Friday, June 28, 2013

Who? What? Wine?

Well, based from the previous post, we were able to taste 8 different brands of wine. I am thinking of putting in the details of those wine but where's the fun in that? A lot of people probably gave their thoughts about it but I'll just share a couple of those I have tasted before and after the wine tasting class last Wednesday.

So, for Father's Day, we had steak - actually, they had steak while I had loads of potatoes and salad. I picked the wine to be brought to the steak party and thought that a good merlot (semi-bold) should be good enough. Presenting the Little Penguin! It's a 2011 merlot from South Eastern Australia as indicated. I thought it was sweet and not the kind of red wine I was expecting - one that will seep out from my skin from a strong kick. Okay, my white wine bias is showing here. Let's just talk red when there's cheese, okay? It has 13% alcohol and a soft finish - the taste doesn't linger that much in your mouth. Bottomline is that this would probably be my favorite merlot to date and it's not just because I chose it.
Look at those little footprints. Such a cutie.

Then when the first bottle wasn't enough, the uncle brought out the next bottle for everyone. They just got it from a wedding as a give-away. How convenient is that? Here comes Santa Carolina Premio aka "Fruity Chilean Red Wine" which was less sweet than the Little Penguin. A 2012 blend of red wine has 12.5% alcohol and research suggests it's mostly cabernet sauvignon and some other grape variety. Not prunes.

Now for some white wine. South Africa's Two Oceans has come up with this 2011 semillon chardonnay (of course it has sour notes, it's a chardonnay, baby) with a dry taste adding to the 12.85% (or is 12.5%?) alcohol content. Semillon from France and chardonnay from the rest of the world. Two Oceans, indeed. I'm not pretty sure if this is how semillon chardonnays really taste like, the blend is just a little dry for me but I drank it anyway because it's there. (What a douche.) Would I be mean if I say it's tolerable? I'll go around the area and look for a semillon chardonnay to challenge Two Oceans. Not the bottle to bring to your non-wine-drinking friends' party.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Wine Tasting Class

I've had the worst week last week and yet I still attended a wine-tasting class because let's face it, when you have a really really hollow-block-type of a rough day, you'd get your hands on whatever opportunity for salvation that passes by. Okay, alcohol may not be the solution but I already paid for this thing and that my friend is there all set and excited to attend this class. We're cultured, like a pearl.
The crowd favorites. Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc and
the French Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis (chardonnay).
I was late for a few minutes, let's say 10-15 minutes but not enough for me to be dropped from the class or to receive 500 dagger looks from the rest of the folks inside the room. They were on to the 2nd wine already and they had to repeat everything again, thank you very much, Ms. Latecomer. The instructor was able to explain the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand vs the Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc from France like 8x already since there were more people who came in later than I did.

There's our take-away, my favorite Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc
from New Zealand. The New World makes fruitier Sauvignon Blancs.
There were 4 glasses for white wine (Sauvignon Blanc from NZ, Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc from France, a French Chablis, and an Australian Chardonnay) and another 4 for red (merlot and shiraz). It was basically Old World vs New World, with the French wine being the source of the "Old World" wines while Australia and New Zealand for the New World. Don't forget South America, too.
Missing a bottle from the red and wine group.
Thanks, Chin, for the photo. :)
My friend and I were the youngest in the group. I think we brought down the average age in the room by a lot. When finally, everyone got a little chatty (there's your alcohol working) we got the "Aren't you too young to be drinking wine?", "How old are you? Do your parents know you're here...drinking?" questions a lot. Haha. It was an interesting trip and out of depression we passed by Domino's Pizza since I've been craving for that since forever. (Pizza sentence is definitely out of place in this post. What's wrong with me?!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Far From the Middle

Remember Dr. Bailey's line in Grey's Anatomy? That part where the hospital admin don't let them do the teaching style they used to do, she said that she doesn't want to wait till she doesn't recognize herself anymore - basically doing what she doesn't like to do.

Well, I waited. I waited till I don't know myself anymore. I waited till it's not me already. When you get tired, you stop fighting and all chances of redemption can just make you smile.

Comfort zone here? Where the magic happens, is there outside.
Easy to draw, difficult to live by.
But it's this kind of chalkboard illustrations that are worth trying.
So, keeping it to my 2013 theme (which sprouted from last year's events as well), maybe it's time to take risks. For the first time, I don't have a timeline, I don't have a clear direction. I am not lost, but I'll find a better way.
Thank you, Pipino restaurant for that fortune cookie
plastered on the corkboard.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to break up with someone? And everything you've been with for more than 3 years?
There's no easy way to break someone's heart.
But sometimes it's easier when they broke yours first.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace

When I see a place I like so much and I have the time to ponder about it, I would definitely blog about it. See, looloo (it's an iPhone app but you can access it on your browser as well) has been taking up most of my food comments. This time, it's about the place and well, okay, a little on the food. Another gem along Maginhawa Street is Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace! Yay!
Cutesie! But no aircon, boohoo.
"SHOKOT means TAKOT. But WHAT is the meaning of THIS?!" is printed on a shirt they were selling. It's inspired by the movie Zombadings and they have dvds of it for sale! (I restrained myself from buying right then and there.)
Zombadings DVD!!! HOMERGERSH!!!

