I am not one to turn to wine and liquor when I am having a bad day, make that a bad week, no, practically a month of horrific technology nightmares. But I can completely understand those who do seek solace in a bottle of fine or not so fine wine. However, I do inevitably turn to wine or champagne to celebrate a major milestone, achievement or positive life event. Hence this is a totally appropriate post. This represents my first complete post using my MacBook Pro. And I even managed to salvage photos from my previous laptop. I haven’t found a Mac tutor yet so I have spent infuriating hours trying to figure out the simplest of tasks, such as re-sizing photos and prepping them for my posts, which are not on a Mac friendly platform, apparently. At any rate, I think this deserves a bottle of champagne, or maybe just a luscious glass of Pinot Noir at a small gem of a wine store on Pasong Tamo…
Set up by a group of friends with a passion for wine, Premium Wine Exchange has a small but very interesting selection of wines from Californian wineries and other select sources. Their website, here, can fill you in on all the basics, but the most attractive thing about the place is an underlying tone of passion and interest in their products. It is the first quality I search for in a top-notch purveyor of any food and wine. If the owners aren’t involved and don’t exhibit a real interest in their products, it clearly shows…
I was at the store early on a Saturday morning, and was given a quick tour by one of the owners, Jojo Madrid, who was altogether relaxed and informal, just like the wines on offer. He explained that the store was born from a common interest among friends for wine and it has done nicely in its first 2.5 years in operation. They focus mainly on Californian vineyards, though they have some French sources and I spotted some very good bottles of champagne as well. Prices are extremely attractive, ranging from say PHP500 to a few bottles in the PHP5,000+ range. A few select bottles of champagne would cost you a lot more. What is nice about the place is that it isn’t too crowded, the staff are knowledgeable and while choices are limited, they are good limited choices. This is a place to go for wine to be enjoyed, not wine to be stocked in one’s cellar as an investment vehicle. Looking for a nice bottle to take to a friend’s home when invited to dinner, check out Premium Wine Exchange.
While I was at the store (late one Saturday morning), Jojo opened a bottle of Shea Wine Cellars 2005 Pinot Noir, which was served to customers browsing at the time. It was quite good, “a Pommard clone”, as Jojo says (or at least what my chicken scratch notes say). I am not a wine afficionado, but I can tell a good one from a bad one. And this one was nice. Sorry, it was the last bottle in the store so you can’t buy it until new supplies arrive… I also spied wines from Smoking Loon, Q Vineyards, and champagnes from Krug, Veuve Cliquot and many others. Oh, and another nice thing about this store? You can “rent” the venue for the evening, bring in a caterer, and have a wonderful dinner for up to 20 folks in the chilly cellar like atmosphere…. hmmm, a perfect venue for an extravagant party. The photos say it all – the sparkle of crystal, the deep reds of fine wine, the bottles surrounding you at dinner… fantastic!
Premium Wine Exchange
Ground Floor, Smith Bell Building
2294 Pasong Tamo Extension
+63 2 812 3823
(P.S., they are apparently opening a store at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, so you don’t have to drive to Makati to peruse their offerings…)