At the risk of sounding incredibly narcissistic, I have been fielding messages asking me where I was last week.
Before I answer this question, there are a few things my friends know about me (and my life) that I feel serve as a nice way to introduce my article this week:
- We moved to the suburbs in the South of Manila – To have moved from a beautiful high rise (we were on the 41st floor!) in the heart of Makati CBD to be surrounded by picturesque nature was the best decision we made this year. We haven’t stopped receiving visitors since the moment the last boxes were dropped off. Our first visitor (who dropped in just as our movers left) was our longtime family friend, barkeep extraordinaire Alex Sawit of Cyrano Wine Selections (who people might remember from a previous post about Japanese whisky).
- I’m all about inspirational, professional women – As I’ve said before, there are still some people who view women in the alcohol industry as an oddity (at best), or as pretty “objects” (at worst). I try my best to do my part in fighting this because, as I have been on the receiving end of being treated unfairly in my industry simply for not having a penis, it feels DISGUSTING. I try my best to do this by associating myself with people who share the same views (or at the very least, are respectful of women).
That said, these are the people I hung out with last week:
The Manila Women’s Forum
When the co-founder of the company that does our infographics and web design, the talented Inna Cristobal of Grafik Giraffe, tapped me to do a talk on wine appreciation for the holidays, I was initially excited to be given the opportunity to be surrounded by a roomful of powerful women (intelligent industry shakers and/or mothers).
Then, when I met my audience, I was bowled over by their accomplishments in their fields that I stuttered through half my lecture (not my finest hour). Thankfully they were so supportive and assured me that they picked up a thing or two from my talk (yay!).
Château Angelus’ Bong Grelat-Tram
One of the best moments of my wine career is to be welcomed in a château in Bordeaux by bells chiming our national anthem (kids, it’s Lupang Hinirang, not Bayang Magiliw).
After that tear-jerking moment followed by internally fainting after having a one-on-one with renowned winemaker Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, I was treated to ethereal glasses of Château Angelus.
I’ve written about that before so I won’t go into detail… But what I was happy that that experience has allowed me to make a friend in Bong Grelat-Tram, who’s Château Angelus’ Public Relations Manager for Asia.
So much that she arranged to have lunch with me on Friday, during which I happily shared Filipino food with her, and stories about our history, gastronomy, culture, and handicrafts (I proved that was listening in a Philippine History class or two, hah!).
One of the saddest things that happened to our old city life was the day Cyrano transferred out of Makati and into Alabang.
This, however, was more than made up for by our own move to the south a couple of weeks ago.
Happily, last Saturday, we picked up right where we left off in Makati and rocked the evening away with karaoke night, delicious Japanese coffee by Mark (in the spirit of Cyrano, Mark is a guest who shocked us all by coming to the bar with a backpack full of coffee paraphernalia, and then proceeded to make coffee), and Alex’s piña colada.
Confession: If given the option to order it from a menu, I’d never choose a piña colada… But Alex has been talking about it so many times (even before we’d told him we were moving) that I had to give it a try.
It was not as cloying or rich as the IBA standard (a style I’m not a big fan of), and it was wonderfully refreshing.
It ended up being the only piña colada I’d have.
It was also the best way to cap off the week of wine and women. 😉
Bonus: Cyrano had a puppy that evening which (to my husband’s chagrin) I decided to name Muffin.
Château Angelus wines are available in Wine Story branches
Cyrano Wine and Whisky Bar is located in Lower Ground Floor, Madison Galeries Lifestyle Mall, Don Jesus Blvd, Cupang, Muntinlupa.