4 Must Try Holiday Dishes with Casillero del Diablo Wines

by 8:53:00 PM
Holiday means fun and feast for most of us, Filipinos. It's the time of the year when relatives and friends from different islands and regions of the Philippines; and even abroad gather, bond, enjoy and rekindle the bittersweet memories of the past.

Along with the festivity of this season are the much-awaited dishes served by our loved ones. Dishes that sometimes can be savored once a year or those that had been passed from generations to generations. Aside from this dishes, we, Filipinos also love to spice up the dishes that we serve during the holiday season and the best way to add spirit and flavor to Filipino dishes that we grew up with is by adding Casillero del Diablo wines on the former. 

Casillero del Diablo wines by Concha Y Toro Wines are made with selected and finest grapes from Chile's best wine valleys. Casillero del Diablo wines capture the essence of each grape with a combination of cultivated aromas, flavor, and style.

As one of the most versatile wines, Casillero del Diablo has an amazing capacity to spice up a recipe, which culinary rock star, Curiosity Got the Chef host, and sought-after pop-up dinner Chef Sharwin Tee swears by.  From Merlot, Chardonnay, Chile’s famous Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon, each variety is supremely adaptable to different flavors and profiles.

So drink, eat, and be merry. Take your cue from these easy-to-follow, wine-infused recipes of Casillero del Diablo brand ambassador Chef Sharwin Tee, which are all guaranteed to bring comfort and joy to your partakers



Grilled Chicken with Guava Glaze

Good for four(4) people

Guava and Casillero del Diablo Carmenere adds zest to the already familiar grilled chicken’s smoky and juicy quality. Whether with carbs or veggies on the side, this is a crave-worthy dish with deep umami notes that will keep you wanting for more!


                           For the chicken:                              
       4 chicken breast fillets, around 150-180g each          
1/2 cup guava jam
1/2 cup Casillero del Diablo Carmenere
1/4 cup coconut vinegar
2 tbsps water
salt and pepper to taste

For the pickled green mango:

2 small green mangoes, cubed
1 cup coconut vinegar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsps sugar
pepper to taste


1. To make the pickle toppings, combine all the pickle ingredients and mix well.  Set aside.
2. In a pot, combine Casillero del Diablo Carmenere, guava jam, water, and vinegar.  
3. Bring to a simmer and reduce until it becomes a glaze or syrup consistency.
4. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
5. Grill the chicken until golden brown and cooked for about 5-7 minutes.
6. Brush the cooked chicken breasts generously with the glaze.
7. Serve with the pickles on the side.

Arroz a la Cubana “Omu-Style”

Good for two (2) people

An utterly comforting rice dish bursts with a new intense flavor. With this easy to assemble recipe, you can now reach for a classic and comforting meal in few minutes that’s worth every bite!


200 g ground beef
50 g carrots, cut into small cubes     
50 g frozen peas, thawed
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, minced
1/8 cup tomato paste
1 cup Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup cooked rice
4 extra large eggs
2 large saba bananas, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste
6 tbsps. of cooking oil


1. In a sauté pan, cook the ground beef in half the oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once browned, add in onions, garlic and carrots and sauté until fragrant.
2. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Pour in Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon and simmer for 2 minutes. Add in water enough to just cover the surface of the meat. Simmer until almost dry, adding the peas just as the beef is finishing.
3. In another sauté pan, cook the saba strips in oil until golden. Set aside.
4. Pour the eggs into a nonstick pan to cook form a flat omelet.  Cook only one side, about one minute. Remove from pan.
5. Place the rice and the beef mixture into half the flat omelet and fold the other half over to form a half moon crescent.  Top with the saba strips.

Spicy Mussel and Clam Binakol

Good for four (4) to six (6) person

Cold and dreary months call for a à la minute soup for slurping. So try this light recipe that’s packed with spice and fresh flavors that are perfect for a crisp, chilly day.


500 g fresh mussels
500 g fresh manila clams
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced thinly
2 stalks of lemongrass
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps Korean chili paste like Gochujang or Chinese chili garlic sauce
2 young coconut (buko)
1 cup Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay
8 leaves fresh basil
2 tbsps cooking oil


1. In a wok or deep pot, sauté the ginger and garlic in the oil until fragrant. Add the chili paste and cook 1 minute more.
2. Add the lemongrass, clams, and mussels. Pour in the Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
3.  Add coconut water and the meat. Cook until the clams and mussels open.  Discard the unopened ones.
4.  Serve with torn basil leaves as garnish.

