The 2016 Soiree Beaujolais

The 2016 Soiree Beaujolais

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | December 19, 2016

In the Philippines, it’s the time when the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines gathers the French and Filipino communities to clink wine glasses alongside local and international business groups.

A year after celebrating its Silver Anniversary, Soiree Beaujolais turned its focus on the French history with “Versailles” as its theme. The Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the seat of French Royalty, such as Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI’s spouse.

Recently held at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, guests were treated as if they were invited to a royal party thrown by the last Queen of France. As the well-dressed crowd waited to the giant doors to swing open, fine wine of the Beaujolais and Burgundy regions were passed around (Cote du Rhone AOP Rouge 2015, Fleurie AOP 2014, Brouilly AOP 2014, Vin de Bourgogne, Coteaux Bourguignons Blanc, La Fontaine a Vin Rose). Some were dressed with a hint of French royalty, but a select few went all out in their costumes to the delight of everyone present.

At the appointed time, the French Chamber Board of Directors and employees performed a royal parade; all dressed like it’s the 1780’s, before the opening of the doors. Then, the exciting drama was revealed to the public: a huge dolled-up ballroom entirely decorated in a way that gives the illusion one is really in a palace! The hungry crowd made a bee line for the sumptuous French food prepared by the Marriott Hotel Manila Executive Chef Meik Brammer and his team of Chefs. Fresh oysters, traditional chicken stew with beans, and baked beef tenderloin in crust were the crowd favorite.

After the feast for the tummy, the lights slowly turned off and the people gathered at the center stage for a spectacular opening act performance ala Cirque du Soleil. Aftewards, Issa Litton as the stunning event host, introduced Stanislas Camart and Vanesssa Hans, respectively President and Director of the French Chamber of Commerce. They both gave us an overview of the Soiree Beaujolais, its tradition and its impact on the cultural and business relations between France and the Philippines.

As Soiree Beaujolais 2016 came with a heart, The French Chamber also highlighted its foundation France-Philippines United Action (FPUA) which initiated a Silent Auction of four paintings displayed inside the gallery at the Ballroom. Philippe Gauthier, President of FPUA and Founding President of the French Chamber explained to us that the artworks displayed were donated by celebrity Solenn Heussaff and three local artists – Alfonso Recto, Piaget Martelino, and Chris Verayo. The raised fund through the auction will be used to complete the third rehabilitation site in Bogo City, north of Cebu. This will enable two families, former victims of Typhoon Haiyan, to have resilient houses.

Following the French tradition whereby cheese comes after the main course and before the dessert, twenty kinds of cheeses entered Marriott Grand Ballroom after the uncorking ceremony of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine. Then the colorful dessert table was finally up for grabs.

Then, more entertainment ensued as the talented Silver Streaks band played upbeat tunes from different decades. Finally, DJ Mars Miranda spun some billboard music until the party ended at 2 AM.

In the end, Soiree Beaujolais was more than just impressive feast for the senses. The almost 1500 guests gathered undoubtedly enjoyed their journey through the 1780’s in Versailles. We are looking forward to Beaujolais next year with the French Chamber of Commerce as they might pleasantly surprise us again with an original concept party.

Cesar Cruz Jr.

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Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.

Old Fashioned Goodness

Old Fashioned Goodness

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

The Daily Tribune | November 10, 2015

Fresh milk, premium cocoa and minimal amount of natural sugar are the only ingredients of Cocio, a Danish chocolate milk that recently arrived in the Philippines. Cocio was developed in 1951 in the home kitchen of couple Anker and Ella Pallesen in Esbjerg, Denmark and, to date, it still uses the same recipe.

Milk, especially chocolate flavored, is a well-loved beverage in the country, and many Filipino mothers make sure that it is part of the nutritious diet their children get. It is about time Cocio made it to this country to make a healthier change in the lives of Filipinos.

“We know that Filipinos will love Cocio because not only is it delicious, it’s also made from natural ingredients — that are perfect for those trying to adopt a healthier and more wholesome diet,” explains Jens Christian Krog, senior general manager of Arla Philippines, Cocio’s supplier for fresh cow’s milk. “Cocio satisfies the sweet tooth without any additives or false promises. It’s the kind of beverage that Filipinos will surely love.”

