Introduction to Wine and Spirits

Introduction to the Philippines’ Wines and Spirits

Filipinos are known worldwide as one of the hardest working groups of people; although they like to sip some Philippine wines and spirits to refresh once in a while. Multinational companies from all corners of the globe have recognized this feat. One only needs to look at different news websites and classified ads to see them put their trust in them. This is one of the main reasons why Filipinos are sought after for jobs that require dedication and hard work; although this has been taken advantage of and has become a stereotype that Filipinos are only good for menial jobs. This will never be the case because aside from being hard working, Filipinos have the passion for succeeding, which drives them to finish anything they have started. This also entails that they need something to drive away the exhaustion from a hard day’s work – by finding and doing things to have some fun.

One way that Filipinos are great at is to have fun. In fact, they have different names for the happy hours such as “Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) and for some people “Happy Thursday”. There are also numerous holidays and celebrations that are better enjoyed with these alcoholic drinks.

It is just a matter of what to drink and which bar to go to among the many bars in the Philippines. Wines and spirits are great drinks to enjoy and the fact that there are numerous types makes it even more enticing.


Examples of Wines and Spirits in the Philippines

Examples of Wines and Spirits in the Philippines

The pearl of the orient is not only a country that loves alcoholic beverages, but it is also a country that has created some of its own Philippines wines and spirits over its history. Here are a few notable examples:


  • Basi

Basi is an alcoholic drink that is made from fermented sugar cane. It is the main table wine of the Ilocos Region, and was even the root of the Basi Revolt during the Spanish Colonial Period.


  • Lambanog

The lambanog is an alcoholic drink made from coconut from the Quezon province. This is also known as one of the strongest drinks in the region, and is known as the Vodka of the East.


  • Tuba

Another drink made from coconut, tuba was created in the Bulacan area and the Visayan region. This drink is known for its strong bitter taste.


  • Bignay/Bugnay

This drink from the Ilocos Region is made out of wild berries. This sweet and tarty drink is common around the area and is very popular.


  • Tapuey

This local version of ‘rice wine’ is from the Mountain Province. It is made out of glutinous rice and ginger extract. It is a potent drink with high alcohol content.


Now, you are familiar with the Philippine wines and spirits. It’s time to delve into the international wine and spirit scene. Here are the things you need to know:


Introduction to International Wines

Introduction to Wine

Before diving into the different types of wine, you should first know what wine is. Wine is a type of alcoholic beverage that is made through the fermentation process of the juices from fruits. Grapes are usually the fruit that is used, but in essence, you can actually use any kind of fruit. It is a complicated topic that has a rich history that encompasses a large span of the world. The topics that are often associated with wine are region, culture, agriculture, geology, and genetics. All of these have a certain relationship with wine and has become a primary part of a wine’s identity. The best thing about this alcoholic drink is that it has a number of varieties that are produced all around the world – made for different people with differing tastes.

This means that most of the wine lovers, or ordinary alcohol lovers, will have a much better chance to find the best wine for them. As mentioned, the most common fruit that is used to make wine are grapes. Aside from having a specific kind of grape, which are called wine grapes, there are a variety of grapes that are used to make different kinds of wines.

The main producers of wine are Italy, France, and Spain. We can safely assume that these three countries mainly produce the best wine in the world and they are the source of the most popular wine varieties. The variety of the wine also affects its acidity and tannin capability. This basically means that the “tartness” of the wine is dependent on the grape variety that was used for it, and its tannin, or the lingering bitter and dry taste in your mouth is also dependent on the variety.

Now, there are still numerous things that you should know about wine such as social wine etiquette, knowing which wine goes best with food, price, and internalizing the complete experience of drinking wine. However, before you research those things, you should be first knowledgeable on the different kinds of wine. Without further ado, here are the different types of wine!


What are the Different Kinds of Wines?

