New Wine Shop/ Lounge in Manila: Artisan Cellar Door on Pasong Tamo Extension

Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellars- Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati 1
Peekaboo! You can already see a sliver of Artisan Cellar Door’s chic, modern interiors from outside. It is located at Narra Building on Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati, next to Security Bank.

It’s always a massive bonus when wine shops convert a part of their space into a “drinking area”– or wine lounge— where patrons can open up their bottles of purchase and drink on the spot. First of all, the wine selections are so vast (I mean usually, it’s the distributor’s entire portfolio), and you save yourself the double-triple markups at restaurants. Plus, there’s something really cool about drinking a bottle surrounded by even more bottles, and meeting new people who have the shared interest of wine.

Pasong Tamo Extension has been home to these types of wine shops for some time now, where my friends and I come and drink (especially on the morning of Christmas Eve, for some reason), ordering Yellow Cab pizza from across the street help absorb whatever alcohol we’ve ingested into our systems. (They don’t serve food as most of the buildings don’t allow cooking inside because of the smell).

The newest addition to this roster is the chicest one. Artisan Cellars and Fine Foods Inc. is opening their wine shop/ lounge  Artisan Cellar Door on August 5, 2015 (Wednesday). It’s a gorgeous, well-lit space that’s reminiscent of a modern living room and kitchen, with arm chairs and sofas fronting the entrance, while hanging lamps and high stools accent the bar table towards the back. Tucked slightly more elusively is the private dining room, where the piece de resistance is a hand-carved Dao wooden table lined with Philip Starck’s Victoria Ghost Kartell chairs.

Chic, modern interiors of sofas evoke the feel of a modern living room
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Take your pick.. lots of wines to choose from– from value for money to mid range to high end expensive!
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Tucked a little more elusively is the private dining area with a hand-carved Dao table as the piece the resistance, flanked by the Philippe Starck-designed Victoria Ghost Chairs for Kartell

“The lounge is a place not only for wine lovers, but for anyone who is interested in wines to go, have a look at and try the different wines in a nice atmosphere with people who enjoy wine, too,” shares Alex Ong, who co-owns the company with cousins Roxanne Lee, Rey Co and Benjie Ong.

Artisan Cellars' Roxanne Lee, Rey Co, Alexander Ong and Benjamin Ong at the Chateau Lafitte Dinner at Nobu Manila
It’s a family affair. Artisan Cellars’ Roxanne Lee, Rey Co, Alexander Ong and Benjamin Ong at the Lafite Dinner at Nobu Manila (Photo courtesy of Artisan Wine Cellars)

According to Alex, their most popular wines are the brands they carry under the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) portfolio: Lafite Collection from Bordeaux, Domain D’ Aussieres from Languedoc, Bodegas Caro from Argentina and Vina Los Vascos from Chile. Artisan is likewise a big  Brunello, Barolo and Burgundy house, too. For champagne, they carry Gosset, Larmandier-Bernier, and will soon be carrying grower champagne [sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France that are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards from which the grapes come]. They also have a large selection of prosecco including Ruggeri, which Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine declared “the best prosecco.” (Entry level Ruggeri begins at around PHP 900, moving up to PHP 2,000++ for more premium.)

Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellar- Brunello di Montalcino Valdicava
Artisan Wine Cellars prides themselves in carrying some of the best Brunellos (and Super Tuscan’s) in town. (Photo courtesy of Artisan Cellar Door’s Instagram)

The cool thing about Cellar Door is that they have something from everyone. While they do carry premium brands like DBR, Domaine Leroy, Bodega Noemia (the only winery in Argentina that’s been on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wineries– based in Patagonia!), Valdicava, Sette Ponti and Viader, they also have value for money wines. These are Clos du Caillou, Petrolo, Chanson, Champy, Clerico,  Ginestet, Yann Chave, Vina Alicia, Vistalba, Altocedro, Vina Leyda that fall into the price range of PHP 800- PHP3,500. (I remember particularly enjoying the Chateau de Saint Cosme Little James Basket from Cotes du Rhone at a wine dinner some time ago.. it’s a blend of viognier and sauvignon blanc which Wine Advocate deemed as “one of the top bargain picks available.” If I remember correctly, it is about PHP 900++.)

According to Alex, they also carry the champagne they serve at Momofuku  Larmandier-Bernier Rose de Saignee— made by directly macerating pinot noirs, now a rare technique in Champagne as most rose’s are made by adding a little red wine. Soon, they will also be bringing in L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Hong Kong’s pouring wine, Vagabond from Bacio Divino Winery in Napa Valley, California.

Jin Perez and I were so lucky to have Roxanne personally cook a massive feast for us– goat cheese, pecan and maple vinaigrette salad, mushroom pesto penne, and the grand daddy of them all, gorgeous Brandt rib eye roast! (Apart from Brandt, Artisan also imports Mayura, Niman, and Blackmore beef— favored by Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal— to the Philippines). Good news: They will be having a deli at Artisan Cellar Door when they open, and this amazing ribeye roast will be available by the grams for take out. The deli will also be serving assortment of cheeses as well as the precious acorn-fed 5J Cinco Jotas Jamon Iberico Puro Bellota (Black Iberian Ham). 

Roxanne Lee- Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellars
Our friend Rox is so pretty! She has been working so hard to make Artisan Cellar Door come to fruition and it’s looking pretty amazing. Do look for her when you come and visit!
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This is a steal.. the entry-level Ruggeri (which Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine  declared was the ‘the best prosecco’ ) is around PHP 900
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Carbs I couldn’t stop eating! Mushroom pesto penne pasta… mmmm…
Roxanne Lee- Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellars
Rox made this Brandt rib-eye roast four hours before our dinner at her home.. what an amazingly talented woman!
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Gorgeous Brandt ribeye roast that Rox made for us!!! And topped with the roasted garlic.. sooo good!! Thank you Rox!!! And it will soon be available at Artisan Cellar Door!
Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellars- Roxanne Lee, Jin Perez, Cheryl Tiu
Had such a lovely time with Rox and Jin, with lots of girly kwentos, wine and STEAK! What a great Satur-date! <3 <3 <3 (Photo courtesy of Jin Perez)

I already know I’m going to be camping out there even before opening hours (just kidding.. or am I? ;-P) so I look forward to seeing you there soon, too! Cheers!

Artisan Cellar Door by Artisan Wine Cellars and Fine Foods is located at the G/F of Narra Building, 2276 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati (beside Security Bank). Starting August 5, 2015, they will be daily from from 10 AM to 8 PM.  Phone Artisan Wine Cellars at +63 (2) 521 7392 or email contact@artisan.com.ph

2 Comments

  1. Great article about Artisan. Noticed Benjie Ong’s name as one of the owners as we have been in touch recently and now instantly have had a peek at what they offer. Great for us as now have an idea on what to expect, that is their product portfolio. With comments from you Cheryl @chertiu and Jin @jinlovestoeat, thanks. @fil.benitez #themariosway

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