ASEAN Merchants, a rising exporter of Spanish wines and olive oil, recently came to Manila to host an intimate wine appreciation course at the Bellevue Hotel Manila as part of the launch of their branch here in the Philippines.
Based in Barcelona, Spain, ASEAN Merchants was established in 2011 by Anna Patricia Gancayco and David Coll-Piferrer, a husband and wife team who are extremely passionate about wine.
Patricia said that the decision to choose the Philippines as their first stop among the emerging wine markets in Asia was easy. Aside from being the country where she grew up, the Philippines and Spain have a lot in common.
Wine sommelier David Pedrol share his knowledge about wines to the guests of the wine tasting event.
“We share the same things, especially when it comes to food. Filipinos love paella and adobo. And because much of the dishes in the Philippines have a bit of Spanish influence in them, they can easily be paired with Spanish wines. For example, adobo goes really well with a glass of good Cava,” Patricia explained during her brief presentation about the company during the event.
A short, but insightful, talk about how wine is made and the basics of wine pairing and tasting was given by David Perdrol, a wine sommelier with over 12 years of experience in the industry. During his talk, he enthusiastically answered questions asked by some of the guests in the event, made of members of the Philippine Association of Wedding Planners, restaurant representatives and members of the press.
After the talk, the guests were then given the chance to sample four of the products of Maset de Lleo Wines & Cavas—one of the many boutique winemakers in Spain. Mr. Pedrol, ASEAN Merchants founders Mr. and Mrs. Coll-Piferrer, and Mr. Tristan Jovellana—one of their partners here in the Philippines—took turns pouring the wines for the guests as they mingled with them and shared more about the company.
Mr. David Coll-Piferrer of ASEAN Merchants pours a glass of wine for some of the guests.
In a separate interview, Patricia explained that they decided to export boutique wines as part of their company’s vision to help propel small- and medium-sized winemakers from Spain by opening new channels for them in other parts of the world.
“Big wine companies already have a market,” she said. “Boutique wines, on the other hand, are almost exclusive in Spain. We not only want to distribute Spanish wines at competitive prices to the Philippines and other parts of Asia. More important, we want to introduce these boutique winemakers to the growing market in Asia to give them more variety.”