Cebu Food Restaurants

Excellent wine, interesting food pairings at Planet Grapes Cebu

By on October 21, 2014

planet grapes

Many perhaps could easily identify the typeface used in the signage of Planet Grapes, a wine bar that recently opened its doors at the new wing at the Ayala Center in Cebu.

Whether it is in fact a tongue-in-cheek homage to that movie or not, Planet Grapes assures the public that they are not aping around when it comes to wines. They are here to provide Cebuanos a truly memorable wine experience, sans the drama or pretense that usually comes along with it.

planet grapes - media invite

I realized that when I came in un-fashionably late for a media invite they organized not too long ago. Thankfully, I still found myself an empty stool at the back. At that time, I was admittedly more intimidated by the crowd who came dressed rather appropriately for the occasion, than the restaurant’s upscale yet surprisingly casual ambience.

planet grapes - wine

Displayed on its walls are interesting selections of wines, which was what I came there for. But what do I know about wines in the first place? – I found myself asking this again as I browsed over our tasting menu. Wine to me is like cheese, anime and the latest EDM. I know a thing or two about these, but that’s just about it.

Our evening started with three whites – a Sauvignon Blanc (Nuevo Mundo 2011), a Chardonnay (L’escargot 2011) and a Riesling (Joel Gott 2011). In this batch, I found the taste of the Chardonnay closer to my liking with its creamy notes and nice balance of flavors. It paired well with the danggit, the isaw and that utterly delicious fried oyster mushroom.

planet grapes - white plate

Since I was seated far from the stage, I had to ask Luke, one of their busy waitstaffs, regarding the taste differences of each glass. He babbled a simplified explanation, of which I could still remember him adding that “the Riesling is the nerd, one that’s misunderstood and always left-out from the crowd.”

This I think then is one of Planet Grapes’ strongest suit – that they have crews who are not only knowledgeable with wines but also able to explain that into everyday terms we all could understand.

Next up was the red plate – BBQ Pork Spare Ribs, Rib-eye Steak, BBQ Garlic Chicken Wings, Penne Putanesca, Salted Egg Rice and Beef Tapa. This ensemble came with exquisite red wines – a Pinot Noir (Ventura 2011), a Merlot (Cartlidge & Brown Merlot 2009) and a Cabernet Sauvignon (Nuevo Mundo 2011).

planet grapes - red plate

“How should we go about this?” I managed to stop Luke again on his tracks. He then recommended that we start with the lightest, the Pinot Noir in this case, until we end up with the Cabernet Sauvignon. The latter in particular, with its darker and fuller flavor, was the clear standout for me. It paired well with the fall-off-the-bone spare ribs.

And just before we could even protest, the final course was served – an assortment of desserts which included a bite-sized turon, a classic Filipino snack but with a welcome gourmet twist.

I wanted more of it, including a refill of the Crane Lake Gewurztraminer 2011 which incredibly complemented the durian and the banana creme brulees. I was informed that they ran out of this wine already. I took that as a sign of some sort, that I should not spoil a perfect evening with way too much wine than I could possibly handle.

planet grapes - sweet plate

Before I left the place, I dropped by the Enomatic, a state-of-the-art wine vending machine. Planet Grapes has ‘prepaid cards’ that would allow one to try different wines at flexible portions – a sip, half glass or full glass. It’s something that I’d definitely try in my return.

planet grapes - enomatic

So did I become a snobbish wine connoisseur or an expert sommelier after 7 different glasses? Far from it of course. But it was an extremely satisfying learning experience, something that I’d like to do again in the company of friends, especially on a perfectly lazy Saturday night.

Because at Planet Grapes, I am assured that even if we come in our favorite pair of jeans and worn-out sneakers, we’ll still enjoy the wine, the food pairings and everything in between.

That being said, Planet Grapes will definitely refine and redefine Cebu’s watering hole scene.

Planet Grapes
http://planetgrapes.com.ph/
https://www.facebook.com/PlanetGrapes
Level 4, New Wing, Ayala Center Cebu
+63 32 266 0526

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9 Comments
  1. Reply

    Anonymous

    October 22, 2014

    sosyal! Ibang level ka na Brennan -JCM

    • Reply

      bren | www.baktincorporation.com

      October 22, 2014

      Level 1 pa rin naman. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Reply

    Kim Halasan

    October 22, 2014

    Wow. Too much wine talk for me. Last time I tasted wine was at the mall and had about a glass — enough to soothe me to sleep.

    Sounds interesting Bren. Makes me want to try wine with Filipino food.

    • Reply

      bren | www.baktincorporation.com

      October 22, 2014

      Wine is not at all intimidating, that I learned from Planet Grapes. You had wine tasting at CA, right?

  3. Reply

    Anonymous

    October 24, 2014

    Planet of the Apes pero Star Wars?

    • Reply

      bren | www.baktincorporation.com

      October 24, 2014

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Reply

    Nel

    November 3, 2014

    We were looking at this place from across the mall (Have you been to The Social?) and I was saying we should go here sometime. This seems like an interesting experience. Might have to drag along a designated driver though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Heard you were back in Cebu, Brenz. Let's meet up with the old gang some time.

  5. Reply

    Nel

    November 3, 2014

    We were looking at this place from across the mall (Have you been to The Social?) and I was saying we should go here sometime. This seems like an interesting experience. Might have to drag along a designated driver though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Heard you were back in Cebu, Brenz. Let's meet up with the old gang some time.

    ~Nel

    • Reply

      bren | www.baktincorporation.com

      November 4, 2014

      You're in Cebu too? Oh my. Everyone's coming full circle or is it just us? ๐Ÿ™‚

      I haven't tried The Social. We could pay it a visit as long as you won't mind me taking lots of photos during meals/drinks. hehehe.

      And Rino can (hopefully) drive for us. He can stay sober for the night.

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokรฉmon GO or not.

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