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On November 15, the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Manila was filled with wine enthusiasts from all over Southeast Asia for the 19th Grand Wine Experience by Philippine Wine Merchants (PWM). A grand event of even grander scale, the gathering brought in over 700 varieties of wines, beers, sake, and other spirits for guests to drink up and indulge in.

More than just wines, the event also featured many premium brands of beer, sake, and other spirits. | Photo by John Michael Alcantara

This year, the event focused on “Generations” as its theme, which is inherently reflective of the history of wine culture in the Philippines, as well as indicative of the taste for fine wine finally reaching a wide market in the country. Commenting on this year’s theme, Director of Finance for Philippine Wine Merchants, Ronnie Joseph, shares, “We connect it to the wine trade, connect it to wine philosophy, and we connect it to life.” With over 700 wines and spirits offered, this is a massive step up from the over 400 number the event had last year, again reflecting the growing interest Filipinos have for oenology.

A milestone for PWM, the family owned business topped the event with a toast. From L-R: Ronald Lim Joseph, Director of Finance; Raymond Lim Joseph, Director of Sales and Marketing; Robert Lim Joseph, Chairman; Bruce Winton, General Manager-Marriott Hotel Manila; Ralph Lim Joseph, President. | Photo by John Michael Alcantara
Other than wines, many booths offered other drinks such as beers. Giving them a unique cocktail twist. | Photo by John Michael Alcantara

The event brought in many wine suppliers not only from the Philippines, but from across the region with over 100 wineries and breweries from over 20 countries, as well as an impressive sake selection that covered a whole side of the event. Of course, copious amounts of wine must come with an equal amount of food. With the wines and spirits stalls stationed on the perimeter of the event, the food offerings were scattered across the center of the Marriott Grand Ballroom, from a massive plate of paella served on one side and a giant platter of meatballs on the other. For sweets, a colossal whole chocolate bar right at the center of the venue—right in front of the stage—from which you can carve out chunks to pair with your drink.

Among the delectable food served to guests included roasted meats such as duck and beef. | Photo by John Michael Alcantara
Photo by Ed Simon of Studio 100
Photo by John Michael Alcantara

Nearing its two-decade run for next year, the Grand Wine Experience stays true to its name as its grandeur only grows with every iteration. One can only be excited of what’s to come from its 20th run.

Featured image by John Michael Alcantara – Digital Marketing Manager of Philippine Wine Merchants.

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