With the holidays just around the corner, it is always nice to have a wine bottle or two on hand to bring to the many get-togethers, impromptu reunions, and holiday parties that mark the season. But then, what bottle of wine should you choose? If your friends enjoy their wine, then you shouldn’t risk a really inexpensive bottle, in case it’s not up to quality. Nor should you buy too pricey a bottle that not everyone in the party may fully appreciate.
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Luckily, recent winemaking developments now make it possible to get good wines for around P1,500 a bottle. I believe the sweet spot for an affordable yet quality wine is around P650 to P1,500 a bottle. Most of these affordable wines are easy to find, easy to drink, and food-friendly. What’s not to like?
To help you round up a good selection, I’m sharing my list of old reliables as well as new finds, sourced from the following wine suppliers:
Argentinian wines at Terry’s
Easily my best new finds this year are these white and red wines from the Uco Valley of Argentina made by renowned global French winemaker François Lurton. The Bodega Piedra Negra Alta Colección Pinot Gris is a gem of a lively, fresh citrus-driven wine that is perfect to enjoy all year round with food or by itself as an aperitif. The Bodega Piedra Negra Malbec, on the other hand, shows remarkable finesse, versatility, and drinkability at a young age. These two wines are a perfect tandem to serve for any festive occasion. You can find them at various Terry’s branches in Makati (Pasong Tamo Extension, Salcedo Village, Legaspi Village) and The Podium Ortigas.
Chilean wines from Gran Hacienda Wines
New wine player Gran Hacienda Wines of Butz Tenchavez shines with a collection of reasonable finds from select wine producers, like these Chilean wines by Villard. The Villard Expresión is a most elegant Syrah that is ready to drink now. The JCV Charlie Villard is a very approachable Pinot Grigio that just may be the perfect wine to try if you’re looking to explore ramato or orange wines, a distinctly Italian winemaking style using Pinot Grigio grapes. While Gran Hacienda doesn’t have a retail outlet, you can contact them at (0917) 632-3278 or visit @granhaciendawines on Facebook or Instagram.
Spanish wines from Sommelier Selection
Sommelier Selection is well known for its great selection of biodynamic and organic wines, among other good finds, including these two affordable gems from one of Spain’s greatest winemakers, Telmo Rodriguez. The Al Muvedre is a rustic yet polished Monastrell red from the Alicante wine region of Spain, while the Corriente is a fruit forward Rioja red, meant to be enjoyed young and perfect for everyday drinking. You can drop by their boutique at Jannov Plaza, Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City.
Italian wines at Bacchus
Fine food and beverages purveyors Bacchus has an outstanding selection of Italian wines. These two old favorites from my college days, the off-dry, fizzy Nivole Moscato d’Asti and old school Santa Cristina Sangiovese, consistently deliver good quality at affordable price points, thanks to the expertise of their well-known producers. You can find them at Bacchus Epicerie branches at Power Plant Rockwell, Edsa Shangri-La, and Alabang.
Rieslings from Wine Depot
Wine Depot has always been everyone’s favorite go-to supplier for budget friendly wines, including these two reasonably priced, extremely food-friendly Rieslings from Australia and Germany, which are your best bets all year long. You can pick up a bottle or two at Wine Depot’s centrally located outlets in Makati, San Juan, BGC, and Alabang, or you can order directly from their online store and have it conveniently delivered to your home.
French wines at AWC (Txanton)
AWC Philippines is a major importer and distributor in the Philippines, representing many of the most prominent, family-owned wineries from the main wine regions in the world. Perhaps because it is known to carry some of the best wines in town, this supplier may often get overlooked for less expensive options. But AWC does have some excellent finds, like this Burgundy white and Bordeaux red that are perfect for those with wine loving friends who happen to prefer French wines. These wines can be found at Txanton, which carries much of AWC’s wine portfolio, located at Alegria Alta Building, Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City.
Illustrations/backgrounds by Chris Clemente
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa