What went on at the 20th Grand Wine Experience

Though it has established itself as the best and biggest festival of its kind in the country, the 20th Grand Wine Experience, three years in the making (sort of) because of the Covid-19 pandemic, was everything it promised to be – “an extraordinary milestone in the world of oenophiles, a spectacular celebration.”

Hosted by Marriott Hotel, the event took all of several ballrooms to showcase “over 1,000 exquisite libations, including wines, spirits, beers and sake sourced globally,” as expressed Philippine Wine Merchants, the event’s organizer.

“We’ve marked a monumental milestone in the illustrious history of the Grand Wine Experience,” PWM stated.

An epic festival, indeed it was.

One could not literally sample all thousand or so vintages and spirits – as well as the hotel’s buffet spread that featured artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, sushi, grilled meats and giant paelleras, all culminating in a chocolate selection that was too tempting to resist. It was just impossible.

But to stand at the center of it all, perusing the space, and seeing the camaraderie and cheer all around, was enough to feel the reason this annual event had grown to be what it is today.

As in many gatherings where wine and song combine, the 20th Grand Wine Experience gathered enthusiasts, experts and industry names in the “collective toast to life and love.”

The theme, “Bud Break,” as explained by the Joseph brothers of Ralph’s Wines & Spirits and PWM fame, “symbolized renewal after the pandemic-induced hiatus—a reawakening of the soul.”

Of course, with the wine and spirits market in the Philippines growing with every passing year, the main purpose of the event – “the chance to meet the creators behind these exquisite libations” – gave the entire experience that unique flavor.

It was a rare treat to have winemakers from around the globe gracing the evening, sharing personal stories and insights, and enhancing the sip-by-sip experience.

It was an educational journey. Experts imparted knowledge on mini-stages, ensuring learning was as delightful as savoring a fine wine.

Event sponsors included Diageo Philippines Inc., Moet Hennessy Philippines Inc., Future Trade International, Pernod Ricard Philippines Inc., with Marriott Hotel as host once more.  – With reports from DSV