Pulled Pork Adobo Nachos

Good for six (6) to eight (8) people 

East meets West with this surprisingly substantial appetizer! Philippines’ national dish adobo that’s simmered in Casillero del Diablo Merlot gives the shredded pork unparalleled fork-tender texture and a delightful contrast of sweet and spicy.


250 g pork shoulder or kasim, cut into big pieces
1 cup Casillero del Diablo Merlot
1 cup coconut vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 large red onion sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. whole peppercorns
2 whole bulbs of garlic
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large green mango, cut into small cubes
2 calamansi
2 tbsps. olive oil
4 tbsps. cooking oil
1 cup sour cream
1/8 cup cilantro leaves
200 g tortilla chips
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a pot, brown all sides of the pork seasoned with salt.  Add the onions and sauté until fragrant.
2. Pour in the Casillero del Diablo Merlot and vinegar and simmer for 1 minute.
3. Add the soy sauce, peppercorns, and bay leaves.  Simmer until pork is fork tender, about 1 hour.  Water may be added if it dries too quickly.  
4. Slice the tops of the garlic to expose the meat.  Season with salt and pepper and one tbsp. of olive oil. Wrap them in aluminum foil and roast in a 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes.
5. Combine the green mango, tomato, calamansi juice, and remaining olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper. Set aside.
6.   Remove the skin from the garlic and combine with sour cream.  Set aside.
7.   Using two forks, flake the adobo meat until they become thin strips.
8.   Assemble the nachos by placing the chips on a serving platter, topping them with the mango and tomato mixture, the sour cream and the adobo flakes.
9.   Garnish with cilantro leaves. 

Once done the cooking, be sure to take time to relax and sip some Casillero del Diablo wine because nothing beats enjoying Casillero del Diablo finest wines after a hard day of work in the kitchen.  


by 8:40:00 PM
Living in the city has always had its perks. From the bustling economy, a wide range of shopping malls to choose from to the sleepless rendezvous. But once in a while, you’d be telling yourself that you’d need a breather! With the countless room for opportunities, the metro has its dark, looming side, air pollution that is!  So how can you escape this impending health hazard? With plants of course!

Plants have this powerful ability to cleanse our air of the harmful substances, particularly carbon dioxide. The more plants the better of course!  Apart from cleaning the air that we breathe in, plants also lend a very calming and refreshing ambiance. Studies show that indulging your peepers in anything green is a form of relaxation.   The Yuletide season is upon us and plants are very unique and refreshing presents for your loved ones as well!

Photo credit to Camille Bernabe.

Since we are in the metro spawned by massive buildings and edifices how can we go about introducing more greeneries into our homes and environment?  

The Philippine Horticultural Society Inc or PHSI is a non-profit organization of plant lovers whose advocacy is to spread, once again, the enthusiasm for plants. Some of the organization’s mission is to promote the preservation and conservation of native plant species, to promote awareness and appreciation of plant life and to promote affiliation with international plant communities.  With the efforts of the PHSI, the metro will hopefully breathe fresher air again. It can always begin in our own homes and communities!     In line with this advocacy, the PHSI will be holding a “grand greenery event ” in February 2018!

On Feb 2-11, a massive greenery festival will showcase our own endemic and hybrid plants. Celebrated annually, the Horikultura Filipina 2018  will also showcase several gardening and horticultural practices in Manila. If you are aching to grow out your own garden in your homes but don’t know how this is the perfect event for you! As per the organization, you need not be a plant expert or one with the so-called “green thumb “to cultivate your own garden. You just need to know the basic knowledge and how’s.  

Looking for a unique and refreshing gift for your loved ones this Yuletide season? Christmas plant bundles are the “in” thing today. Going green is almost everyone’s goal nowadays, why not help your loved ones get a head start by giving them a Christmas plant bundle instead?        
This is one of the goals of the organization, to make gardening and cultivation of plants accessible to everyone! To keep up the excitement, we’ve heard that they are also going to showcase some plant species that may cost up to Php 2 Million !! 

So set your calendars for one of the country’s widest greenery festival, the HORTIKULTURA 2018!




Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island

by 9:07:00 AM
Camarines Norte is abundant with  majestic beaches, rich and luscious forest with astonishing waterfalls and  breathtaking sceneries, but, among all the gifts of nature found in Camarines Norte, one island stand the most because of its powdery white sand,  crystal clear water, greenery terrains, and scenic view that travelers tagged the island as “Boracay 20 years ago”. The island's serene vibe and beauty perfectly match Boracay Island before it has been swarmed by commercial establishments. 

