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Smooth Wines And Summer Sunsets

Just as I arrive at the wharf beside the iconic CCP, I find my throat parched and the sun sweltering. I draw a quick breath, and stroll right into the airconditioned lobby of the loading area. Greeted by the charming event hosts, I was given  a loud pink straw hat and a wine glass with my name wrapped around its elegant foot.  

Michael Travis Tibo, brand manager for M. Chapoutier and Travistino, flanked by the Wine Sunsets bartenders


After gingerly skipping over ropes snaking around the planks, I hop onto the docks and climb up the Shanti ’70— a 70 -foot yacht with an airconditioned cabin and an upper-main deck opening up towards the sky! Just under the upper-deck, an array of cheeses, charcuterie, and a raclette station were all decked out for the guests. In attendance were people from different industries, including some notable personalities all decked out in their summer best. 


Pairing their wines with some cheese and cold cuts at the yacht’s second level


The Shanti 70 yacht


We were all here to enjoy ourselves and sip some good wine, courtesy of Philippine Wine Exchange. Their event, Wine Sunsets, kicked off at 4:30 pm on May 12, at the CCP Whart.

The group showcased their best wines from Maison M. Chapoutier of the Rhone region in France. It was clear from the beginning that the dazzling Manila Bay sunset wasn’t the highlight of the affair—it was the trailblazing array of wines from the Rhone valley, and from collaborations outside of France, including the Tournon brand wines from Australia.

To the uninitiated, Tournon is named after a commune in the Rhone Valley, Tournon-sur-Rhone. M. Chapoutier features Tournon as Australian wines with a good balance and the elegance one normally gets with most Rhone Valley wines. On this particular day we were given the chance to try their Rosé which was made from Grenache, and their red wine from Shiraz. Both came all the way from Victoria, Australia, courtesy of PweX, M. Chapoutier’s importer and distributor. Other wines PWex offered were the Bellerouche line from Cotes-du-Rhone.


Whites, reds and a bubbly: there was much to choose from for the afternoon cruise


A largely young crowd turned up for the event.


As the yacht proceeded to unlatch from the dock, I climbed up to the upper-deck and fixed my eyes on the Cotes-du-Rhone Grenache, Voignier blend. I swilled my glass to release all the aromas and drank.

The yacht looped around the bay, cruising between the CCP complex, all the way down towards SM Mall-of-Asia. Guests who braved the heat instead of  lounging in the airconditioned cabin, were rewarded with a brief fireworks show from SM-MOA. Throughout the whole night everyone was treated to flowing wine, cheese and dancing.

Lurching back towards CCP complex everyone seemed to know everyone else flitting from table to table. At this point, the white wines had already been exhausted and we were left with the marvelous red wines: Bellerouche’s Grenache & Syrah, Grown in the D.O. of the French Rhone valley, and chilled at just the right temperature. We ended the night with the same amount of intensity as the liquid I held between my hands. 

PWeX’s Wine Sunsets was just as advertised. Everything seemed to cooperate; the sun dipped benevolently at sunset, the wines were excellent, and the crowd was even better.


From left: Christine Alfaro, Jopet Reyes, Lifestyle Ecosystem’s Deiniel Cuvin, Shane Remate,

Khristine Gabriel, and Bianca Syching.


When all these things come together, we always hope that there’s an encore performance somewhere down the line, looming in the horizon like a sinking summer sun.



• Tournon, Mathilda, Grenache Rose

• Tournon, Mathilda, Shiraz, Red

• Belleruche, Cotes-du-Rhone, Roughe (Grenche/Syrah) 2016

• Belleruche, Cotes-du-Rhone, Blanc (Grenache Blanc/Clairette/Bourboulenc blend) 2017