Go Solo

I know it’s Feb. 14, but no, this is not about going solo during Valentine’s. Going solo here has more to do with one’s taste than one’s heart, unfortunately for those who may be expecting otherwise.

This is a new sub-series I want to set up. It’s about my learnings about each grape that make our wine on an individual level.

One of the most startling realizations for me when I was first learning about wine, was the variety of the types of grapes that make up the different wines and the different countries that use the same grapes , and how they sometimes combine multiple grapes better known as blends, that produce the different wine styles we enjoy today.

As I shared before, I had no idea – as in Z.E.R.O. – that Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape. But then, neither did I know that Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were also grapes!

I originally grew up thinking that the grapes we have on our tables that were the magic 12 grapes one needed to chow down at midnight on New Year’s Eve celebrations for luck, aka table grapes, were used to make wine.

I also grew up thinking that French wine in general was so difficult to understand, mainly because they are mostly blends… not to mention being able to pronounce the names right in the first place!

I later learned that there for every type of grape there is planted on the soil of the earth, there could be exponentially more styles of wine that that one grape can produce.

The understanding of the qualities of each grape would later prove infinitely useful in providing us with sound reason as to why we like and don’t like certain wines.

This brings me to why you must first GO SOLO.

Each grape, whether it’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot or Chardonnay, has it’s own characteristics that form the basic ID of this grape. While different countries and regions and winemakers can use the same grapes, and can use combinations of grapes in blends, and while the final outcome can be completely different, there will be a genetic ID in each grape that can help you choose a particular grape over the other, and later, a particular style over the other.

I, myself, had the very same confusions. So I decided that I would get to know each grape, one grape at a time, one style at a time, one wine-making country at a time, one sip at a time.

I decided I would get to know each grape so I could find my go-to style for whatever occasion – in the same way that we all have go-to retail shops, salons / barbershops, restaurants to go to when left undecided.

There are a few commonly available grapes in the Manila market today and a whole lot more the world outside Manila enjoys. Join me as we GO through each grape SOLO, one sip at a time in the coming weeks.

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