Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Christmas is only a few days away. Year-end parties and family gatherings fill our calendars. It can be a hassle trying to figure out what to bring to a party or serve at your own or give as a gift, what with all the other things that also need our attention. Robinson’s Selections Wine and Spirits Festival at the McKinley Hill branch introduces great wine, deli tastings and more, making our lives a little easier by giving some gift and party ideas not just for the Christmas season, but for all year round. Sales marketing manager for Philippine Wine Merchants and country manager for Stolichnaya Vodka Philippines Mr. Jorge J. Joseph Wine is one of the go-to gifts that you can give to anyone (friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances) and is a staple at any gathering. Area and sales marketing manager for Philippine Wine Merchants and country manager for Stolichnaya Vodka Philippines Mr. Jorge J. Joseph gives a few wine and deli pairing suggestions to give an idea of what we can do for the holidays: Montgras Chardonnay with Brie – The wine brings out the buttery flavor of the cheese. Oxford Landing (which produces vegan wines) Merlot (with notes of apricot, tea and black currant) with gouda and double-smoked ham – The Merlot—which Mr. Joseph suggests for beginners because it is well-balanced and easy to drink—is a little on the sweet side, which complements the sweetness of the ham and the slight sharpness of the Gouda. Oxford Landing Shiraz with spicy chorizo – The peppery Shiraz goes well with the spiciness of the Chorizo, which has a reddish tint because of paprika. Montes Cabernet Sauvignon with turkey ham – The full-bodied and oaky Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with the saltiness of the turkey ham. For those who want something light and sweet, there’s Gossips Sweet Lips Dolcetto and Syrah (Shiraz) from Australia and Frisse Sparkling Sangria, which are good for those who don’t really drink or want to take a break from the heavy-duty liquor. Robinsons Selections also offers gift baskets with your favorite wines, saving you the trouble of wrapping. When drinking different kinds of wine in one go, there are several ways you can go about it. Lighter wines to the heavy ones Sparkling wines (Champagne, Prosecco, etc) to still wines or table wines (your usual wines that aren’t carbonated) Young to old vintage Dry to sweet Basic wines to more complex ones Mr. Joseph is very open when it comes to pairing wine with food and he doesn’t stick to a set guide. “Usually spicy goes with spicy and sweet goes with sweet. But some people like to go outside the box,” he shares. “They would prefer to have a light wine so that they can taste the food more. Unlike spicy with spicy, everything will be spicy, so you don’t differentiate the taste in your mouth. so I can’t tell you that this is the only pairing, or this is the best pairing. I encourage you to experiment; taste it yourselves. and I can’t say this is the best wine. It’s your perception of what you think is the best wine. It’s a personal preference for everybody. “Some people, once they find the wine that they like, they drink that wine forever,” he says. “I encourage you to explore. Because new wines come out almost every vintage, a new producer’s creating some new, different kind of wine.” Apart from Old and New World wines, Robinsons Selections also offers premium spirits and other alcoholic beverages. One feature they have is a wine dispenser from Emperador, where they are currently showcasing their newest wine, the Carlo Rossi 1933 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is bright and fruity. Other party drinks you can find at Robinsons Selection are the new flavors to old classics. Hoegaarden, the well-known wheat beer, has a flavored variant, Rosée, which has a light, raspberry flavor and aroma and has a subtle pink hue. Tanduay Ice has just come out with two new flavors, Vodka Cranberry (sweet cranberry flavor with a slight bitter finish) and Vodka Lemonade (citrusy soda), which have 6% ABV, good for those who want to take a break from beer or as a transition to proper cocktails. You don’t have to go to specialty stores to get your booze fix, party drinks, or gifts. Just head to Robinsons Selections and you’ll have the perfect present to give and supplies for a kick-ass party.