Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

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Loire Valley Wines From the Garden of France

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A month ago, I was privileged to be invited to a wine tasting event at the La Veranda of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hotel, hosted by Bernard and Jorinda Flour, the dynamic management team of the famed Le Cellier French Wine Selection.

The title of the dinner was “Loire Valley Wine Dinner.”

The Loire Valley is located in Central France, in the middle of the Loire River stretch; hence, the name. Because of the abundance of vineyards in the area, it is often referred to as the Cradle of the French or the Garden of France. Besides the vineyards, fruit orchards and artichoke and asparagus fields also line the banks of the river. The climate in Loire Valley can be cool with springtime frost while wine harvest months may have rain. The Loire Valley wine region is one of the world’s most well-known areas for wine production and includes several French wine regions, too. Loire wines tend to exhibit a characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavors.

The valley is also famous for its châteaux (or castles in English terms), numbering more than three hundred of them. This represents a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendour of those built half a millennium later. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley began attracting the very best landscape designers. In addition to its many châteaux, the cultural monuments illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design. Many of the Châteaux were designed to be built on the top of hill and all had extremely detailed and expensive churches on the grounds, or within the actual Châteaux itself. This was because all of the French kings who reigned during the building of the Châteaux were devout Catholics.

On December 2, 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the river valley, between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire, to its list of World Heritage Sites. In choosing this area that includes the French départements of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, and Maine-et-Loire, the committee said that the Loire Valley is “an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the châteaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself.”

Going back to the wine dinner hosted by Le Cellier, the latter actually paired each of the wines to a specific type of food found at the very long buffet tables of Spiral restaurant in Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila hotel. The actual photo or bottle of the wine was prominently displaed beside the area to which type of food it was being paired with.

Bernard Flour of Le Cellier welcoming his guests to the “Loire Valley Wine Dinner.”

Loire Valley Wines Paired with Spiral-prepared Food

Muscadete Severe et Maine Sur Lie
Domaine de la Levraudiere, 2011
100% Merlon de Bourgogne


Sancerre Blanc – Les Belles Vignes
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2011
100% Sauvignon

Salad and Appetizer
L’Ecailler – Seafood on ice
Sushi sashimi

Pouilly Fume Blanc – Les Deux Cailloux
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2011
100% Sauvignon

French stove – Mussel mariniere, Soupe de poisson
Chinese Wok – Braised sea cucumber
Filipino – Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Anjou Rouge
Domaine Des Forges 2010
Cabarnet Franc

Peking Duck Overn – Roasted duck
Hot Japanese – Beef ribe eye angus teppanyaki

Chinon Rouge – Clos Du Saut Au Loup
Domaine Dozon, 2010
100% Cabarnet Franc

Chinese Wok – Beef in black pepper sauce
Filipino – Pork adobo

Coteaux Du Glennois Rouge – Biaum
Mathieu Coste, 2005
Gamay and Pinot Noir

French Stove – Duck confit, Orange marmalade
Thai – Port satay

Saumur Rouge – Cuvee Nathalie
Chateau De Beauregard, 2006
Cabernet Franc

Churrasco – Lamb leg
North Indian – Chiecken tikka

Sancerre Rouge – Les Belles Vignes
Fournier Pere Et Fils, 2005
100% Pinot Noir

L’Epicerie – Selection of cheeses & cold cuts

Coteaux Du Lavon
Les Terriades, 2008 (semi-sweet white wine)
Chemin Blanc

La Patisserie – Panacotta, Puto bumbong, Bibinka

Many thanks to Arabelle Jimenez of Ecrit-Com, Inc., and Bernard and Jorinda Flour of Le Cellier for inviting me to grace this exquisite wine dinner extravaganza. It was a “magnifique” experience to taste all these wines paired with food prepared nonetheless by the French hotel chain, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

Edel Santiago, Jorinda Flour and Arabelle Jimenez

Me, Edel Santiago and Arabelle Jimenez

For more information about the selected wines from last month’s dinner and the food pairing, please contact Bernard and Jorinda Flour of Le Cellier French Wine Selection at these contact information:

Le Cellier French Wine Selection
(Le Cellier Quality Store Corp.)
Unit 201 Sunette Tower
Durban St.
Makati City 1200 Philippines
Tel. No. +63 (2) 897-1840
Fax No. +63 (2) 890-0019

Some text taken from

Photos by @raffypekson.



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