Romance with wine at Henry’s

By Kathy "Purr" Villalon

Several years ago, some Ilonggos’ idea of a night out with friends involved drinking beer. However, beer makes one feel bloated. It leads to weight gain. And a headache.
Then, the studies of wine’s health benefits became public. Wine is derived from grapes, a rich source of antioxidants that are known to kill harmful free radicals. So, many beer drinkers shifted to wine.
“There is more character to wine,” said Henry Carroll, the man behind Henry’s Wines and Liquors, which recently opened at Plazuela de Iloilo. “Ilonggos are ready for Henry’s. Nowadays, we see people, even the young ones, preferring wine,” he added.
ROMANCE. The reasonably small area of Henry’s and it’s dimly lit space create a feeling of intimacy or romance as one checks one shelf to another in search for that perfect wine.
Outside are tables where a lonesome or a group can delight in every sip of Henry’s wine and enjoy the food catered by Steps of Rome amid the sound of chill-out music and hushed conversations among friends. The area looks like one of those romantic French restaurants.
ETIQUETTE. While dining with Henry and his business partner Joy Canon, this writer observed that there’s a particular glass for red wine, another for white and different one for chardonnay. “We are very particular about the glasses,” Henry said.
In fact, the staff of Henry’s are being trained about the basics of wine drinking. Although it’s a long way for them to become wine connoisseurs, they were trained on food and wine pairing and etiquette.
OFFERINGS. Henry’s offer a Wine Bucket of three bottles for only P888. It can’t be avoided that some would still drink beer, so Henry’s offers the Beer Bucket, which consists of five bottles for only P198.
Groups may avail of Henry’s Wine Appreciation Package that is good for 20 persons. This package includes eight bottles of wine and some sausage platter.
They will also offer a wine tasting event every two months.
Henry’s is open from 11AM to 12MN daily although they extend their hours.
LONG LIST. The menu shows that Henry’s has every wine there is. Henry’s offers French, Spanish, Italian, New Zealand, Australian, American, Chilean, Argentinian and South African wines. They also have sparkling wines, champagne, vodka, tequila, brandy, whisky, bourbon, cognac, rhum, gin and liquor. Their cheapest wine costs P198 (but Henry said you can’t use this for cooking) and the most expensive is valued at more than a thousand pesos.
“But the issue is not about your having the money to spend on the wine. A basic tip is this: Enjoy it. One wine columnist wrote that it would be the company that you’re with. It’s the occasion. It should not be about being a wine connoisseur but it’s about what you enjoy,” he concluded.*

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