Marks & Spencer Wine Tasting Event 2013

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A curious crowd swarming over the M&S wine bottles.

My comfort zone involves playing football and hiking mountains – heart-pumping, sweat-inducing activities that make me feel happy and inspired, but much as I enjoy roughing it up,  I also feel the need to try other things,  which is why I accepted the  invite from Nuffnang for a wine tasting event organized by Marks & Spencer Philippines.

The event was held last February 7, in front of the M&S branch in Greenbelt 5, Makati. Various types of wine, most of which I am unfamiliar with, were displayed on tables when my brother and I walked in. After a few minutes, waiters circulated the area serving glasses of wine, kicking off the start of the program.

Next came the part I enjoyed much more than the free liquor. Chie Gatchalian, Wine and Spirit Education Trust  (WSET) awardee stepped on the podium and delivered a very engaging and informative talk about  wines.  (WSET  is the “only wine & spirit education organisation approved by the UK government as a national awarding body of vocational qualifications. – WSET Website)

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Chie Gatchalian drew a huge crowd with her lively and humorous discussion on wines.

Her passion for wine is hypnotizing, she could have convinced me, despite my embarrassingly low tolerance for alcohol and strong preference for caffeine, to consume a whole bottle of wine in one sitting.

In her talk, she explained the different types of wine, how to taste it, where it came from and the fruits in it. For each type, we were given a glass and that’s 10 glasses for each person!

Chardonnay is great to be consumed with flavored fish or chicken dishes and practically anything. :)
Chardonnay is great to be consumed with flavored fish or chicken dishes and practically anything. 🙂

There were tons of amusing facts that were shared to us  but the most helpful thing I learned was that in pairing wine, there aren’t rules at all. If you love the way it tastes, pair it with whatever you want. You can find suggestions everywhere on which dish goes well with a certain type of wine and that’s to maximize your dining experience, but no need to sweat on the pairing! 😛 Whew!

Dessert wines
Dessert wines – Port, Moscatel de Valencia and Olorosso (Sherry)

Other fun facts :

1.  If you find yourself craving for wine without the sour kick, go for Merlot. It is recommended for  those who don’t really  like wine. It also goes well with cheese, red meats, stews, barbeques and savoury dishes.

2. For people with an expensive taste bud but don’t have the budget for champagne, go for Proseco It’s extra dry and semi-sweet.

4. All M&S wine bottles have labels which give information of flavor, style , serving suggestions and storage which makes it very easy for people like me who don’t really know much about wine.

5. My favorite fact, mainly because it’s related to geography : “Champagne is a protected name and cannot be used on any sparkling wine produced outside the Champagne region found in Northern France.” – M&S Wine Guide

6.  M&S wines are reasonably priced from 195, for those that come in small bottles to 3,650 Pesos, for champagne. For a list of the wines and pricing guide, download a PDF copy of the catalog from their website.

As I’m not really into alcoholic beverages, I had slipped into a hazy state when the talk ended, but despite the clouded thoughts swirling  in my head, there’s also this happy buzz I’m feeling for attending an affair I’d normally passed. You can never go wrong with stepping out of your comfort zone – be it as simple as wine tasting event. 😛

Thanks Nuffnang and Marks & Spencer Philippines! 🙂

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Jovial Wanderer

Christine Fernandez loves to eat as much as she loves hiking mountains. Read more about her adventures at www.jovialwanderer.com

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