Clark Wine Center

Bldg 6460 Clark Field Observatory Building,
Manuel A. Roxas Highway corner A Bonifacio Ave,
Clark Air Base, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023
Tel: (045) 599-5600 0917-826-8790
Manila Wine Shops
Tel: (632) 633-1566 or 0922-870-5173

Blaufränkischs can be absolutely wonderful and complex

Philippines Wine Shop Clark Wine Center is pleased to share with you articles, news and information about wine, wine events, wine tasting and other topics related to wine and the appreciation of wine.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” – W.C. Fields

Okay, while we’re pretty sure that Central European wine wasn’t W.C. Fields’ first choice of libation when either cooking or imbibing (oh, who are we kidding – the man probably put down whatever was placed in front of him. Though oddly, he didn’t start drinking until well into his twenties in his Vaudeville days, when the loneliness and vagaries of the road started to get to him), the similarities between the man and this week’s Forgotten Grape Blaufränkisch are surprisingly robust. Certainly not their places of origin – Fields was born just outside of his beloved Philadelphia to parents of English-Irish descent, while Blaufränkisch is typically found across central Europe, including its primary home in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Hungary – but more in the way that they both carry themselves, how both try to come off as a lot more than they actually are. Well, at least, that’s the way Fields’ characters came off throughout his film career. The man certainly had the talent and charisma to match his portly physique.

You see, Fields took his film facade to new heights during the 1920s and 1930s playing a variety of carnival barkers, card sharps, swindlers, cheats, and thieves, none of whom were similar in character to the real Bill Fields (as his friends referred to him), yet all of whom presented themselves with an air of sophistication and the appearance of a gentleman even as they swiped the nickels out of your back pocket. And yet no matter how comically nasty the character he played, Fields always seemed to imbue that fellow with just enough sympathy to humanize them and to make the audience not only care about the character, but to want to root for Fields the actor and see him in his next and latest role.

Oh, and he really, really, really liked to drink. A lot. Did we mention that?

Blaufränkisch? Well, it draws a lot of similarities to both of these things. This is a gape that presents itself in the wine as big, substantial, and able to hold its own with some of the great dark red wines of the world. Bordeaux? Hermitage? Chateauneuf-du-Pape? Bring ‘em all on. When grown properly in cooler climates and vintages without excessive heat and sun, the “Pinot Noir of Central Europe” (as it is sometimes called because of its prevalence and reputation throughout Austria and the former Soviet satellites) can even be imparted with aromas and flavors similar to Burgundian pinot noirs, and in hotter climates, the flavor patterns of Syrahs. But that’s where the similarities end. Because despite Blaufränkisch’s seemingly suave and distinguished scents and tastes, they really don’t hold up through the entire sip of the wine. In fact, these big plum and dark fruit flavors tend to flee faster than Larson E. Whipsnide at the sight of a cop, and all they leave behind is the hot tingling sting of alcohol. Which is not to say that Blaufränkischs are wines that are high in alcohol (most are between 13%-15% ABV), but rather that the wines can be unbalanced enough so that the alcohol rises to the top, or in this case, takes over the sip as soon as it hits your tongue. That’s right, Blaufränkischs may present a front of worldliness, erudition, and savvy, but deep down, they’re all just big lushes, depending far too heavily on alcohol to get by.

And yet, if you can get past this, Blaufränkischs can be absolutely wonderful and complex wines that will have you thinking and discussing among friends and you take your next sip. There is a reason it is the second most popular red grape in Austria and accounts for almost 5% of their total wine yield every year. Blaufränkisch, despite its woozy, inebriated stature, is a wine that can stand up, and one that any dedicated Friend of the Forgotten Grape would sample at least once.

So lift up your glass (wine glass, pint glass, shot glass, whatever glass you have in front of you, and offer a toast to this week’s Forgotten Grape, BLAUFRÄNKISCH, and
remember, while others may not have sympathy for a wine that’s intoxicated all the
time, the wine that’s intoxicated all the time doesn’t need sympathy.


Clark Wine Center was built in 2003 by Hong Kong-based Yats International Leisure Philippines to become the largest wine shop in Philippines supplying Asia’s wine lovers with fine vintage wines at attractive prices. Today, this wine shop in Clark Philippines offers over 2000 selections of fine wines from all major wine regions in the world. As a leading wine supplier in Philippines, Pampanga’s Clark Wine Center offers an incomparable breadth of vintages, wines from back vintages spanning over 50 years. Clark Wine Center is located in Pampanga Clark Freeport Zone adjacent to Angeles City, just 25 minutes from Subic and 45 minutes from Manila.

Wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Loire, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Alsace, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, Chile and Argentina etc. are well represented in this Clark Wine Shop.

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