burgundy are made in exactly the same way as Champagne using the same blend of grapes namely Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Yats Wine Cellars is one restaurant wine supplier that works closely with good restaurants and hotels in Philippines to put together a winning wine concept. Each establishment in the Philippines requires a different and sometimes unique set of services, support and consultancies.
Restaurants in the Philippines have discovered that they cannot satisfy wine-drinking customers with wines that anyone can pick up at the nearest wine shop or supermarket. Yats Wine Cellars is a wine supplier for restaurants in the Philippines that can help a restaurant in Manila to develop a wine list that is unmatched by its competitors.
FOR MORE DETAILS
Yats Wine Cellars
Manila Sales Office
3003C East Tower, Phil Stock Exchange Center,
Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig,
Metro Manila, Philippines 1605
Tel: (632) 633-1566 0917-520-4393
Wine Shop, Cellars and Warehouse in Pampanga
Clark Wine Center
Bldg 6460 Clark Observatory Building
Manuel A. Roxas Highway corner A Bonifacio Ave,
Clark Field, Clark Air Base,
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023
Tel: 0917-485-0943 or (045) 841-4006
FACEBOOK: The Facebook account of Yats Wine Cellars, called Yats.Wine is a media with which the professionals at Yats as well as fellow wine professionals in the trade throughout the world will share with our friends and wine hobbyists in the Philippines knowledge, findings, experiences, tasting notes, insights and opinions about wine, food-wine pairing and news about wine.
Yats Wine Cellars started opening small boutique-sized convenience wine shops in major locations of Manila. Through these wine outlets in Manila, Yats Wine Cellars hope to bring interesting selections of fine vintage wines to wine lovers in Manila at attractive prices.
You are welcome to post your comments and questions about any topic related to wine on http://www.YatsWineCellars.com or email Wine@Yats-International.com 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.