As the countdown to the Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World) ticks away, The Real Argentina continues with part two of its somms series. Given that it’s the first time that Argentina will host this prestigious competition, it’s the perfect time to find out more about this exciting profession.
Here, we meet some of Argentina’s most respected sommeliers who impart eonological wisdom around the country. Introducing Gabriela Lafuente from El Baqueano, ranked 15th in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015; Juan Giacalone, Argento’s sommelier; Mariano Braga from Pampa Roja; Matías Chiesa from Restó, ranked 43rd in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015; and Valeria Mortara from Faena.
The world of wine will turn its attention to Mendoza in April, not because of its bottled goods for a change, but because Argentina’s principal wine-producing province is hosting the prestigious Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World) for the first time.
Around 50 sommeliers, each who has already succeeded in national and regional competitions to reach this crucial point, will head to Mendoza for the Argentine Sommelier Association organised event. And Argentina proudly has two top noses – Paz Levinson and Martín Bruno – in the final, which comes around every two years. Over the next few weeks, various Argentine sommeliers talk to The Real Argentina about their industry and this competition.
In part one, we meet some young somms who are coming through the ranks: Andrea Donadio from Oporto Almacén; Gabriella Gera from Don Julio; Marco Scolnik from Chila; and María Laura Nuñez from Aldo’s Vinoteca & Restorán.
Got a yen for a vast steak, a Malbec with altitude or some fare with Argentine flair? ¡Si! Are you currently in Buenos Aires or any other part of Argentina? ¡No! Well, all is not lost, not yet. Wherever you are in the world, there’s probably an Argentine cooking up a storm or cracking open up a bottle of something special…
For the past two academic years, dozens of trainee sommeliers have religiously been spitting (not swallowing) vino in the quest to become the next generation of Argentina’s professional wine stewards. While several schools offer sommellerie degrees in Buenos Aires, the academic choice of a photographer, wait staff, a rock star, lawyers, a wine seller, cooks, bartenders and a journalist (me) was the…
Following on from our ‘Take 5’ Argentine sommelier focus, The Real Argentina invited five leading sommeliers from around the world to each champion an Argentine grape and its food pairing potential. Andrew Catchpole samples the suggestions.
The marriage of Malbec and meat may be as famous as Maradona, but ask five leading Argentine sommeliers to champion any grape and its food pairing potential, and the results give lie to the versatility of Argentina’s diverse wine styles.
As grape harvests across Mendoza, Patagonia and the north-west provinces are in full motion, that can only mean one thing: it’s time for a new batch of wines to start reaching store shelves and restaurant cavas. And who can we trust for a solid opinion on floral aromas and tobacco notes? Sommeliers, that’s who. Some of Argentina’s top wine experts – already established or coming through the ranks – talk about their work in this flourishing industry.
Restaurateur, sommelier and consultant Aldo Graziani of Aldo’s Vinoteca fame talks to Andrew Catchpole about a life immersed in Argentinian wine. Q: What sparked your love of wine? Aldo: “In Argentina the wine culture is very old, you grow up with wine in your house every day…”
If you’ve chosen to visit Buenos Aires, you probably enjoy a splash of vino colapso. But don’t let a tiny thing like not speaking Spanish affect your wine tasting in Argentina, as plenty of English-speaking sommeliers are based in BA. Here, three top sommeliers talk about my favourite subject, Argentinian wine