For Project Vino in Poblacion, Wine Should Be an All-Consuming, Multi-Layer Experience

Layers upon layers of wine pairings, mood, and conversation.
IMAGE PROJECT VINO

"Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary."

- Ernest Hemingway

When we think of wine, we think of conversation and celebration. It's something we don't rush. A good bottle of wine is a good reason to rhyme, whine, and dine, after all. Interestingly, wine is arguably the most sensory-invasive drink we can have out there. It talks about the land and quality of fermentation, enhances the flavor of food, and makes for a good excuse to get quietly wrecked on a weeknight.

Sure, it can be about the profile and taste. But it can also be about lifting spirits and talking (a lot), both in and around the drink itself. The wilder the banter, the more fun things get. For the guys at Project Vino, wine is just that: an experience, a delight. It's about creating a space where both the connoisseur and the casual can indulge in a good evening.

Refining the palate is as much about sensing notes and the specifics of the body as it is about getting the most out of drinking. It's in the nuances or other elements at play, like the food, setting, mood, time, and people.

It started as an online shop before having a physical space.

Photo by PROJECT VINO.
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Photo by PROJECT VINO.

For this humble new wine shop in Poblacion, it's created a space where all these can intersect. It's brought to us by Steven Ticzon and Rob Martin, who claim no pretentions about wine drinking. They just love it for the heck of it.

What they want is an overflow—of wine from Portugal, Italy, Spain, and more, of yapping around with fun people, and, well, of some eager customers, of course; coming from the bar and dining area all the way down to the wine chamber. We can expect to hear more about their in-store wine tasting sessions, as well.

The place is about personal "wine journeys," so the owners say. And to get real personal, it takes drinkers through some pretty sophisticated pairings. It may seem overwhelming with how the menu works. It includes categories like "Strong and Fierce," "Flavorful and Bright," "Balanced and Complex," "Full and Floral," and "Clean, Crisp, and Fruitful." But these are simply function as easy guides for reference.

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Project Vino has a hell of a selection.

Photo by PROJECT VINO.

Photo by PROJECT VINO.

With "Strong and Fierce," we get to taste some bold red wine. For instance, we get Spain's Viña Pedrosa Gavilan Crianza Tempranillo, which has this intense cherry color, fruity notes, and round finish. The Lapostolle Apalta, on the other hand, possesses aromas of raspberry and pomegranate with a juicy finish. These are best suited for seasoned wine drinkers who are heavy on the richness.

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Under "Full and Floral," meanwhile, Chateau Guillebot Plaisance Bordeaux Blanc from France gives us a bottle of wine wine that emphasizes sweeter, more acidic aromas. It's more tropical and citrus-ridden, which makes for a herby, earthy flavor and texture. Interestingly, we'd recommend Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay, as well. This bottle is an embodiment of youth. It's much smokier, fresher, and vibrant with a hint of nutty flavoring.

Shots from inside the shop along Kalayaan.

Photo by PROJECT VINO.

Photo by PROJECT VINO.
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If we want something pleasantly cool, then we can check out the list below "Clean, Crisp, and Fruitful." Interestingly, this bottle from South Africa, Beaumont Chenin Blanc, gives us the lightest of champagnes with its healthy blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and chardonnay. As for the Clos Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc, drinkers will get a sense of pale lemon green and lime zest. Its dry body and hints of sweetness pairs perfectly for a slow Sunday afternoon.

And these are only some of the diverse range of offerings the joint has to offer. We can leave it to Project Vino to recommend us the best food pairings for them, too. Layers are aplenty.

Project Vino is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the Wine Store at at #8485 Kalayaan Ave in Poblacion. It's open on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

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Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is the assistant section editor of Esquire Philippines.
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