This Danish chocolate milk brand prides itself for using only fresh cow’s milk from Arla Foods, which is known as the world’s largest multi-national dairy cooperative owned by over 14,000 farmers and one of the oldest in Europe. The cocoa is from West Africa and is UTZ-Certified, which benefits farmers when more cocoa is consumed. On the other hand, the plain sugar is from established sugar suppliers. Cocio is also free from stabilizers and preservatives, which explains the sediments you see at the bottom.

The launch of Cocio in the Philippines took place in Whitespace, Makati. It marked the first time that Cocio classic will be sold in the Asia Pacific region, and the first time Cocio Dark will ever be launched.

Local Cocio distributor is Fly Ace Corp., a food and beverage consumer goods company whose commitment is towards great taste and responsible ethical production.

“I was impressed with Cocio’s meticulous processes when I visited their office in Copenhagen. Every step involved — from choosing ingredient suppliers to advertising the product — stayed true to their core values,” said Fly Ace president Jun Cochanco. “Cocio is undoubtedly the best chocolate drink in the market, and we think it’s about time we shared it with the country.”

Following the immense success of Cocio in their native Denmark, the brand was then introduced to their Scandinavian neighbors — Sweden and Norway. In more recent years, Cocio has also branched out to other European countries and to the USA.

Cocio, the straightforward cocoa drink, is available in all major convenient stores and supermarkets nationwide.

Gabrielle Borromeo

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Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at: gabrielle_borromeo@write-experts.com

Sabor the Moment

Sabor the Moment

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

The Daily Tribune |November 26, 2018

“As for the atmosphere, Sabor is casual but classy with warm lights to create a relaxing vibe…”

How can one unwind if booking a flight away or even just a staycation is too costly? Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s newest wine bar, Sabor (Spanish for “flavor”) Bar de Vinos is a good place for a much-needed me-time and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, even just for a while.

Located at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, Sabor is conveniently found in what used to be a nook under one of the hotel’s escalators. The space was transformed into an intimate wine bar that extends all the way to the hotel’s smoking area. It allows one to loosen up in a corner or sway to modern Spanish music or to the beats of live samba entertainers.

Originally, the Novotel management decided to have a private wine cellar for their stock, but why hide away when their distinct collection of wines can be displayed? This was how the dream began with wine and signature tapas to offer.

Now, at Sabor, one can choose by the bottle or by the glass, or the sangria concoctions by Sabor’s expert mixologists. Sabor has a wide selection of wines.

The menu includes mushroom croquettes (P350), an earthy combination of porcini, button and portobello mushrooms, coupled with bleu cheese dip topped with caramelized onions; beetroot arancini with goat cheese (P350), which is a creamy beetroot risotto balls stuffed with marinated beet/root from El Dorado Farm, with goat cheese fondue;patatas bravas (P250), which are homemade deep fried organic potatoes from El Dorado Farm, tossed in smoked paprika and parsley, served with roasted spicy tomato and garlic aioli;berenjenas fritas, also known as deep fried eggplant (P250), breaded organic eggplant sticks paired with garlic, homegrown basil and molasses dip;and tomato bruschetta (P250), homemade ciabatta bread topped with tomato brunoise, chopped basil, garlic from El Dorado Farm, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

One can try the Greek salad skewers (P250) of marinated cucumber, cherry tomato from El Dorado Farm, olives, oregano and feta cheese; selection of cheeses (P650) with assorted crackers, sangria jelly, nuts, taggiasca olive and radish; and smoked kesong puti (P350), young goat’s cheese with dried fruits, crackers and grapes.

During the launch, Sabor served their version of the Filipino classic dinakdakan.
For the sweet tooth, creme brûlée and tiramisu offered and an ice cream store is just right at the corner.

As for the atmosphere, Sabor is casual but classy with warm lights to create a relaxing vibe. The beautiful murals are pleasant to the eyes. Sabor is not at all intimidating as one would expect from a hotel bar. Here, one can feel he is far from the heavy burden of work or daily cares.

Sabor is definitely one of the places in the metro that lets you unwind, pull yourself together and prepare for another big day.

Sabor Bar de Vinos, open Tuesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., is located at the ground floor of Novotel Manila Araneta, General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Quezon City.For inquiries, call 990-7888.

