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Friday, March 21, 2014

Wine appreciation night– its more than just a 21 dining ateliers in Spiral, Sofitel Manila

I starting to love drinking wine and accompanied it with my favorite food. I attend some wine appreciation class before and it just focus on one brand of wine. My first wine appreciation class is terrible which ended to being drunk and tipsy, I think we enjoyed drinking the wine that time because they have 5 bottles with different taste. From my first up to the latest wine drinking session, I can’t say yet that I’m an expert to wine, but its one of my interest to learn on how to appreciate wine and drink it the right way, there are also some points that I need to learn on how to store these wines at home. My latest was during the Soiree Beaujolais last November 2013, it is my first ever French wine experience in a hotel and later on followed by another wine appreciation with the French last January 2014.

I’m starting to like French wines, there are a lot of variants and its popular to wine drinkers, maybe because of the French culture is starting to embrace me after I failed that trip to Paris, France few years ago, I think its better to stay here for the mean time and learn more about French wine and dining.

The food and wine exposure prepared in French style never ended in my latest experience. I’m glad that we have Sofitel Manila to bring the magnifique experience when it comes to hotel luxury, dining and wine tasting.

Few days ago, I gave a big nod to attend this Wine Appreciation Class in Spiral, Sofitel Manila. I didn’t know that its about wine drinking, all my knowledge is about to dine with friends in Spiral. But from this experience, I learned that we can enjoy not only the 21 ateliers of Spiral but we can also enjoy and learn the art of wine drinking in Spiral’s Sunday Champagne Brunch. You don’t really need to be an expert when it comes to wine drinking and pairing it with food. Spiral’s French connoisseurs will be there to guide you and also help you understand the different taste of wines. For me, I just follow my taste buds and my heart, I tried everything and all their wines and It will be good experience for you to understand which wine is the best for you.

Spiral Champagne Brunch can be experienced every Sunday for a price of PHP 3,623+ per head.
If you want to experience a FREE wine room daily, I suggest you check in for an overnight stay and get that room with access to Sofitel’s Club Millesime.

Here are the Spiral Buffet rates as of March 18, 2014

They suggested lots of wines and separated in 4 categories.
Let me share the list of wines and suggested cuisine.

Asian Ateliers
Brand: Craggy Range
Type: Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: New Zealand, 2012
Pairing: wanton soup, white fish, and seafood

Brand: AIX rosé
Type: Rosé
Origin; Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 2012
Pairing: garden vegetables. scallops, grilled meat

Brand: Madfish
Type: Shiraz
Origin: Australia, 2009
Pairing: Hokien Mee, grilled pork, any red meat

Western Ateliers

Brand: William Fevre
Type: Chablis
Origin: Burgundy, France, 2011
Pairing: seafood, pesto fusili, fishes, white meat, and foie gras

Brand: Bouchard Père & Fils
Type: Pinot Noir
Origin: France, 2011
Pairing: pizza, red meat, and light flavored cheeses

Brand: Dourthe No. 1
Type: Rouge
Origin: Bordeaux France, 2011
Pairing: any red meat, Spiral burger, full flavored cheeses, and cold cuts

Desert Ateliers
Brand: Hugel & Fils
Type: Gewürztraminer
Origin: France, 2011
Pairing: fruits based dessert, puto bumbong, bibingka

Brand: Henriot
Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Pairing: chocolate desserts
We tried also some other brands, like our local wine brands and some sake.
Spiral offers now only French wines but they also offer some top wines from other countries.

From the wine appreciation class – I still love the Rose’ (based on my previous wine tasting experience), and of course the Champagne, Chablis (which is the most popular kind of wine), and also our very own local wine “dragon fruit wine”

Before we start the wine tasting… here’s a cheers conducted by

Lace’s bubbly champagne

At the wine appreciation class

Our first was to experience our local wines. I didn’t expected that our local wines are so tasty.

Our French connoisseur was there in the entire wine appreciation class, he shared that our local wines are good, even though that we don’t have grapes in the Philippines, we still get some innovated way of using other fruits in making it a wine.

For the wine tasting, he poured a small amount of wine for us to taste it. I usually taste it gargle it in my mouth for taste and acidity experience. But then we enjoyed the tasting and drinking, usually we leave our glass empty or nearly empty.