Different Types of Wine

There are 8 basic types of wine you need be acquainted with. They are as follows:


  • Riesling

Stone fruit and citrus are its most prominent flavors, but, you may also taste some elements of sweet herbs and floral in your tongue. It is usually crisp in flavor due to its high level of acidity that came from the different variety of fruits used. Riesling usually comes with a strong floral aroma which only adds to the refreshing feeling that this wine gives you. The common assumption for Riesling is that it is a tad bit sweeter than other wines, however, this is not necessarily true. Rieslings do have a sweeter side, but there are also variants wherein it is dry. Both the sweetness and dryness is dependent on the region where it was grown. The best foods that pair well with this wine are cured meat, turkey, duck, pork, and chicken.


  • Pinot Gris

The Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio has some white floral notes to its tastes, combined with cheese rind, pomaceous fruits, and delicate citrus. It goes best with light to mild cheeses, delicate poached fish, and different kinds of salad.


  • Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is also known as Cabernet Sauvignon’s parent grape. It has an aggressive citrus taste, specifically grapefruit pith, with a combination of exotic fruits such as kiwi, passion fruit, and honeydew melon. International cuisine from France, Vietnam, and Mexico are best paired with this wine.


  • Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a kind of white wine that has flavors of toasted caramel, butterscotch, cinnamon, tropical fruits (like pineapple and banana), yellow pomaceous fruits, and Meyer lemon. Seafood such as shrimp, crab, and lobster are best paired with this wine.


  • Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a lighter-bodied red wine. It is known as the most prized wine in the world – as it is noble and it has a prominent taste of cherry, cranberry, rose, beet, rhubarb, and (sometimes) mushroom mixed into one. This wine can be paired with meals like cured meat, duck, pork, and chicken.


  • Zinfandel

Primitivo or Zinfandel is made from a wide range of exotic fruits that may include boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry, plum, sour cherry, raspberry, and nectarine. This is the best wine option to choose, if you are going to have a barbecue.


  • Syrah

Syrah or Shiraz is a full-bodied red wine. Violet, black pepper, meat, tobacco, plum, and blueberry are its most notable flavors. If you are the type of person that enjoys the bigger things in life, then Syrah is the one for you. It’s characteristic as being full bodied means that it has a darker coloration than Cabernet Sauvignon and it also has a greater number of health-benefiting antioxidant, which is perfect for fitness enthusiasts everywhere. Smoked meats such as beef and lamb are the ideal food pairings with this drink.


  • Cabernet Sauvignon

A combination of cedar, baking spices, black currant, and black cherry is what Cabernet Sauvignon tastes like. Wine connoisseurs love to pair it with American and French foods.


Introduction to International Spirits

Introduction to Spirits

Now that you know your wine, it is now time to get to know more about spirits. Most casual observers want to know the difference between wines and spirits, as these terminologies tend to get mentioned a good number of times in alcohol-related discussions, and people get confused about them.

To properly define it, spirits are strong alcoholic beverages made using the process of fermentation. Through this definition, you can identify that most types of alcoholic beverages would fall under this category. A number of these alcoholic spirits are distilled after fermentation to get higher alcohol content, making them safe for consumption.

There are many different types of spirits that are consumed by people, and these have to be labeled properly for them to know what they are exactly getting. Included in these labels are the age, type of spirit, the amount of alcohol present, country of origin, manufacturing company, and the government warning with regards to excessive alcohol consumption.


What are the Different Kinds of Spirits?

What are the Different Kinds of Spirits?

Spirits are alcoholic drinks that are made by distilling fermented liquids. They are also made out of a mash, a mixture of grains and other ingredients. Spirits are known to have a higher alcohol content than wine. Spirits are not that different from wines in terms of the different classifications though. Here are 6 of these classifications:


  • Brandy

Brandy is an alcoholic drink which was distilled from a fermented fruit juice or wine. It is usually taken as an after dinner drink to enhance the drinking experience. The brownish coloration of brandy comes from its aging process in wooden casks, however other manufacturers color the brandy with caramel coloring to reduce the waiting time. Perhaps, the most popular cocktail that mixes brandy in is The Metropolitan. People seeking this drink can find them in pubs and clubs.


