You know the people of the Jesus era found something good when they start drinking the stuff with every meal. Read the bible. Wine is on there more times than the Immaculate Conception. In fact, the stuff got people so happily buzzed, that the Miracle Man himself went on a divine beer run and turned jars of water into fucking wine. This part of the Jesus story is not discussed enough. THE GUY CAN TURN WATER INTO ALCOHOL. Now that’s a f’n savior.
Imagine if you had Jesus as your buddy. You’re drinking one night and everybody is happy. Then you run out of beer. Instead of drunk driving all the way to Ministop with those annoying little watch-your-car boys vulturing around the front door, you just ask your buddy JC for a favor. “Chong, ubos na yung beer. Di ko na kaya magdrive, seryoso. Magpa-wine ka naman oh. Ako na magiigib ng tubig.” No sweat. Party never stops. Amen.
Anyway, we made our way over to Barcino in Greenbelt. For a change, we wanted to trade in our beer and whiskey for some good ol’ vino. We ordered a bottle of Ramon Roqueta Reserva, a full-bodied red, for a reasonable P595. For the price, this Spanish red is a decent choice for the young and thirsty. Other wines in this place range from about 500 bucks to some nearing 10 grand. Obviously, Barcino is for people with taste as well as thick wallets. They have an extremely large selection of wine by region (Chile, Australia, France, Spain etc.), by type (Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir etc.) and by taste preference (light to full-bodied). If you’re looking for a place to get a taste of good wine, you won’t go wrong here. Just don’t expect much else apart from it, and don’t expect anything to be cheap.
The food here, mostly Spanish tapas, is pretty tasty, as with most savory Spanish cuisine. You can get different types of chorizo, some gambas or even a nice serving of paella to go along with your bottle of choice. But like everything else here, it’ll cost you some (about P250-600) for a decent plate of food, and the servings (supposedly to share) will not even be a spoonful for a fat person.
Inside, it has that old wine cellar feel with bottles all over the walls, antique wood furniture and dim lights. Outside, barrels serve as cocktail tables to add to the ambiance. It’s all very old and woody. Actually, that could also describe some of the people who drink here. A lot of white guys and their “friends” have a night cap here. There are also those older, upper-management types in barongs who curse in Spanish. And of course, every trendy place will have these fresh-from college yuppies whose taste has “matured” since school, and who think graduating with a degree in Interior Design means graduating from drinking Tanduay.
Overall, Barcino is a decent place to drink if you’re looking for a change-of-pace, payday type gathering. It won’t give you the most bang for your buck, and wine certainly isn’t the fastest way to get you buzzed, but Barcino has its moments. Especially if you’re trying to impress a date (or get her in a “romantic” mood) or if you’re a foreigner and Cafe Havana is full.
The Good -Great wine selection, tasty tapas
The Bad – Prices are steep, the occasional creepy foreigner with his, uh, companion.
What P500 will get you – A plate of chorizo and a glass of wine. If you’re lonely.
TAP’s recommendation for:
Manuel Enrico “Manny” Salcedo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Pilipinas Shell Inc. – Will not go to bed without his glass of Pinot Noir, spoke Spanish in the household as a child, has a son that will eventually grow-up to be an entitled douchebag that plays polo.
Cassandra Ysabel “Cassie” Tagle – 29-year old workaholic, always dresses up in her typical corporate power outfits, recently broken up with her 10-year boyfriend, now says “she prefers a good Vino to a good man.”
Frederico Jose “Rico” Makisig (CSB ‘10) – Recently met a girl in his new job that he’s trying to impress, swears by books like “The Secret” and “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “How Everything Oprah Says Will Make You Rich And Happy And Successful And Eat Donuts Without Getting Fat”