Gabrielle Borromeo

Author Profile

Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at: gabrielle_borromeo@write-experts.com

Beyond Farm to Table Wine Dinner

Beyond Farm to Table Wine Dinner

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | November 28, 2019

“If you consider yourself a foodie and a wine lover at the same time, then a food and wine pairing makes perfect sense.”

The goal of the meal after all is give pleasure to the diners by way of the different nuances of taste and aroma derived from wine and food. And don’t forget their synergy.

With the growing number of food and wine lovers in the Metro, hotels have been curating their own special menu to cater to adventurous taste buds. Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati, recently hosted an intimate farm to table wine dinner with a rustic concept at The Gallery. The people surrounding the dining table consisted mostly of the hotel’s higher ups, the two Aussie winemakers, a duo from the BusinessMirror, and a wine educator from Enderun Colleges.

As for the ingredients of the dishes in the multi-course meal, the seasonal vegetable requirements were sourced from three farms, one of which is Malagos Farm in Davao. On the other hand, the meat and wine were imported from Australia.

The meal began with the serving of Fresh Watercress Soup with Garlic Croutons and Crème Fraiche. Its delicate and neutral taste gradually stimulated our excited palates and heated up our digestive tracks.

Next up was the organic kale salad which, was shaped like a calling card and piled two inches high in the middle of the plate, while a swirl of Malagos Mango Chèvre, Maple Glazed Pili Nuts, Buerre Noisette Vinaigrette around the plate for added textures and flavors. The kale salad was paired with Sasha Brut. The effervescent liquid rebooted the taste buds as it takes in different permutations of taste with every bite of the salad.

Heating things up was the mildly spicy seafood pasta in green curry, coconut sauce, basil oil. The Thai-inspired al dente dish complimented the luxuriously silky taste of the Sasha Pinot Noir.

For the main course, the intensity of flavors of the Rack of Lamb (served with apricots, couscous, and pearl vegetable with rosemary garlic mint) was a solid match for the commanding presence of the tannins of Sally’s Hill Cabernets and also for the bright bouquet of Sasha Pyrenes Shiraz. This is undoubtedly the highlight pairing of the evening.

A medley of bite-sized desserts, including the award-winning ube cheesecake and the adobo cheesecake of Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, were soon served. It was partnered with Sasha Moscato for its sweet taste profile.

The approachability of the different types of wine aptly personifies its winemakers Neil Robb and Sasha Fair. The father and daughter tandem, being the experts they are, have not been intoxicated by fame. These two from the Land Down Under, remained down to Earth as they introduce their brand of vino. The wines of Sally’s Paddock Redbank Winery attribute its exceptional quality of its wine to its pristine environment, as well as its non-irrigated vines. The fact that the grapes are hand-picked and hand-pressed says a lot about their winemaking philosophy.

The wonderful meal was not all the diners got. The Aussies had a generous dose of Filipino hospitality when the conversation turned to the country’s national dish. Almost immediately, a plateful of chicken and pork adobo was served in front of Neil Robb and Sasha Fair for them to pair with their estate-grown reds. The paring of the adobo with the Cabernets and the Pinot Noir won their nod of approval. To cap their meal, mango daiquiris were laid before the Aussies as they have been curious about the world-famous Philippine mangoes.

“You can’t keep a good thing bottled up for long”, this writer thought,” be it Sally Paddock wine or good old fashioned Filipino hospitality.”

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Author Profile

Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.

France Wine Producers and Exporters Upbeat on Growing Local Market

France Wine Producers and Exporters Upbeat on Growing Local Market

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Business Mirror | July 17, 2017

“The growing market for wines and spirits in the Philippines… served as impetus for the arrival of the French representatives in our shores.”

With the increasing demand for fine wines and spirits in the country, a business delegation of French wine producers and exporters visited Manila late in October to interact with local importers and expand the reach of their products.

The growing market for wines and spirits in the Philippines, which recorded a 7-percent current growth value and reached P1.1 billion in 2017, served as impetus for the arrival of the French representatives in our shores.

In terms of value (€3 million) and sixth in terms of volume (1.2 million liters), France has already been enjoying good business in the country from the sales of its alcoholic products. The European country is already the fourth-largest wine exporter here after the United States, Australia and Spain.

