MANILA -- Winedrop shows off its bespoke wine-pairing dining experience with a special collaboration with chef Carlos Garcia of the Black Pig.
“We want to push the wine lifestyle and show Filipinos there is wine for all tastes and all wallets.,” said JP Guillot, owner of Winedrop
This wine shop has an affinity for those just dipping their toes into the world of wine and who need a helping hand when choosing their bottles. For example, one of the more intimidating aspects for newbies is navigating through the shelves where wines are usually arranged by country or by label.
In Winedrop’s case, wines are arranged by taste profile. The staff can then ask customers what kind of flavors they’re looking for or what kind of food they’re planning to pair the wine with and make more on-point recommendations.
The shop even has cold cuts, jars of paté, and cheeses at the chillers at the back so customer’s can actual can open the bottle on-premise and have an impromptu wine and cheese pairing.
Going beyond that, a unique service that Winedrop offers is its bespoke lunches and dinners where customers can reserve the table at the wine shop. Guests are asked what kind of food and what kind of wine they would like. Then it’s up to the team at Winedrop to recommend a partner chef or restaurant and do the wine pairing. Since the kitchen is limited for now, it’s up to the ingenuity of the partner chef to come up with a memorable meal.
These collaborations are possible because its sister trade company, AWC Philippines, does a lot of business with the most well-known restaurants and chefs in the country.
“It’s good for them to look at outside catering. We partner with our customers. We become the customer of our customer,” said Guillot with a grin.
Winedrop gave a peek as to what these collaborations would be like in a recent intimate launch of Artadi Wines with a small group of wine lovers over lunch.
The Artadi label produces wine primarily from the Garnacha, Tempranillo and Monastrell grapes from vineyards in northern Spain. It’s now run by the grandchildren of the founders with a specific focus on bio-farming to create a balance in nature and the local ecosystem.
For this particular lunch, chef Garcia did a great job with the entrees that paired every well with the unique Artadi wines.
We started out with the Artadi Izar Leku Espumoso 2016, a light citrusy sparkling white wine, and an Artazu Artazuri Rosado 2020, a fresh rosé, while savoring the passarounds of Foie Gras Mousse, Chicken Liver Pate, Salmon, and Chorizo on slices of baguette made by the Black Pig
The Artazu Santa Cruz de Artazu Blanco 2016 dry, crisp, and fruity notes nicely cut through the rich thick creamy Cauliflower Cream with Manchego soup course.
For the main course, Winedrop presented two glasses of red wine, an Artadi De Gain Tinto 2018 with berry forward notes, and an Artazu Pasos De San Martin 2016 with deep cherry, paired with Iberico Pork Cheeks. We were invited to take sips of each and alternated with bites of the buttery tender pork cheeks, each of the wines enhancing the flavors in their own way.
The Artadi El Seque Dulce was a favorite of the group as this a sparkling red dessert wine was a rare treat even among wine afficionados, its sweetness just going so well with the Black Pig’s dessert Valrhona Chocolate Praline with Hazelnuts. The dessert resembles a thick KitKat or a Whatchamacallit that’s been poured over with liquid chocolate.
Guillot’s long-term aim is for wine lovers all over the country to have access to a Winedrop near them while expecting the same quality of wines and services. There will be Winedrop shops opening in Makati, Quezon City, Cebu and Tacloban very soon.
Winedrop is located at 2/F of One Kennedy Place at Club Filipino Drive in Greenhills and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out their website for their selection of wines and products, and to contact them for reservations.