Filipino Food + Filipino Wine

Filipino food, no matter how much we Filipinos take it for granted, is a beautiful mixture of our history and cultural influences. But what makes our very own cuisine lovelier? A Filipino wine of course.

From sago’t gulaman to puto and dinuguan to Skyflakes and Sprite – there is always a beautiful pairing somewhere. It’s a lot like love. You are made for someone, and that someone was made for you somehow.

I have always been fascinated with Philippine wines – basi being my favourite. Thanks to Basi del Diablo Wines, I can finally get a decent wine that is truly Filipino to pair with the Philippine dishes I prepare at my humble apartment here in Hong Kong.

Even if it is just a short flight away, there are times when I long for home. I long for Filipino food and for the company of extended family. The smell of rellenong bangus cooking in the oven brings me back to my childhood in Baguio. Fish was always a special treat when I was a little girl and even if it is difficult to prepare, I still try to make this dish. The only difference now is I can pair it with Basidina – a Basi del Diablo brand made from sugarcane and grapes.  

I long for the smell of wood burning outside while a huge pot of rice is being cooked. I can’t recreate that here but at least, I can make the other dishes that I miss and still make rice from my rice cooker.

I have tried pairing Philippine dishes with foreign wines. While some are great with them, there is nothing like a truly Filipino pairing to be honest.

If you miss home just like I do and are wondering what type of Basi del Diablo variant will go well with the Philippine dishes you love to prepare, here is a guide. I wasn’t able to mention all of the beautiful dishes from the Philippines but these should suffice for now. Tomorrow, after all, is another day.

Rellenong Bangus – This is a “meaty” dish with raisins, carrots, and of course a lot of fish. Bangus is Filipino for Milkfish by the way. I call this dish the fishy morhon. This goes really well with a nice crisp white sugarcane wine and my best bet is Basi del Diablo’s Basidina – named after Tita Dina, Sigrid Salucop’s mum.

Bistek Tagalog –  This is a beautiful dish made from thin slices of beef, onions, soy sauce, and calamansi. It is a savoury dish best paired with something as bold as Bistek Tagalog’s flavours. My best pairing for this dish is Basi Puro.

Chicken Afritada – This is a bit tricky. You’ve got chicken, you’ve got tomatoes. But the trick here is to take a look at the sauce. Chicken usually pairs better with white wine but with the red sauce, it goes much better with a red. The good news is, you can get a versatile wine like Basi Puro.

Lechon – Craving for some lechon and planing to drink wine with it? Get a bottle of Basi Puro. This is a good pairing because Basi Puro will complement the saltiness and meatiness of the lechon.

Adobo – Nothing beats a good adobo and I make mine with pure cane vinegar. The best Basi del Diablo wine to go with Adobo is Basi Maria. This is a nice red wine made from sugarcane and grapes. It is a medium bodied wine that will hold up to the savoury goodness of your adobo.

Paella – Who doesn’t love a nice seafood and meat paella? This is another savoury dish usually served in Filipino homes during the holidays. Get a nice red sugarcane wine for this and it will make your paella a lot better.

Sweet & Sour Pork – I love this dish and I usually pair with a chilled bottle of Basidina. If you want to be more adventurous, you can try it with Virginia Blush as well.

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What is your favourite Filipino food?

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