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The blessings of Manny O Wines

/ 08:19 AM December 31, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES is not a wine-producing country so our wines are imported. But this has not prevented Manuel H. Osmeña, group chairman of Oikonomos International Resource Corporation that owns Movenpick Resort & Spa, from producing his own Manny O Wines, which have been reaping international awards, 49 to date in no less than seven countries, namely: UK, France, Germany, Spain, California, Japan and Hong Kong.

With his passion and determination, coupled by his elan and sophistication, Manny Osmeña started custom blending his own brand of wines from the premier vineyards of Europe—the seat of the old world or traditional wines. With his natural flair for good wines, he blends his own from carefully selected vineyards: Agapitos Rose and Branco from Alentejo, Portugal; Discipulus Blanc and Syrah from Languedoc, France; Sumiller Monastrell from Yecla, Spain; Bibuus Medoc Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux, France, and NV Celebrus Brut Blanquette from Limoux, France. He actually started blending wines in 2004 in France and his first vintage 2006 was released in the market in late 2007.

Manny’s love affair with wines started as early as the 70s. He claims he did not like alcohol but his discovery of the complex aromas and flavors of wine has a deeper and more dramatic effect on his emotions. One cannot but admire this multi-faceted man when he starts talking about wines. Wines traditionally have more tartness and acidity to balance out the creams, butters, cheeses used in continental cuisines. And the concept of Manny O wines was inspired by the fusion of food from different cultures, which gave birth to the new world cuisine—food that runs the gamut of flavors of sweet, sour, salty, spicy like the Asian dishes.

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Before the year 2011 draws to a close, Manny Osmeña hosted a Thanksgiving Celebration for the Blessings of 49 prestigious international awards—a Wine Pairing Dinner at his Movenpick Resort & Spa’s Manny O’s Bar & Tapas overlooking the Mactan Bay. The very interesting question and answer that started during the presscon was carried over to the exquisite food and wine pairing experience that drove home to our curious palates the journey of Manny’s custom blending expertise in the creation of his award-winning signature wines.

Select media from Manila and Cebu were very privileged to hear out Manny with a gist of his wine lectures he delivered to international wine connoisseurs and generously shares with culinary schools when he finds precious time to spare. Movenpick’s Executive Chef Terry Styles, an Australian with impressive culinary credentials,

executed the impressive menu. The highlights of the wine pairing dinner started with 2010 Agapitos Rose where our anxious palates were fascinated as this was paired with Poached Bay Oysters with Light Mornay and Fumet of Poisson. 2010 Discipulus Blanc with Wagyu Shio Yaki Sushi—a classic example of Manny’s concept where a white wine goes well with the pricey Japanese Kobe-style beef, Wagyu, cooked the Asian way. 2008 Agapitos Branco with hints of tropical fruits brought out the flavors of Tempura Tiger Prawns Cocktail. 2007 Bibulus Medoc Cru Bourgeois, a traditional Bordeaux style of merlot and cabernet savignon drew out the red meat flavor of Premium Black Angus Charcoal-fired Kalbi. And finally, we had the taste of the famous gourmet Movenpick Strawberry Ice Cream we enjoyed with NV Celebrus Brut Blanquette, a gloriously sparkling wine with floral aromas and peaches.

And I am one of the lucky ones who were gifted by Manny with #09 Sumiller 1.5 Liters limited edition from the 40-plus year-old Monastrell vines from the Spanish region of Yecla. A bottle of this 1.5 magnum is produced only in every 500 regular bottles.

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TAGS: Entrepreneurship, Manny Osmeña, wines
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