The test just started..

and here’s my verdict of our pinoy wines.

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Adam’s Bugnay wine and Refmad Dragon Fruit
- the bugnay wine has a strong taste like the old red wine, I suggested that this will be a good partner to spicy food since it will eliminate the spice and add more after flavor. Bugnay is some kind of berries that grows in the lands of Ilocos Norte. they say that bugnay is a good anti oxidant.
- the dragon fruit wine is the best..its light and sweet, I can’t even taste the acidity but there’s an after taste of sweetness and aroma of acidity.

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I won’t give up yet…hhhhahaha. more wines to try after the jump

Asian Atelier in Spiral

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Its hard to do this wine appreciation class when you walk infront of these good food in Spiral. Its very tempting,but I reserved my extra craving later for the food fest.


Noodles area at Asian Atelier in Spiral.

We are now here at the wine tasting in Asian Atelier. They suggested these wines that are the best to pair with the asian cuisines. Some of the wines are good to partner with spicy food and meaty meals.

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I mentioned earlier that I still love the taste of the Rose’ wines, because its light, and not heavy in my tummy and the alcohol effect is not that strong.

For a contender in my taste buds, I also like the Sauvignon Blanc and the Shiraz wines.

At the Western Atelier

Inside the cheese room – one of a kind in the Philippines, only here in Spiral, Sofitel Manila

Now they offer our finest local cheese from Malagos Farms of Davao City.

For the western atelier wine appreciation, we partnered our taste buds with some good foie gras, cheese and cold cuts. I can say that its best to drink wine when there’s something to chew on, you;ll enjoy the taste of the wine and it will give you more appetite. The 3rd leg of this wine tasting makes me more hungry.

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Me and my wife just laugh at about it when we saw each other turning red hahaha, our blogger friends with us are starting to have red face too.

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On the table - Pinot Noir, Chablis and Rouge
Most popular is the chablis wine, and now I can tell why it is the most favorite wine of the Americans, because of its close to a sparkling flavor, lightness and refreshing feel. (just correct me if I’m wrong)

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Suddenly, we took a side trip to have some sake!
hahahaha! I’m already a sake drinker and Its funny to see my wife just downed on that shot glass and I saw her eyes turns big after the shot. I warned her that sake is strong…it can get you drunk for two or three shot.

I also shared to the French guy that I like the warm version of the sake.

At the Japanese section.
Best wine to pair raw and fresh seafood are the western wines.

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At the dessert area, we saw a glimpse of some chefs and their latest creations for the upcoming Easter Sunday.

Here’s what the kids and girls love to stay in Spiral.. desserts and chocolates are every where!
I also love that cabinet type with lots of cakes.

Something new at Spiral… a treasure chest filled with different kinds of chocolates.. omg.I just want to take home a treasure chest with chocolates. Its funny that I skipped on eating chocolates that night.

Yes, wine to pair with desserts are good! I even shared that eating chocolates and beer are good too. But for the wine.. A sip of champagne will boost more wake up call to your nervous system and add it with sweets to keep you more jolly. hahaha. I just described my feeling after the choco-wine mix.

so that’s my wine experience in Spiral…. I can now declare that I’m a slight wine expert hahahaha.

After the wine tasting..its time for us to try what we learned
I still stick myself to Rose’ because that’s the wine that I enjoyed, and I pair it with Indian, Korean and Malaysia food.

on my second plate, I partner my champagne and some Japanese sushi.

For my last…I ordered a Coke hahahaha.
just to kick the tipsy-ness away.Because I feel woozy after my 2nd plate.

here are some closer look of the wines we tried in Spiral.
just click the photo to view large version.

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I just can’t believe that we tried all of this.

Now…I want to own each of them and store it here at home.. Thanks so much to Spiral, Sofitel Manila for inviting us for this awesome wine experience.

One last look of that iconic Spiral staircase before leaving the hotel

Spiral 2 Go – your take out store in Spiral.

me and my funny hair hahahaa..I will never use hair conditioner next time.

One final look….bye Spiral…see you again soon!

the wine appreciation class batch March 2014


Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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