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Travel Virtually As You Learn About Wine In This Online Tasting Event

Premium Wine Exchange hosts a by-invitation-only wine tasting event, hosted by NY-based top Filipino sommelier Jhonel Faelnar

As we hit the nth month in lockdown, casually meeting with friends and traveling are just some of the many things we miss the most about pre-COVID-19 life. Which is why Premium Wine Exchange’s by-invitation-only wine event with top NYC-based Filipino sommelier and Atomix wine director Jhonel Faelnar served as the guests’ overseas trip that night. The idea: Escaping (albeit virtually) with wines from around the world.


And so, the guests that night were not just given a chance to travel, they also had wine-tasting lessons as they journeyed across different vineyards—from Germany to Oregon, Burgundy, and beyond. Guests were given numbered bottles without labels, and were asked about their thoughts and impressions on the taste and notes.


Attended by VIPs in media, business, and the culinary world—which included Asia's Best Female Chef Margarita Fores, top chef and restauranteur Jonas Ng, Metrobank Foundation president Chito Sobrepena, Cargil Philippines head Philip Soliven, Metro Channel and Philux founder Stephanie Kienle-Gonzales with her husband Christian Gonzalez, philanthropists Jerry Topitzer and Ria Cauton of the Advancement for Rural Kids, Inc (ARK) along with Dianne Villaflor, hotelier Lyba Godio, COO of One-Of Collection Group of Hotels, Mary Christine Anotado-Alfaro of Premium Wine Exchange, joined by CPI Head Paolo Pineda, Metro Group Head Christina Lopez, and Metro Channel Head Lala Ventura. 

It was only after all the initial impressions were shared when Jhonel would finally reveal the story behind the wines, much to the delight of everyone. He not only gave a very accurate description of the wines, he also shared stories about the wine producer as a way to give context to the taste.


This experience is very similar to how Jhonel broke down the different wines when he hosted The Crawl: France with Stephanie Kienle last year. Even before filming the show, he has noted how Filipinos are not very far behind, and it’s all a matter of drinking more.

“Whether it's First Growth Bordeaux or a humble Bourgogne Rouge, I think finding the wine you personally like to drink and exploring that is the most important thing. On top of that, knowing that Filipino food and wine, while non-traditional at this time, go just as well and just as easily as sisig does with a cold glass of beer,” he said in his interview with Metro.Style. 
Get To Know Jhonel Faelnar, An Award-Winning Filipino Sommelier Who's Featured On "The Crawl France"

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Get To Know Jhonel Faelnar, An Award-Winning Filipino Sommelier Who's Featured On "The Crawl France"

Here are some of the notable wines from the event:


Keller, Von der Fels from Rheinhessen, Germany 2018

This Riesling has a flavor profile with electric acidity, crunchy tropical fruit, lanzones, guava, and pineapple. It is fermented and aged in old oak fuders. The story behind it involves a couple—Klaus Peter Keller and his wife Julia who took over the family winery in 2001 from Keller’s father. Since then they have been successful, producing some of the best Rieslings in the world. ‘Von der Fels’ literally translates to “from the rocks” as these are made from grape sources in some of the best Grosses Gewäch (GG) or Grand Cru sites. According to Jhonel, these work best when paired with lumpiang shanghai or sariwa, kinilaw, or grilled bangus belly.


Lingua Franca from Estate Chardonnay, 2017

This Chardonnay has a flavor profile with salted butter, ripe citrus, and popcorn. Located in Willamette Valley, Oregon, it is processed from rigorous barrel selection from wines made from the LSV vineyard. This wine project actually started by the celebrated Sommelier Larry Stone in 2012, even though the first vintage was a few years later, in 2015. Among those involved include Mimi Casteel and Dominique Lafon. It is best paired with sushi, mac and cheese, tagliatelle carbonara, or sisig. 


Domaine Anne Gros, La Combe d’Orvau, Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy, France 2017

This Pinot Noir has a structured and slightly tannic profile, with hints of red and black cherries and earth. Located in Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy, it is surprisingly sourced from just a tiny 1 hectare plot of 45-year-old vines. It is said that Anne, the producer, is one of the great forces of Burgundy. She took over from her father in 1988 (at the age of 25), and nursed their estate back into the limelight. Jhonel recommends this with risotto with chanterelles, foie gras, A5 wagyu, or roast chicken. 


All wines are available from Premium Wine Exchange (PWX) at G/F Alegria Alta Building, 2294 Pasong Tamo Extension, Brgy. Magallanes, Makati City