By Cesar Cruz Jr.
Embarking on a journey into the realm of fine wine has evolved into a culinary adventure for the discerning Filipino palate, particularly within the domain of high-end hotels. While classics like red, white, rosé, and champagne are familiar to many, the unexplored territories of dessert wines and fortified wines remain a mystery. Among these hidden gems lies Sherry wine, the pièce de résistance at the French-inspired Wine Gallery in Twin Lakes Hotel, Tagaytay—a visionary project by the Chinese-born Filipino entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrew Lim Tan.
Twin Lakes Hotel warmly invites wine enthusiasts to explore its latest treasure—the Wine Gallery, tucked below the hotel's basement. This haven leads visitors to the estate's private vineyard, offering an opportunity to savor moments while gazing upon the sprawling vines.
In collaboration with Emperador Distillers, the gallery is poised to become a sanctuary for its exquisite Harveys Sherry wines collection, rooted in a history dating back to 1796, epitomizing a rich heritage and exceptional craftsmanship. Guests will have exclusive access to the full Harveys Sherries collection, featuring Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Fino, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez, Medium Dry, and V.O.R.S. (Very Old Rare Sherry). Crafted in the sun-drenched vineyards of Jerez, Spain, the collection offers a diverse range of Sherries, each with a unique flavor profile and meticulous aging. The use of the time-honored solera system ensures a harmonious blend of vintages, resulting in unparalleled complexity.
A carefully crafted menu enhances the gastronomic adventure, offering a range from staple tapas to hot entrees like Pompet Florentine and Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops. To deepen the appreciation for Sherry, the gallery plans to host regular food and wine pairing classes led by partnered sommeliers. These immersive sessions cater to both enthusiasts and novices, guiding them into the world of Sherry through expert-led classes and exclusive private discovery sessions.
The Wine Gallery boasts French industrial architecture adorned with exquisite artworks from Spain, paying homage to luminaries of the 1900s such as Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Gustave Eiffel. With a panoramic view of Taal Lake, lush greens, and the enchanting eastern skies, the interior of the Wine Gallery is a masterpiece of meticulous metalwork, delicate molding, and subtle embellishments. Sophisticated furnishings, including Toile de Jouy shades on liquor bottle lamps and artworks sourced from the Fundador bodegas in Spain, enrich the opulent setting. The focal point—a grand window reminiscent of Victor Laloux's Musée d'Orsay clock—chimes every hour, adding a touch of grandeur.
Accommodating 65 guests with various seating options, including a lounge area, bar, al fresco dining, and a private room, the Wine Gallery provides an ideal backdrop for intimate gatherings. Beyond celebrations, the gallery welcomes exhibitions and diverse events, creating a canvas where art, discussions, and creativity converge.
Located within the integrated tourism estate development of Megaworld Corporation in Laurel, Batangas, the 122-keys Twin Lakes Hotel beckons wine novices and enthusiasts to engage in this must-try experience. The drive to Tagaytay will undoubtedly prove to be worthwhile as Twin Lakes Hotel promises an enchanting escape into the world of fine wine, art, and culinary excellence.