What is a good wine?
A good wine is a wine you like. Oftentimes people are influenced on the source of wine, the price, the presentation, the institutions that carry it or the "expert" that endorses it. But wine is really based on individual taste. Even the most discriminating connoisseurs have different tastes. There is an infinite variety of wines and the wine you should choose is the wine that suits your taste.
What is the Filipino taste for wine?
Among Filipinos, taste can also vary. But one can narrow down the characteristics that are likely to be acceptable to Filipinos and perhaps among neighboring Asians. Firstly, there is the tropical climate. Then one should consider the type of foods and drinks Filipinos like. The famous sweet tooth of the Filipino is also a factor (even the spaghetti sauce popular among Filipinos has a pronounced sweet taste!) Given these conditions and based on taste tests we conducted, we believe that Filipinos would like their wines sweet and fruity, refreshingly light and smooth, exactly the profile of Novellino wines. They will enjoy their wines best when chilled, including the reds, especially with the country's hot and humid climate.
Does this mean that there is only one wine that will suit the Filipino taste?
Absolutely not. Even with this narrow range of conditions, one can still have several varieties. Some go for reds, others for white, or even rose. The fruit flavor can also vary from a heavy berry accent to a subtle hint of fruit. The alcohol content is also a factor - the lightly fermented varieties are good for refreshment and even an accompaniment for dessert. The "drier" versions can go well with meals. Novellino comes in five varieties and more varieties will be added as the consumers express interest in other varieties.
Is aging an important factor?
The general perception is that the older the wine, the better it is. Again we have to define "better". Wine, as mentioned earlier is an individual taste and not all drinkers prefer the aged wines. As the wine ages, the tannins and the woods begin to become more pronounced and the fruitiness of the fresh wines are transformed into a more complex taste structure. Some people like this. But others don't. While it is true that the wines that are considered to be the best are those that improve with age, the majority of wines do not really improve with age, on the contrary, they deteriorate with age. But this does not mean that the wines that do not improve with age are not good wines. In fact the vast majority of wines are consumed within a year or so after the harvest of the grapes, including the wines from traditional wine countries like France or Italy.
What can be said about "Fresh" wines?
If you want your wine fruity, sweet, refreshing and chilled, you are better off with fresh wines. Novellino has this taste profile and is therefore best enjoyed fresh, within the first 12 months of production.
Why does Novellino use plastic corks and twist-type caps instead of the traditional corks?
Corks have been used as the traditional closure for centuries. In fact the only reason why plastic and twist type closure were not used centuries ago was because they did not exist centuries ago. The fact of the matter is that plastic "corks" and twist type closure provide better sealing properties than the traditional cork, which can dry up and cause air to enter the bottle and which can also transfer a corky taste into the wine.
Why does Novellino use only stainless steel tanks instead of wooden barrels?
First of all, wooden barrels, like cork, were used as the traditional vessels for fermentation and storage for centuries for the same reason: centuries ago, the stainless steel tanks were unfamiliar/unavailable to winemakers. The wine picks up the taste of wood as it is contained in wooden barrels. I don't know if the winemakers of years ago really intended that wine should have a woody taste. They simply had no choice then. Even now, some wine drinkers like the woody taste, perhaps as a consequence of tradition. In fact some winemakers, which prefer the technical benefits that stainless steel tanks offer, introduce wood chips to the wine to allow a woody taste. However, the taste profile that Novellino tries to achieve mainly comes from the fruit and not from wood. For this reason, Novellino uses only stainless steel tanks.
What can you say about the pricing of Novellino wines?
Novellino is reasonably priced, between 200 to 300 pesos in supermarkets and wine shops, slightly more in restaurants and other "on-premise" outlets. Our high volume and efficient production methods allow us to keep costs within reasonable levels. More importantly, we sell directly to most supermarkets and wine shops, eliminating the need for several layers of middlemen, ocean frieght, and import duties that most traditional imported wines have to go through. An imported wine of comparable quality to Novellino would cost about 50% to 100% more.
Why should I drink Novellino instead of imported wines?
Firstly, if the taste profile of Novellino is the one that suits you, you are better off with Novellino rather than an imported wine, which tends to be dry and not as fruity and refreshing. Novellino is produced right in the Philippines, which means it does not have to go through the stress of crossing oceans and moving from wineries to warehouses to ports and to local warehouses. This can cause deterioration in the wine, especially when exposed to extreme conditions of sunlight, heat, humidity, and movement. But more importantly, Novellino has a taste and quality that will be consistent year in and year out. Imported wines are generally subject to the quality of the harvest; even the best wine producers will have inconsistent quality because they cannot control the climate under which the grapes grow. In Novellino's case, we have a standardized process. We blend our grapes to fulfill specific standards in terms of flavor, brix content (sweetness) and color. We go to different sources where harvest conditions are more favorable to fulfill our standardized requirements.