First encounter with Planet Grapes happened during my participation in the Awesome Secret Foodies Tour in McKinley Hill organized by Anton Diaz way back in 2013. We were allowed to sample one each from the red and white wines available. I tried a Merlot and a Muscato. From then, I’ve never been to the wine store anymore. Until I found out that they opened a branch in Ayala Center Cebu.
The store is more spacious compared to the one they have in McKinley Hill as there are more tables for wine tasters. I found out that the store has its own kitchen because they offer extensive spread of food options compared to the first. The entire place is a bit dim but the mood is just right for some intimate wine pairing activity. Wine bottles suspended using metal chains serve as the lighting fixtures of the store.
The entire store was converted into a wine cellar with the dozens of red and white wines properly displayed on a cabinet. A sommelier led us to their enomatic machine, or simply an upscale wine dispenser. This is just one of the goals of Planet Grapes, to eliminate the drama on wine tasting. Instead of availing a bottle of wine and sharing it in small groups, by the enomatic machine, you can sample different wines on sip, half, and full glass options.
From the numerous wines available, the enomatic machine usually has 8 bottles of wine, 4 white, and 4 red. Prices differ on the wine and the size you prefer and you can avail it using a reloadable card. Usually, the wines were also sorted in a certain way, such as acidity, that will be explained by the sommelier and will be your guide on your journey to discover the world of wine.
Another goal of shrugging-off the drama in wine tasting is the easy-going and friendly ambience of the shop. Don’t be worried if you’re just on your casual wear as hyping-up your style with those fancy brands is seriously being discouraged. For my first wine, I tried Crane Lake Gewurztraminer 2012 with floral and spicy aromas having 12.5% alcohol volume.
Let’s start the wine pairing!
To start the wine pairing activity, we scanned their menu that is divided into parts: Sun Menu, can be ordered from 11AM to 6PM, and Moon Menu available from 6PM onwards. We wanted to prove that indeed Planet Grapes is a place where street food and wine meet so we ordered Super Sisig (PHP210), Anti-pasto Platter (PHP450), Balut (PHP45), Chorizo de Cebu (PHP80), Chicken Isaw (PHP65), BBQ Garlic Chicken Wings (PHP125), and Mee Goreng (PHP295).
For the pairing, we got bottles of Merlot 2009 and Sauvignon Blanc 2011. We were not wine connoisseurs so the crew gave us tips for us to enjoy the pairing of wines and food: red wine for savory meals, and white for salty food and desserts. But still, they want to eliminate the drama, so you can experiment and try pairing the food available with the wines to see how it will add flavor to the meals.
We also tried their desserts: Crème Brulee Sampler (PHP180), rich durian, banana, and plain custard base, topped with contrasting layer of caramel, and Turon Trilogy (PHP165) wrapped Filipino dessert snack made of thinly sliced bananas and ube drizzled with langka caramel. Indeed, the white wine did the magic.
Aside from availing wines from the enomatic machines, you can also purchase bottles of wines from the vast selection of Planet Grapes. Leaving the place didn’t make us wine experts, as expected, but we were glad our group paid a visit to the wine shop as we got to enjoy Planet Grapes wines and food, and each other’s company, without the drama.
PLANET GRAPES CEBU
Level 4 New Wing, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City
Contact Nos: +6332-266-0526 / +6332-262-0515