Hello dear readers. I have been absent for so long, I know… But like any good student, I have a perfectly good excuse: I have been on several planes, traveling around the world for good wine.
I know you’ve heard me say this before, and I am still upholding the same promise that my blog is strictly about beverages, not my travels.
It took me a while to think of how to transcribe my trip without sounding like a travel blog, but by George, I think I’ve got it.
Admittedly, I’m still a bit jet lagged to finish my articles… So for now, I will keep you in suspense. Just to whet your appetite a bit, here’s an article I wrote about a wine from one of the places I went to, the Cremaschi Furlotti from Chile.
Yes. I went on a 26-29 hour trip to be 13 hours away, enjoying some of the best wines in the world.
Because I am one of the biggest fans of Chilean wine in Manila. I am especially a big fan of their signature red, the Carmenere… I have sniffed it, savored it, loved it, blogged about it, paired it with many different kinds of food, and talked about it to anyone who would listen (in the process annnoyed some people to no end).
I am also a big fan of their Chardonnay (hold on, Burgundy fans, let me explain). In days when I would hanker for a proper Chardonnay and my funds do not share the hankering, I end up with a Chilean Chardonnay… Supreme bang for my buck. I mean, let’s face it: writing about booze is not always the most financially profitable job in the planet. Added bonus: It pairs well with Filipino food.
As you can probably see, I have quite the passion for Chilean wine. So when the opportunity came for me to talk to an actual Chilean wine maker, I was overjoyed… I resolved to make it a mission to share my passion to the Philippines. Thankfully, Cristian Cremaschi has left me with great tidbits to help me do just that.
Cristian is the fourth generation Oenologist of Cremaschi Furlotti. It is a family company which has roots from Italy, arriving to the Chilean soil in 1890. They have 400 hectares of land, 2 cellars that house 8 million liters of wines, and 2 bottling lines.
Cristian is a man truly passionate about Chilean wine, saying that “(the) best marketing (for our wines) is our quality. We have one of the best natural conditions to produce wine, and this one is the most important things in wine making. The cellar you can build everywhere… But the soil and whether conditions, you can’t change.”
Thrilling. I in all my Filipina wine loving glory got excited to plan my trip to Chile.
But that’s me going to Chile, though… I wondered what got him interested in coming over to Manila. When I asked him, he expressed his excitement and optimism about the prospect of change in the behavior of Philippine wine consumption… Gearing towards Chilean wine, of course. My personal experience with their wines backs this up: Chilean winemaking traditions make their wines interesting and consistently of good quality, without complications and hefty price tags… Characteristics that I think Filipinos would definitely appreciate.
“I have an impression that Filipinos like their wines easy to drink and fruity,” he told me. I am inclined to believe that… But just to further tie Filipinos to Chilean wines, I decided to experiment on Filipino food and Chilean wine pairing.
Filipinos can get creative when it comes to pork. We can cook every single part of it. Having said that, I discovered that however we prepare it, Filipino pork dishes pair well with Carmenere. I love Carmenere’s flavors of dark fruits, spices, coffee, dark chocolate, and grilled meats. I even read an Oz Clarke description citing celery and soy sauce as part of its profile. This makes for a very versatile red wine in terms of pairing. I personally love it with chocolates, grilled pork chops, and asian food… And all of these food items are accessible in the Philippines.
One of the people I used to work with clued me in on one of his amazing discoveries: Chilean Pinot Noir and lechon. Pinoy food thrives on being paired with fruity beverages to remove the sensation of being overwhelmed by the amount of flavors they have. The Pinot Noir is just the ticket, with its fruity flavors of cherries and strawberries as some of its components (I say so because proper Pinot Noir is so complex, it requires nothing short of poetry to describe it… A poet I am unfortunately not). I absolutely fell in love with the Chilean Pinot Noir’s ability to offset the wonderful smoky flavors of the Philippine lechon and sarsa.
Lastly, I made a recent discovery of Chilean Chardonnay and my godmother’s Kare-kare. By recent I mean two nights ago as of writing this, and yes, many a Filipino argument has been had regarding whose mama’s Kare-kare is better. However. The tropical fruit flavors of mangoes (once again, a Pinoy staple), pineapples, melons, and peaches, plus some butter or butterscotch flavors compliment the creamy peanut butter sauce and delicate flavors and spices of the Kare-kare.
I am personally excited to embrace yet another Chilean wine label in the Philippines, and am keen on trying them out with different food we can find in our lovely shores. Cheers!