The island in Camarines Norte that is comparable to Visayas' Boracay Island is known as Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Group of Island.

Calaguas or Calaguas Group of Island has nine (9) islands and rock formations.  It includes major islands of Tinaga Island where the well-known Mahabang Buhangin Island is located and Guintinua Island. Along with the major island are the minor islands that include the island of Maculabo. Most of the jurisdictions in Calaguas Group of Island is under the Municipality of Vinzons except for Maculabo which is under the administration of the municipality of Paracale.

How to go to Calaguas Island via Vinzons, Camarines Norte?

From Pasay

Go to Philtranco Terminal Station and ride a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte. They have six trips daily, one (1) morning and (5) afternoon. Ordinary Bus fare costs Php 450 while Aircondition Bus costs Php 555.10.

Philtranco Bus Schedule going to Daet, Camarines Norte

Morning - 8:00 AM
Afternoon – 1:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:30 PM

From Daet, Camarines Norte ride a jeepney or taxi going to Vinzons. Jeepney fare costs Php 20 while taxi fare costs around Php 100-200.

From Vinzons, ride a boat going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island. Boat fare from Vinzons to Calaguas and Calaguas to Vinzons costs Php 500 per person. Boat ride going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island would take two (2) hours via Vinzons, Camarines Norte.

From Cubao

Go to either Philtranco or Superlines Terminal Station and ride a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte. Philtranco has two (2) trips daily, 10:30 AM and 7:00PM; while Superlines has 16 trips daily.

From Daet, Camarines Norte ride a jeepney or taxi going to Vinzons. Jeepney fare costs Php 20 while taxi fare costs around Php 100-200.

From Vinzons, ride a boat going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island. Boat Fare from Vinzons to Calaguas and Calaguas to Vinzons costs Php 500 per person.Boat ride going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island would take two (2) hours via Vinzons, Camarines Norte.

The route going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island via Vinzons is longer compared with the route from the municipality of Jose Panganiban. There would be a difference of about 30 minutes but the river that you will pass by before reaching the ocean is worth the delay.

A 10 to 15 minutes cruise to the river will show you the beauty and peaceful ambiance of the former. Friendly locals riding on their bankas occasionally pass by the calm river. Mangroves and maricolcol, a kind of nipa palm, that grows on the bank of the river delta surround the former. Locals use the fruit of maricolcol to make wine while the leaf is used to produce walis tingting or a type of Filipino broom.

Going to the Islands of Calaguas is sometimes challenging because of the huge waves that you have come across before reaching the island, but, amidst the waves are the beautiful islands and rock formation waiting to be appreciated by its visitors.

What to Expect at Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island


One reason why locals and travelers compare Mahabang Buhangin to Boracay is the white and powdery sand along the shoreline.

The sand is very fine that any fragment of shell or corals cannot be seen in it. Walking barefoot on the island is possible and relaxing.


Upon reaching the island, the turquoise colored sea and the white sand of the island will immediately greet its guests. Another reason why Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island is being compared to Boracay is that of the crystal clear blue water along the coast of the island.

Tourists would always commend the island's  ocean. They are amazed at how the colors of the sea change from crystal clear to turquoise to royal blue as it reaches the horizon.


Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas is a perfect venue to breathe and forget the busy and stressful life in the metro. It has a long and wide shoreline where tourists can unwind, place some tents or mats and swim. The island is also surrounded by trees and greenery making the island more relaxing.

Unlike other known islands in the Philippines, Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island has minimal commercial establishments in the area. Most of this establishments are resorts run by either private entities or the Local Government Unit of Camarines Norte; and some sari-sari store or neighborhood sundry store that caters the basic needs of the tourists.


Aside from the white sand and blue crystal clear water of Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island are the breathtaking sceneries that can be seen on top of the hills of the island.

Photo credit to Lariza Garcia

There are two hills that can be hiked on Mahabang Buhangin. Each green hills of Mahabang Buhangin can be traveled by foot for about 15- 20 minutes. The whole island of Mahabang Buhangin can be seen at the first hill while the other has the majestic sea of clouds. Locals can guide the tourists towards the hill for about Php 45-50 per trip.

Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island is indeed a paradise and a great venue for distressing and be one with nature. It is an island with a complete package, from crystal clear waters to white and fine sand, to green hills and breathtaking and majestic scenic views. Visiting this premier island of Camarines Norte is worth the travel time and effort!

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