When you hear the word “promdi” (a local abbreviation of “promdi” / from the province), there always seems to be a negative connotation attached to the word. One that connotes a lack of culture and sophistication, alluding to the assumption of the simpler and detached-from-civilization lifestyle of those who live in the rural areas of the Philippines as compared to the cosmopolitan vibe of Metro Manila. You’ll hear this a lot from urban dwelling folks.
Joke’s on these urbanites. There is more culture and history outside of the imperial capital.
One just needs to know where to look and trace back the history of this archipelago, and Proudly Promdi gives a glimpse of this through locally made wines.
It’s called wine due to its fermentation method (again, one way that urban folks have tried to find a means to simplify the explanation of something that’s more than just wine), but is made from mountain rice. It’s the tribes from the northern Luzon mountain provinces that have created this concoction, normally served in rituals or special occasions (in those days, when they have successfully raided a nearby tribe, and have beheaded their warriors in the process).
It starts off sour like a mild vinegar, but finishes off sweet like a tinge of honey and molasses. It feels thick in the mouthfeel, and goes well also as a base for cocktail concoctions, or even as a cooking wine (heard chicken adobo will never be the same with a bit of tapuey)
Also fermented (this seems to be the easiest process in the olden days to get a buzz from pretty much anything that has starch or sugar), it’s quite popular in the northern lowlands of Luzon, mostly from the Ilocos region.
This one tastes very much like a light Merlot given that bugnay is a type of berry with characteristics similar to a very ripe grape. It works as a great alternative to the usual table wine, and quite pleasing for those who are still new to the local flavors.
Proudly Promdi is not yet available for mass market distribution, but you can learn where to get them by following their pop-up stores. Check them out on Facebook:
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