LOOK! We asked wine experts to identify the drinks displayed in the President’s liquor shelf

Published August 21, 2020, 10:50 PM

by Marie Buenaventura

Photos from Paolo Duterte‘s Instagram

Yesterday, Presidential son and Davao’s first district Congressman Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte uploaded on his Instagram pictures of President Rodrigo Duterte talking to him and his younger sibling, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte, in the kitchen of his Davao City house.

Aside from the family photo, netizens noticed the stash of wine on the shelves.

Netizens commented on the wines prominently displayed on the President’s liquor shelf—so we asked three wine connoisseurs, La Cabrera bar owner Carlo Lorenzana, supervisor CJ Tanoan, and one chef who asked to remain anonymous, to take a long, hard look (they had to, because the photo was blurred and the wine labels couldn’t be seen) at the President’s tipples of choice.  

“It’s hard to identify the others, because the labels aren’t clear, but here are the ones we can see.” So what can be seen from the photo? The President has a Badoit sparkling water (those two in the foreground), which retails for P200 to P250. A Kahlua, which is coffee liqueur, which retails for P1,500 a bottle. Manille de Calamansi liqueur, a local one manufactured by Limtuaco, which is P700 to P750 a bottle, a Remy Martin VSOP Champagne cognac, which is P2,800 to P3,000 a bottle, and a Chivas Regal, at P2,880 a bottle.

“These are not very expensive ones,” says Carlo Lorenzana, a wine connoisseur who owns the swanky steak house La Cabrera. “My gut tells me these are gifts over the years, or when people visit the President and Madame Honeylet in their home. The ones we were able to identify are not really expensive, and are considered ordinary in fine dining restaurants and high-end places. In fact, it’s considered mid-range because they can be bought in liquor stores and supermarkets.”  

The chef-wine connoisseur agrees. “Most of the wines look like ‘drink now’ wines,” he says. “They should drink those wines and consume within the next 12 months as they are exposed to light standing up. The white wine looks like a sauvignon blanc. Definitely based on bottle shape it is not chardonnay.”

Carlo adds, “Normally really expensive wines are to be stored on its side so the cork will not dry out and prevent oxidation. And best in a controlled temperature or wine chiller. Wines can become like vinegar if exposed to heat and direct sunlight. The liquor shelves of PRRD are not a good place to store wines—even cheap wines, as it looks like it’s close to the window.”

So there you go. It’s either the President doesn’t care about expensive wines, or he has a secret chiller in that house somewhere harboring some golden liquid.