Wine-ing Down

It’s a short workweek, but a heavy one. Where one would normally find himself in a fun pub after work, gulping a cold bottle of subzero beer, I kickback and treat myself a little with a nice bottle of wine.

One of the things that brought my husband and I close back when we were still dating is alcohol. We would normally meet over drinks. We would order a bottle, which we always intended on having bottle-kept, but would end up consuming it all anyway.

We have come a long way from those liver-abusing days, but have not grown out of the habit of catching up after a long day over drinks. Our drink of choice these days though obviously is wine.

We are both not the biggest fans of citrusy, acidic white wines so we tend to go for Chardonnay-based white wines. And the Puligny Montrachet from Joseph Drouhin was perfect. Chilled at just the right temperature – if too cold, you lose the creaminess – this wine is a powerfully but ever elegantly oaked white, with soft pear notes.

White wines from Burgundy are mostly from the Chardonnay grape. Some areas in Burgundy like Chablis do not age the wine in oak, thus revealing the raw, untouched clean, zesty flavors` of Chardonnay. But this Puligny Montrachet is more how I like my white wines – oaked but not too heavy, reveals some fruit notes but interspersed with layers of nuttiness and butter.

I didn’t have the best pairing last night as I settled for an Aglio Olio from one of the restaurants in my building as most had already closed. But the wine was sublime, and it was the slightest luxury I afforded myself after a week like this.

As I had the wine mostly to myself, my husband was still thirsty after emptying the Puligny Montrachet. So we opened a bottle from Spain, Vina Pomal Reserva – specifically from the Rioja-Alta region.

Vina Pomal Reserva is the flagship wine of the winery Bodegas Bilbainas. Many argue that this region make some of the finest red wines Spain has to offer. This winery specifically has been making wines from age-old tradition, Bordeaux style. There was a period in France when their vines were attacked by a disease that kept them from producing any grapes. So French winemakers traveled to look for other areas that could help them grow the grapes they needed in the style of wine they produced. Many Bordeaux wineries tapped into Rioja, and Vina Pomal was one of them.

Today, hundreds of years after, Vina Pomal still makes wine that way. From 100% Tempranillo (the husband’s favorite grape), this wine gives you a no-frills perfect balance of a mature wine, silky on the palate – nothing too harsh, with the typical barnyard (imagine the smell of horses in Baguio!) and leathery notes of Bordeaux but still approachable with hints of blackberry fruit. What I love about this wine is how consistent it is from start to its eternal finish.

*Finish in wine-speak is the lingering flavours the wine leaves in your mouth and throat area after you swallow it. The more persistent the flavours after you swallow, the longer the finish. 

So you see, you don’t need to save your good bottles of wine only for special occasions. A bottle of wine you enjoy can make any moment a little more special. A quiet night at home with my husband, talking about anything and everything to let go of a heavy workweek was made memorable by two pretty interesting bottles of wine.

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