The business expedition was a vital part of “Tastin’ France,” a series of professional wine-tasting events held worldwide in 65 cities set up by Business France, a national agency supporting the development and exports, and international investment.

It is interesting to note that the wine world would not be what it is today if not for the immense contribution of France, as it has been a source of winemaking practices and styles for wine-producing countries, as well as its many grape varieties that have been planted throughout the world.

The growing market in the Philippines is a result of the popularity of wine and spirits to the younger set, which represents a potential growth segment. Factors such as giving a premium on education, being exposed to worldwide trends via traveling and the phenomenon of evolving palates, all helped pave the way for this emerging segment of alcoholic-beverage consumers.

As such, increasing numbers from the younger generation have been turning to champagne, wine and other spirits as important elements in celebrating milestones in their lives.

Though the demand for wines and spirits may be bigger in other countries in the Asean region, France has kept a keen eye of the constantly growing market of local wine drinkers.

During the official launch of Tastin’ France-Manila, Ambassador Nicolas Galey said, “While the Philippine market is relatively small compared to its other Asian neighbors, with growing interest for fine wines and the Filipino drinker’s evolving and more discerning palate, I am positive that the steadily growing market is ready for even more French players.”

Galey added, “It is our hope that these wine, champagne and cognac makers [could] introduce more French products to the Philippine market through strong partnerships, and with the invaluable guidance [from] potential Filipino importers.”

Manila was the first leg for the French wine producers, as they were also scheduled to visit Kuala Lumpur and Singapore afterward.

Cesar Cruz Jr.

Author Profile

Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.

Nuts About “Buko”

Nuts About “Buko”

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

Published in Daily Tribune |November 26, 2018

A Miracle Drink

FRESH buko juice is now one phone call away with Coco Delivery.

Perhaps the fountain that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters is not a fountain at all, but a tree — the coconut tree.

The coconut’s water, locally known as buko juice, is a miracle drink that contains antioxidants that help bring back that youthful glow, plus it also has numerous health benefits.

We believe everyone deserves to have access to this healthy and refreshing drink anywhere, especially in the country’s capital

Coconut water is extremely good for the health since it is a good source of fiber, vitamin C and minerals that most people don’t get enough of. It is also proven to keep the body hydrated to prevent common health problems like urinary tract infections and low blood pressure.

Since coconut water forms naturally in the fruit and contains 94 percent water and very little fat, it also helps in weight loss.

There are many benefits to drinking coconut water. One, coconut water is packed with electrolytes that makes it better and comparable to sports drinks since it restores hydration, replenishes electrolytes lost during exercise and maintains proper fluid balance. Second, it is rich in potassium, shown to lower blood pressure in people with high or normal blood pressure and may potentially decrease the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries. Third, it is rich in magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.

 

Coco Delivery makes it incredibly convenient to quench one’s thirst, the healthy way.

Of course, even if coconut water is healthy, anything that is too much can cause overdose, bloating and stomach upset. It is all about discipline and balance.

Fortunately for Metro Manila residents, fresh buko juice is now just a phone call away with Coco Delivery. It offers fresh coconut water with no delivery charge and no minimum order required. They deliver anywhere within Metro Manila, even right at one’s doorstep.

Convenience in the Concrete Jungle

At the launch of Coco Delivery at its headquarters on E. Rodriguez, Quezon City, a consumer admitted to testing the new venture’s promise of delivering even just a single bottle to one’s doorstep. Coco Delivery came through.

For fresh buko juice lovers, Coco Delivery is a godsend, making it incredibly convenient to quench one’s thirst, the healthy way. With no added sugar, sweeteners or even flavoring agents compared to other brands, Coco Delivery offers only the purest coconut water in a bottle, making it a hassle-free experience.

At the launch, Coco Delivery’s business unit head Dexter Tan said, “The Philippines is known to be very abundant and rich in producing the freshest coconut water. With this, we believe everyone deserves to have access to this healthy and refreshing drink anywhere, especially in the country’s capital. Coco Delivery addresses the gap between consumers and access to fresh coconut water, which is usually only available in restaurants, malls, or from buko sidewalk vendors and buko cart peddlers in the morning.”

Not only has this company worked its way to serving convenience, it has also made healthier living possible.

Gabrielle Borromeo

Author Profile

Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at: gabrielle_borromeo@write-experts.com