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace is my new favorite place in Maginhawa. It has that cozy cafe feel inside with a small garden outside sharing the space with a few more restos. Oh oh, they have stools by the bar! You can sit there and stare at their quaint open kitchen while they whip up your food.

They also have this suspended coffee initiative wherein you can pay for the coffee or sandwich of someone else (homeless, etc, up to you). Charity begins at home.
You can sit by the bar! Yay!
Although it might be a little maalikabok to you (open air, hence, no aircon!) and the place is not that fun during summers (init much) and to lamok-heartthrobs like me, the set-up is clearly targeting the local indie and art freaks, or plain hungry people. They also sell shirts, dvds, and cds. I recommend that you walk and take a look around the area (unless you have pilay or something) to enjoy the place. Tralalala I enjoyed it, okay?!

As for the food, they have vegetarian options!! Hurraaaah!! Food were priced at Php100-200 so they're kinda light on the budget. I had tofu steak (Php100) and blacksoup salad (Php100 please hold the adobo flakes for the vegetarian!), while my friend got their fish burger (Php140). All were really good considering the price. My friend liked the fish burger and I believe her palate. Haha. Next time, I'll probably try their vegetarian "You Won't Be Single For Long" pasta which has vodka mix in it. *smug face*
Blacksoup Salad with the adobo flakes on the side!
Definitely coming back to my new home!!

YAY: Food; Interiors; Exteriors! Haha.
NAY: Lamok; No Aircon

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace
154 Maginhawa St, Sikatuna Village, QC
435 2549 / 0915.3055480
Open for lunch and dinner (12 noon-3pm; 6pm-9pm) but may open earlier and close at a later time for special reservations. (As stated in their Facebook page)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tell Me Wine

There are cheap wines and expensive wines. There are good wines and there are grape juice that pretend to be wine. Also, Monday is the new Friday or not really since every night is a possible Wine Night. It's already June, the rainy season is supposed to be here. We all want to be warm but then marshmallows on top of your hot cocoa is too fattening. (What the heck did I just type?!)

First is Adega de Pegoes semi-sweet white at 11.5% which tasted like there is a significant amount of alcohol in it even if it was chilled. The taste was balanced, as it was a little sweet (it's semi-sweet after all) at first until the alcohol makes itself known (aka bitter after-taste). It's a white wine blend of three grapes (thank you research) - muscat, arinto, and fernao pires. Priced at just around Php130 (I think my friend got this from Puregold), you can buy one and bring for your friends who haven't tasted wine yet so you can tell them, "if you don't want it, let's just smash the bottle. Whose head are we sacrificing?" It's a good introduction to a balanced wine as it has the right sweetness and bitterness in one.

*Promise I'll make an entry about cheap wines. They are a surprise. Haha.

Next would be musso's syrah (2009 bottle!) which tasted like it lost its purpose in life as a wine. Or it never really thought of being a good wine in the first place. It didn't taste like anything, was flat, and nothing to absolutely take note of except that there is alcohol. When you drink it, it's just alcohol. Syrah is also known as shiraz and this would be the lightest shiraz I have tasted (not that I have tasted a lot of shiraz though). It's a red wine, so I'll just get back to you on that like in the next 6 months.
White on the left.
Red on the right. With a man staring back at you.
This is the funniest "wine" I have ever tasted. I mean I know I bought a Carlo Rossi because it's a red moscato and I'm very intrigued by it, but this is Novellino. Novellino is a big sweeeet joke with 4.5% alcohol and working at a Php200-220 price range. It was very sweet, it's sparkling, and the alcohol content is for kids. (Kids, please don't drink till you get to college. Or, never at all if that's okay with you.) Seriously. It's sparkling grape juice with imaginary alcohol. Well, it's okay if you just want to get warm, soak your teeth in sugary drinks, or just get a blanket instead. Swiss Miss can provide you warmth, too. I'm just not the target market for this "wine".
Don't dare talk to me. You, sparkling juice, you.
I'd rather mingle with the water flask at the back.
Then just recently at a friend's celebration we had our first taste of a white zinfandel... which is colored pink (or light rose if you want to make it sound better). It was really sweet it can probably battle a moscato but it has more alcohol in it (10%!). Beringer has its share of white and red zinfandel wines. We had a 2011 bottle and zinfandels as I've heard, are the type to be paired with pesto pastas but I'm not sure if that's applicable to the white one since it can pass off as dessert wine in itself. Its aroma was great and it tasted smooth. It's very easy to finish a bottle of this. Locally, it's available at S&R and Duty Free (around Php500++). Certified good wine. :)
There's a paper penguin with a hat. Why?!
So, what's next? This lovely box houses three beautiful bottles of white [yellow tail]'s. I love you, S&R. We got the last box of whites for Php999. I swear we were all smiles when we bought it. Mwahahaha!
There's a kangaroo on the left, in the middle, and on the right.
We love kangaroos!

*We are not alcoholics. We just like wine. But you know, alcoholics are always in denial.