For the past few months, I've found myself eager to learn more about wines. Fortunately, I was given another opportunity to appreciate the art of wine, and food and wine pairing through a tour and lunch at The Wine Museum courtesy of Breakfast Magazine.
|Photo sourced from The Wine Museum|
Located along Aurora Boulevard in Pasay City, The Wine Museum is a four-story family-oriented restaurant, bed and breakfast destination, as well as a foundation established not only to cater to wine aficionados, food lovers and weary travelers, but to also provide hands-on training to students and practitioners in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Owned by the same family behind the Philippine Wine Merchants Inc. and Ralph's Wines and Spirits, the Josephs established The Wine Museum back in 2008, which as of present has a colonial resto bar at the ground floor, a museum and training center on the second floor, and 8 beautiful yet budget-friendly bed rooms in the third and fourth floors.
|Wine Museum and Training Center; Photos sourced from The Wine Museum|
This session at The Wine Museum is definitely one of the memorable ones I've had when it comes to wine appreciation as we were taught of the basics in wines, how wines came to be, the processes undertaken to produce red and white wines, the kind of wines, as well as how to appreciate them through their appearance, smell, and taste.
We were also fortunate to have personally met Mr. John W. Joseph, Jr. of the Joseph brothers who shared with us how he started in the food and service industry coming from the field of radio broadcasting, how El Restaurant in Makati had started and ended, and how The Wine Museum has been a culmination of his learnings throughout the years.
The Food and Wine Pairing
After an introduction to the basics of wine, it was finally time to try pairing food and wine for ourselves. We were first served with a platter of appetizer samplers.
We had Sliced Vigan Longganisa, Gambas Al Ajillo and Mushroom Vinaigrette as meal starters, paired with a glass of Claro Chardonnay. Each appetizer was flavorful, succulent and had successfully whetted our palates, but my favorite would probably be the Gambas Al Ajillo as it had a beautiful smokey and savory flavor that went perfect with the zesty and refreshing acidity of the Chardonnay.
Next we had was a glass of Claro Merlot, a sweet and velvety easy-drinking red wine with notes of plum, red fruits, pepper and menthol which went really well with the hearty bowl of Sopa de Calabasa (P100), a thick and rich flavorful soup of pumpkin.
The earthy glass of Merlot was also a great complement to the salty, peppery, savory and succulent Fish Fillet with Ali Oli (P275). And although I've had my fair share of fried and battered fish fillet in my previous food escapades, I can definitely say that this is one of the best I've had. With a siding of either plain rice or french fries, this can already be one hearty meal in itself. (I styled my plate of fish fillet, what do you guys think?)
We also paired our glass of Merlot with the Paella Collonial (P450), The Wine Museum's version of Paella using California rice, clams, chicken, pork, chorizo de bilbao, sweet peas, green olives, lima beans, artichokes, mushroom and asparagus. Unlike the traditional Spanish Paella, this hearty platter uses western and eastern preparation methods, and doesn't include tomatoes nor saffron.
We then had a glass of Claro Cabernet Sauvignon, a deep red-violet-colored wine with a strong, lasting tannin. For this course, we had Chicken Mexicano (P220), a succulent chicken dish with a sweet, savory sauce. Although I generally love chicken, I somehow wished that they gave me a different part so the chicken meat would be more moist.
We were also served with Crispy Toro (P325), the same dish I got to try at Nectar Restaurant a few months ago. And just like my first impression, I again fell in love with this beef shank dish. It's crispy on the outside, and very tender when eaten. It's also meaty and savory, a perfect dish to pair with the Cabernet Sauvignon.
My fellow bloggers also got to try the Hazelnut Crepes ala Mode (P150), as well as the Lambrusco Dell'Emilia Rosato sparkling wine. However, I had to skip this part as I wasn't feeling very well that afternoon. After recovering from fever, or so I thought, I almost passed out before dessert. So despite my deep love for sweet treats, I just had to go home earlier. It was definitely such a shame, and the first in 5 years that I almost fainted. However, I'm sure this visit won't be the last anyway.
This visit to The Wine Museum is definitely one of the memorable restaurant trips I've had in quite a while, and that's not because of my almost-fainting experience. Just the lecture before the lunch and tour alone has proven to be very informative and educational, something that's actually useful for someone interested to learn more about wines. The food and wine pairing was also unforgettable -- great flavors and aesthetically pleasing with a touch of friendly and effective service.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
The Wine Museum Hotel & Resto, Pasay
2253 Aurora Boulevard (formerly Tramo Road)
Pasay City, Metro Manila