JUST as food items tell stories of a place’s history, wines tell stories as well. The latter share tales of culture and libations--offering flavors that are unique to certain regions of the world. Seldom do people have the luxury to try out a number of these wines, let alone tour around the world to taste these flavors. But wine enthusiasts and experts have found ways to make these accessible to everyone.
Happy Living, a Manila-based wine and spirits importer, has spent 25 years doing just that. With the idea of expanding to different parts of the Philippines, it recently relaunched its Cebu branch with a new warehouse facility as well a dynamic Cebu-based team led by Cebu operations manager, Peter Militante.
“The family that started Happy Living 25 years ago were pioneers, and their expertise were American wines. One of their successes was introducing Beringer in the Philippines. From there, through the years, it grew globally,” said Militante, who mentioned that the company had decided to launch with a wine-tasting event for those in the same trade or the hotel industry as well as their private buyers.
The Cebu Trade Wine Tour, in partnership with Terry’s (a gourmet Spanish restaurant with its first venture outside of Metro Manila), was hosted at Circa 1900 last June 21. Festivities went on from 4 to 9 p.m. with stations featuring “Old World” wines (France, Italy, Spain and Portugal) and “New World” wines (United States, Australia, Chile and Argentina), a “Spirits” section that featured local brews, and two masterclasses.
Happy Living curated a selection of 60 fine wines from awarded wineries for the event from the hundred wines chosen for the Visayas-Mindanao market. The masterclasses were held to enhance the knowledge about wine for those in the industry.
“It was our way of helping out our clients. We wanted to educate them further so that when they face customer questions, they can answer them confidently,” Militante shared. “It’s part of our service.”