Since they started about two years ago here in the Philippines, Antique Wine Company has become one of my favorite wine suppliers. They have an incredible selection at all price ranges focusing on quality and value for money. From the hard to find specialty vintages from prestigious chateaus to what we have found as our favorite house wine (which I am really hesitant to share until I finish all the stock!) They have been however the only ones that have managed to really turn me to Spanish wines. Yes, yes, call me a good old french snob but years of living in France with great bottles at 5 euros really spoils you. And unfortunately Spain who has a thriving wine industry that often works against them internationally, lots of what is available in the market can be sulfite filled headache inducing sop. There is no doubt that they have some extraordinary wines – Vega Sicilia anyone? – but unless you have a pretty penny to spend on bottles bought direct from suppliers, let alone in restaurants, without proper knowledge and guidance it’s hard to navigate the treacherous bacchanalian iberian waters. AWC’s commitment to quality and value for money – whether its a steal or a small fortune – their wines have always been on point. In the end however it’s still up to you to choose you’re own preferred style or grape variety but I have been enjoying the whole exploratory process.
For the launch of my site they graciously provided us with some delicious white and red wines and some cava. The white and cava are from bodegas Codorníu, in the Penedès, Catalonya region. The red is a rich Rioja from Bodegas Roda. Everyone enjoyed the wine immensely accompanying the slightly spiced mediterranean / north african flavors of the nibbles and of course the gorgeous jamon iberico from TXANTON.
The Viñas de Anna Blanc de Blancs 2014 is a pleasant mix of Chardonnay with that floral and honeyed touch of Muscat. It’s a rather rich white with tropical fruit such as lychee yet with a zesty freshness of pineapple. Drank nice and cold as an aperitif this wine would go perfectly well with bold Asian flavors like Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. My usual go to wine for Southeast Asian food packed with herbs, spices, rich in curries and coconut is a nice juicy Viognier but this would be a great alternative. Maybe a fried lapu-lapu with red curry and lots of kaffir lime or crispy catfish and green mango salad – all rather bold and complex to pair with wines but that distinct tropicality and rich floral quality from the Muscat makes this a stunning match. Viñas de Anna Blanc de Blancs 2014 P1,100.00
I have a new found appreciation for the Tempranillo varietal, extremely versatile in its results depending on the region and winemaker’s style. The Bodegas Roda Sela 2011 is a generous wine full of ripe red fruit with good tannins. Definitely when pairing it’s always good to consider what locals eat especially in such a gastronomically rich landscape. Hearty dishes of pork and grilled lamb; beans with sausages or quail; patatas a la Riojana of stewed potatoes with chorizo and dried peppers; or maybe a rich pork based paella with saffron and red capsicums. This would make a great choice for family dinners serving home cooked spanish dishes or our filipino favorites with spanish influence. Bodegas Roda Sela 2011 P1,670.00
Bubbly is always welcome and while top of mind is often champagne, cava aficionados will argue that it isn’t simply an alternative to the French brewage but can stand all on its own and has its own distinct laudable qualities. Although still containing a portion of the traditional cava varietals of Parellada, Xarello and Macabeo, Anna de Codorníu Brut Blanc de Blancs is predominately Chardonnay with the well known grape making up 70%. Introduced in 2013 to compete against white champagnes, this cava has that familiarity of the French bubbly but with a distinct twist. It is rather dry and fresh and great to get the evening started on an effervescent note. (Watch out on my guide to alternatives to champagne coming out soon!) Anna de Codorníu Brut Blanc de Blancs P1,500.00
For more information please visit www.awc-wine.com