While strolling at Ayala Center Cebu, I glanced upon Planet Grapes and their very cozy interior. Their Star Wars themed logo caught my attention and I immediately checked out the place. Being a solid beer drinker, I promptly turned my attention even when I read their “Wine without the drama” tagline because wine, for me is intimidating.
Wine Without The Drama
My perception of wine is that it has a lot of rules – the type of food you pair it for example, or the way it should be served.
My idea of wine changed when I finally tried Planet Grapes. Generally, the whole establishment has a modern feel, but the wine bottle accent lights hanging in their ceiling sets the right mood for relaxation.
We first tried one of their appetizers, the Chicharon with Tinapa dip. Although the Chicharon cannot be compared to the ones we usually buy in Carcar, it still had the right amount of saltiness. However, the Tinapa dip was superb that I had to ask what was in it from one of the staffs. The smokiness of the Tinapa complimented the Chicharon very well. It’s light and tasty, just how appetizers should be. After we consumed the appetizers, we were served with 2 different types of white wines: The Intrepid Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Cape Dreams Colombard 2014.
It was my first time to try white wines and I was surprised to find myself enjoying as I sip on each glass. Some may find it a bit overwhelming because of their wide selections of wine but their staffs are not only well trained and knowledgeable, they also provide recommendations and a little background of the wine.
We were served with another starter, the Chicken Isaw. It’s a bit odd but it was surprisingly good. For me, Planet Grape’s street food meets wine concept is something that’s fresh and unique. They are also offering several other delectable street foods on their menu like Squid balls, Balut, and Quail eggs.
For the main course, we had their BBQ Pork Spareribs which was notably huge even for a big eater like me. We steered clear from rice and opted for Mashed Potato, Grilled Parmesan Corn and Fresh Mixed Salad for the sides. Among all the side dishes, their Mashed Potato was the best; I still can’t get over it and I will never look at Mashed Potatoes the same way again.
While still devouring the ever-scrumptious BBQ Pork Spareribs, the staff poured red wines on the empty wine glasses in front of us. We had 3 kinds of red wines: 2013 Le Phant (a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec), The Winery of Good Hope Bush Vine Pinotage 2012 and Vinum Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. I especially liked the latter because it undermines the fats from the pork so you won’t be overwhelmed with the flavors.
For dessert, we had the Turon Trilogy, a classic Pinoy dessert with a twist and made even more special with the langka jam. It would definitely tickle your sweet tooth just by looking at it. The Turon Trilogy had the right amount of sweetness. And just when I thought we were done with the wine sampling, they served us another white wine that goes really well with the dessert – The Doña Sol Moscato. The Moscato was slightly sweet and has a smooth finish making the whole dessert experience more awesome than it already is.
They also offer wines that are budget friendly ranging from ₱750-2000 per bottle. After all, their target is to eliminate the misconception of wine being normally an expensive and complicated drink. Planet Grapes also has a state of the art Enomatic machine that would allow you to sample their featured wine in a sip, half, and full glass.
Planet Grapes in Cebu City is located at the 4th Level, New Wing, Ayala Center Cebu with contact number (032) 266 0526. They are open from 11AM to 11PM.
I can definitely say that the whole dining experience was amazing starting from the wines, the food and especially the dessert. I came in with a dash of misapprehension about wines and I never thought I’d get to appreciate it.
How about you? Do you think you’d enjoy wine as much as I did? Share us your ideas by leaving them in the comment section below.