…it was a lot of funSammy Rae & The Friends
Maybe it’s fate, maybe it’s coincidence… But the timing of writing an article about wines from the south of France in a restaurant that sated my French viennoisserie cravings in Alabang while celebrating 6 years of being a southie is nothing short of capturing lightning in a bottle.
A bottle of Provence rosé perhaps? Bien sûr. Let me dissect it like I would a perfectly made pain au chocolat.
I first heard of and saw Baker J and its constant kilometric queue in our neighborhood haunt of Molito during the pandemic. Their kiosk was chock-full of esthetically pleasing, fragrant, and delicious pastries. As I was particularly mindful of going out at the time (immunocompromised people problems), I only managed to get someone else to snag a croissant for me and… Boom. There was a little ray of light again. My desperate desire to travel back to France to see friends was momentarily quelled (there’s always a pastry – or 5 – every trip, what can I say). It made the silly Muntinlupa alcohol ban… bearable. A little.
Admittedly when the doors opened again (and the stupid face shields have been burned in a proverbial bonfire of regret), I got too busy to visit their new location in Crimson Hotel… So, irony of ironies, I decided to drop in on the launch of their new branch several exits away from the OG location in Two Parkade BGC (no big, we southies are willing to share). Baker J’s BGC concept involves “breakfast to booze, coffee to cocktails.”
Also, I learned from Kirk Llamas that the J in Baker J could mean “Just right, Just me, Je suis (I am in French)”. I wondered if it could mean “Je m’appelle Gail et j’adore l’alcool.”
Anyway, the promise of good wine from Estate Wine was more difficult to resist, so… 😉 The event featured wines from Château du Seuil, a winemaking Domaine in Aix-en-Provence that capitalizes on organic agriculture. The Domaine started out as a 15th century seigneurial farm before it became a summer residence of the Michaelis family, a family of rich merchants and were counsellors of the King of Provence during the mid-17th century. They also held administrative and military posts and were made nobles by Louis XIV.
The wines our friends from Estate Wine featured during the evening included:
Château du Seuil White, Coteaux d’Aix-enProvence
Made from Rolle, Grenache Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc, the wine was pale yellow, refreshingly crisp, and had pungent floral notes with sharp citrus fruits on the palate. I’d classify it as a the love child of an easy drinking white and a conversation wine… I’d have it poolside with a wino friend over a good conversation and maybe some sharp cheese.
Château du Seuil Rosé, Coteaux d’Aix-enProvence
I am totally #teamrose for the Manila market, and Provence is one of my favorite rosé regions. It works well with a lot of our food, and definitely with our scorching weather. This Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Rolle/Ugni Blanc (phew!) pale salmon number has a yummy floral bouquet and refreshing red fruit flavors. I think it would really hit the spot with some Filipino dishes, but I can see myself having it with my girlfriends over a juicy gossip sesh.
Château du Seuil Red, Coteaux d’Aix-enProvence
I usually like massive red wines… with food. The thing is, there is always room in my wine fridge/palate/life for an easy drinking red… like, when I wanna chill out and have some red while watching (insert streaming service here), snack optional. I feel like this wine would absolutely serve that purpose. The deep red purple Shiraz/Grenache blend is a delicate wine with blackberry and black pepper notes and flavors.
Bonus: Duperé-Barrera Bandol India (Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Syrah)
After doing a little research, I found out that the winery has partners beyond the location of their Domaine (Couteaux PDO). Makes brilliant sense because every wine textbook will tell you that Bandol is the Provence region. This wine delivered. Veering away from the previous easy-drinking and easy to approach wines, this powerful deep red wine made me think of dark chocolates, baking spice, smoke, and blackberries. I also loved the elegant tannins and the depth of its flavors. This went well with the French sausages and steak we had that night.
Château du Seuil wines are available in Estate Wine‘s store located in the ground floor of Republic Glass Building, 196 Salcedo street, Legazpi Village, Makati. Lazy people can also order via Grab.
Baker J has branches in Crimson Hotel, Filinvest Alabang; and their newest one in Two Parkade, BGC.