A wine pairing class was held recently at the Glass Wine Lounge of Sourdough Café + Deli, Quezon City. The lounge’s subdued lighting and cozy atmosphere makes it a perfect chill-out place for friends and family.
The event, dubbed “Wine Walkabout,” showcased San Miguel Brewery’s venture into wines. Famous worldwide for its Pale Pilsen, San Miguel’s line of wines sports the brand name Woomera.
“Woomera Walkabout” is a homage to the product’s source, Australia, said Wine Brothers Philippines (WBP) marketing head Anais Leynes. Woomera is a wooden device used by Australian aborigines to throw spears, and walkabout connotes the aboriginal practice of letting their young out in the open to explore and learn on their own.
WBP partnered with the San Miguel Foods (SMF) Culinary Center to organize the event.
San Miguel created a five-course degustation menu to pair with Woomera’s Cabernet Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé.
Prior to the wine and food pairing, guests sampled the grazing table prepared by SMF culinary chefs Pam Obieta and Martin Narisma.
The cheese selection consisted of cheese logs made from Magnolia Cream Cheese with fruits and nuts, cubed Magnolia Cheezee, Magnolia Milky White with herbs and olive oil, and wedges of Magnolia Queso de Bola.
Among the charcuterie served were Purefoods Deli Bockwurst, Purefoods Angus Beef Franks, Purefoods Fiesta Ham and Purefoods Whole Chicken Ham. Accompanying it were two dips: a Spinach and Artichoke Dip made with Magnolia All-Purpose Cream and Magnolia Quickmelt; and a Rillette using Purefoods Chicken in Broth, Dijon and Horseradish.
“Australian wines are some of the best in the world and we wanted to bring home a line especially made for us,” said Leynes. “Straight from our facilities in Australia, we developed blends that match the Filipino wine drinker: bold and authentic but easy to drink and great for warmer climates.”
Wine as versatile drink
The menu—which included seafood, beef and cheese— was devised by Sourdough Café’s executive chef Ryan Vergara and consultant chef Alvin Ong.
The first course was a layer of cheese tuile made of Grana Padano and Pecorino, topped with a cheese foam made from cream cheese and all-purpose cream. The dish had 48-hour-aged yolks for an umami finish.
“Wine is usually perceived as a serious, formal drink, but the reality is, it’s very versatile,” said Leynes. “Part of WBP’s mission is to remind everyone that wine can be fun and people can be imaginative and unconventional when it comes to food pairings.”
Australia’s bounty of fresh seafood inspired the second course, butter-seared scallop on uni mousse. The creamy sweetness of the mousse matched the juiciness of the scallop.
The third course paid tribute to one of Australia’s staple street foods, the meat pie. The chefs reinterpreted the dish into a tortellini stuffed with chicken mousse. They also added chicken liver paté and beef bone marrow in a chicken consommé broth.
Beef, a major component of Australian cuisine, comprised the fourth course—beef tenderloin steak, paired with a beetroot purée and Woomera Red Wine jus.
The finale was a British dessert, banofee bombolone— fluffy chocolate doughnut filled with banana cream. It was topped with finely crushed La Pacita Graham Crackers.
Room to explore
The whole experience led us to compare notes. Some loved the cheese with red wine, others preferred the white, a number wanted the tenderloin paired with the reds, while others liked it with the rosé.
The takeaway: Pair your wines with whatever your taste buds fancy, and enjoy them with everyone in the room.
San Miguel Pure Foods culinary services manager Llena Tan-Arcenas said, “Food and wine pairing is a familiar activity which we sometimes approach seriously. With good food, there is much room to explore. While the tried-and-true pairing favorites will always taste fantastic, there are also a few out-of-the box pairings that are just as satisfying.” —CONTRIBUTED