Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YTRiP Wine and Cheese Party

Yet again, YTRiP brought us a fun evening of getting to know the Philippines better - Philippine wines in particular! In the evening of October 18, Frank and I found our way to quaint and cozy little Rafa's Deli and Cafe in QC. The original plan was to have a wine and cheese party, but some problems came up with sourcing the cheese. But hey, we were quite contented to have just the wine! Besides, Rafa's has yummmmm food!

It was good to see the whole gang again, as well as meet some new friends. The usual suspects were there: [1] Clare, co-founder of YTRiP, [2] Diane, the mastermind behind this evening and designated YTRiP tanggero, [3] Kara, the deceptively demure tomador [4] Kuya Leo of Sanghabi who taught us at the Pintig and Baybayin workshop a few months ago, [5] yours truly, [6] Anne, resident poshness queen, [7] and of course, Frank, designated driver for the night.

After the hi's and hello's, we all sat down to start the official tasting - 10 different native wines from various parts of the country. As they appear in the picture above (and to the best of my meory), our selections for the night were: Tapuy Rice Wine from Banawe; Pineapple Wine from Albay; Grape Wine from Benguet; Rice Wine from Cebu; Strawberry Wine also from Banawe; Duhat Red Wine of Laoag; Camote and Pineapple wine from Banawe, Bugay Wine form Benguet; 90 Proof Lambanog from Sariaya, Quezon Province; Tostadong Tapuy of Banawe, a twist to the original Tapuy as this one's made of toasted rice.

After all the tasting came the judging. As Diane placed her hand above each bottle, the crowd voted for their favorites through their clapping.

Losers for the night --Pineapple wine and the Grape Cooler. Pineapple Wine because it smelled awful (although we have a suspicion that the particular bottle we got was made from overripe pineapples.) And Grape Cooler simply because it tasted like a juice more than wine.

Crowd Favorites were the 90 Proof Lambanog and the Tapuy Rice Wine, athough people had differing opinions on which was the better version - original or tostado. My vote went to tostado. Tasted and smelled like coffee! Mmmmmmm....

And when voting was over and done with, we decided to end by finishing the bottle of Quezon Lambanog by re-enacting the traditional Lambanog Tagayan Ceremony. Ever since we learned this form Tita Tina on her Kulinarya Tagala Tour, we just couldn't get enough of it! Na'ay po!

And as wonderful nights go, it had to end... 'til next time, YTRiP! :-)

Thanks once again to Albert Bainto for the great pictures! You're forgiven for using your "photographer on duty" excuse to keep you form drinking that night.

To learn more about YTRiP you can check out their website or their multiply site.


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