  • Tequila

Tequila is aptly named after agave tequilana, a century plant found in Mexico, which explains why people often associate it with this country. It is also primarily made in Mexico due to the appropriate volcanic soil that the agave tequilana plant can thrive in. This alcoholic beverage is commonly aged in used bourbon casks, much like how scotch is aged. In order to create this liquor, you would have to distil the juices of the agave tequilana. This spirit is often taken with salt and some limes (as chasers).


  • Whiskey

Whiskey, like Jack Daniel’s in the Philippines, can be distilled from potatoes, grains, etc. It really depends on which country it is coming from. If it comes from Ireland and Scotland, then it will be made from malted barley. But if it comes from the United States, then you can assume that it is created from wheat, rye, or maize. You might have noticed that there are two distinct “names” for whiskey. One is Scotch – which come primarily from Scotland and is usually aged for at least three years. However, scotch lovers prefer that the scotch should at least be aged at 10 years for a full flavor experience. The second name for whiskey is Bourbon – which primarily comes from the United States. It is made from 51% to 79% corn and the other percentage comes from (as mentioned above) wheat, rye, or maize. It is aged through the use of charred oak barrels from two to four years.


  • Rum

Rum is sometimes used as a colloquial term to refer to intoxicating beverages. It is popular in Central and South America, and it can be made wherever sugar cane is a natural crop. It is either light, dark, or flavored. It can be made from former distillations – from molasses, treacle, or from the scummings of boiled juice.


  • Vodka

This alcoholic beverage is mostly known for its lack of a distinctive character – aroma, taste, and color. The name “Vodka” comes from the Russian word “Voda” which means water. Vodka was previously made from fermented wheat. At present time, it is being created from a mash that consists of either potatoes, corn, or rye. In some cases, it is also made through the use of grapes.


  • Gin

Gin is an alcoholic beverage, which has no color. It is usually characterized by its neutrality, and its flavor is only given by the juniper berries. This drink can be made by (re)distilling grains like rye. Ingredients such as angelica root, caraway seeds, anise, and juniper berries can also be incorporated in the mix for additional flavor. While the most common way to enjoy gin is through the fusion of tonic, it can also be enjoyed through a variety of cocktails that are available in most bars and pubs. Gin is also used in one of the most popular drinks that is known to man: the Martini. There are a variety of gin that is available in the market – some can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, while some are perfect when fused with other beverages (cocktails). One thing is for sure, gin has a place in every alcohol lover’s heart.


Why should You Choose Alcoline as Your Alcohol Provider?

Alcoline has been around since 1996, we started out catering to walk-ins and to the different bars that were near our location. Only one year after its establishment, we already became a sole proprietorship, and we became the first wine shop in the city of Pasay. Then, after two years of being a sole proprietorship, we reached our milestone in regards to the number of clientele, by supplying alcoholic beverages to supermarkets and hotels. In 2002, we wanted to increase our reach, so that we can provide our quality products to more people. For this reason, we opened branches in Quezon City, Manila, and Makati City. In today’s scene, we continue to expand in an unprecedented rate – we have already branches in numerous provinces and we already partnered with Tiger beer. We have become the exclusive distributor of this prestigious Singaporean lager alcoholic drink.

Even if we have numerous alcoholic beverages, we still have a degree of specialty when it comes to Philippine wines and spirits. The beverages included in this article are the different types of Philippine wines and spirits you may try out on your next night out. However, remember that they can only be as good as the alcohol distributor made them out to be.

In Alcoline, you can be sure that your products will be well taken care of, even before they reach your favorite stores, pubs, and/or clubs – because no one knows Philippine alcohol like we do. From our years of experience, to the trust our immense clientele gives us, you can always be rest assured that any alcoholic beverage that comes from us is top-notch. For more information about our services, you may contact us or check out our products page.

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