Here’s what to expect from Southeast Asia’s biggest wine event, gathering over 2,000 epicures and wine lovers at Marriott Manila.
After a three-year hiatus, the Joseph family-owned Philippine Wine Merchants (PWM) is once again gearing up to stage the Grand Wine Experience at Marriott Manila’s Grand Ballroom, the country’s largest ballroom.
The theme for their 20th year is “Bud Break,” which in wine-speak is the first stage of the grapevine’s annual cycle, when the dormant buds burst into life and produce new shoots.
This could not be more apt for this annual event that was brought to a temporary halt by the pandemic. But, with gatherings and events back in full-swing, the excitement during the launch was palpable as the Josephs announce its long-awaited “rebirth” on November 17, 2023.
The Grand Wine Experience, after all, is the ultimate destination for wine and spirits lovers, and this year they are presenting more than 1000 different wines, sake, and spirits to be enjoyed at what has become known as an evening of fun and revelry.
“We just want everyone to know that we’re back, and we are ready to welcome you all at the Marriott Manila grand ballroom,” says PWM’s Raymond Joseph. With so many suppliers coming back to once again showcase their most exciting varieties, Joseph is also very eager for guests to try some of their new offerings.
While wine lovers are surely aware of old world and new world wines, Joseph shares that there are some very interesting wines coming out of Israel’s ancient grape vines. When asked which particular varietals thrive in the area, he exclaims, “they are all good! Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, shiraz. They all grow well in Israel. Which is perhaps why in the Bible it was called ‘the land of milk and honey.’”
Likewise, Marriott Manila’s banquet team led by executive chef Meik Bramer is excited to prepare dishes that would pair perfectly with the featured wines and spirits. Each year, the jovial German tries to outdo himself by coming up with a more spectacular selection than the last. He shares that everybody’s favorite giant paella will be back, and he will be adding another one (“the size of a mini pool!”) to ensure everyone gets a taste, even seconds.
There will be grazing tables of cheese and charcuterie, bread to soak up the alcohol, and carving stations of various roasted meats. “As you can see, I have not lost any weight since the last time,” chef Meik jokes, “so you can be sure I can still cook a good meal!”
He proved it with the elegant lunch he served along a sampling of wines that will also be available at the event, such as an appetizer of foie gras and chicken liver, and a perfectly cooked sous vide tenderloin and potato dauphinoise.
Tickets are now available at the Grand Wine Experience website for P8,500. This gets you unlimited tastings of the 1,000 premium wines, whiskies, gins, rums, sakes, and beers from a wide selection of the top wineries, distilleries, and breweries from around the world; an eat-all-you-can buffet prepared by Marriott Manila; a chance at winning some cool prizes at the raffle; and just an amazing evening of fun, music, and merrymaking with fellow epicures.