As I mentioned in this post, getting our guests happily intoxicated at our wedding is of utmost importance to me and my fiance, so as early as now, we’re already sourcing alcohol suppliers for the big day, especially since we won’t be having it in Manila.
I found it truly fortunate that for the first time, I was free to attend the 16th Grand Wine Experience. I think I’ve been invited to their previous events at least twice in the past, but I wasn’t available on both occasions. It was perfect timing that I was invited and could make it to this year’s most prestigious and most extravagant wine and spirits expo held at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Resorts World Manila last November 4.
I had a two-pronged agenda that night: to get a headstart on this critical part of the wedding planning and to enjoy a night of sampling unlimited booze!
What I thought to be a giant pan of paella turned out to be Red Thai Curry with Mahi-Mahi and White Clam.
There were over 500 notable wines and spirits showcased that night, paired with a massive buffet. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they did not only offer wines, they also had beer, gin, vodka, tequila, whisky, brandy, and all sorts of liquor, even sake! It truly was the perfect place for brides-to-be with an appetite for alcohol to search for the best drinks to serve her guests, hehe.
Among the featured wines and spirits overflowing that night were Gossips Moscato Sweet Lips (one of our favorite wines ever!), Zonin Prosecco, Camus VSOP, Hennessy XO, Glenmorangie 10YO, Patron Tequila, Alfonso Light, Johnnie Walker Red and Johnnie Walker Black, Montes Cabernet Sauvignon, Montes Chardonnay, Montgras Reserva Carmenere, Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay, Guntrum Riesling, Stolichnaya Red, Pebble Lane Sauvignon Blanc, Elderton E-Series Shiraz and Cabernet, wines from Premier, Citra Sangiovese, Hugo, crowd favorite Rosso Noble Ciocolata, Wente, Pirramimma Shiraz, Angove, Vina Maipo Chardonnay, John Lee Bourbon, Corona Beer, and Dalmore 46YO, which is considered one of the most expensive liquor in the world at P2.5M per bottle (I didn’t get to try it, but I did sample the Dalmore 18YO, which is just around P4,800 per bottle; strong stuff).
The P2.5M bottle of Dalmore whisky
Read on for the other wines I sampled and liked, as well as the mixed drinks responsible for my newfound appreciation for gin.
I settled myself in the Gintrification area, which turned out to be one of the most popular booths that night, thanks to the drink above. It was the first time I’ve tried Monkey 47, and I have to say this gin made me consider serving this at our wedding (and yay, I met the distributors!). It’s really good! I like it mixed with tonic with a slice of orange to taste.
The other gin that drew crowds to the Gintrification station was The Botanist, which is a close second to Monkey 47 in my humble opinion. I tried it the same way: with tonic and a slice of orange. It was refreshing!
I really liked these wines from New Zealand. I was told it’s where you can get really good sauvignon blanc. I’m inclined to agree because of Monkey Bay.
I was kilig to find they had Coppola wines that night! On my first visit to Napa Valley, we tried to go to the Coppola vineyard but it was closed for a private event. At least I was finally able to sample their wines right here in Manila.
I went home that night with a happy buzz, a full stomach, a bag full of calling cards and flyers, and loads of new contacts and potential liquor suppliers for our wedding! I’m really excited to finalize our drink list!
There were several varieties of cheese, fruits, nuts, and cold cuts on offer to pair with our wine.
The theme for this year’s expo is “Noble Grape,” in honor of the chosen few grapes that achieve that lofty status above over 5,000 known grape varieties in existence. These exemplars boast of unsurpassed quality, ubiquity across regions, and firm reputation.
The event was organized by Philippine Wine Merchants (PWM), one of the biggest wine importers and distributors in the country. Their representatives at the event also agreed to help me source liquor for my wedding, so yay, mission for the day accomplished!