Manny O.’s Thanksgiving Press Conference for his prized 7 Award-Winning Wines was held at the breathtaking Mövenpick Hotel on the evening of December 3, 2011. ZeroThreeTwo was lucky enough to be a part of the close-knit members of the press who participated and basked in the well-deserved success of Manny Osmeña. There he shared not only his obvious love for the finer things in life–in this case, wine–but also gave us a glimpse of what may very well be the reason for his success. Manny O. has been known to exhibit such a gregarious approach to most everything–his work, his esteemed colleagues, members of the press, and fellow wine enthusiasts.
This was not your ordinary conference. It was a night of dining, learning–no. More than that! It was a celebration! Manny O.’s informative and friendly manner of imparting his little nuggets of wisdom was an experience the wine-loving guests (and, ehem, the wine-ignorant as well) will not soon forget.
As the evening opened with the introduction of the wines and of course, their respective awards, Manny O. expressed his gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for all the success from his wine-concoction endeavors.
While he was answering some questions and mentioned speaking at a seminar about wine (he even did that free of charge!) at an airline, I was particularly concerned about one thing and had the pleasure of asking the last question at the conference. “[Manny Osmeña], you said that you also love to teach. Aren’t you worried that you’ll end up sharing secrets about your wine to competitors who might pirate your ideas?” He smiled and said that he wasn’t a believer of trade secrets. With a chuckle, he added that when he starts to open his mouth, it becomes a runaway horse! His daughter beside him sheepishly affirms.
After the forum, we all proceeded to a lush and stately tavern by the sea, Manny O’s Wine and Tapas, where the wine-pairing event was held. We were treated to a seven-course dinner which consisted of 7 gourmet entrées and of course, 7 servings of the award-winning wines to match. Each dish was paired exquisitely with each wine blend and was a delightful gastronomic experience. Whats-more, our host actually had a hand in guiding the chef in the preparation of each gourmet serving! Manny really showed that penchant for combining dishes with certain wines. His expertise proven by the many awards he’s received. His prized bottles (particularly Sumiller Monastrell and Disciplus Syrah) garnered awards at the Food & Wine Pairing Competition last October 2011. And that’s just part of what he won at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition! There were more awards received internationally!
While we were feasting on the seven-course dinner, we were privileged to more factoids of each drink as the night went on – like how to properly open a bottle of wine, the right conditions for its storage, how age of the wine isn’t the only factor to make it a delectable drink, and many more. As if the whole thing wasn’t fascinating enough, there were a privileged few who brought home with them a limited edition Magnum Sumiller (I’ve heard that for every 500 regular 1-litre bottles of Sumiller, only one Magnum Sumiller [1.5-litre Sumiller] is made; and for every 1000 regular 1-litre bottles, only one Double Magnum Sumiller [2-litre Sumiller] is produced)!
As the night winded down, we got up to approach our generous host and exchanged a few more words. Here’s a toast to Manny Osmeña–a self-made man who definitely looks at life with optimism, gratitude to God, and the passion to share his love of wine.