The importance of wine in the restaurant and the value offered by our wine selectors and sommeliers was the reason to meet in person in Madrid. We counted in this open debate with the restless super-experts Flequi Berruti and Mariano Fisac.
A great opportunity to learn in a very critical and constructive way why there are so few wine lists in Spanish restaurants and why we do not find new and safe areas like Yecla. For this debate, organized on November 15 in the interior design space Dosde (in the heart of Malasaña), we sought an informal and innovative atmosphere where we could give free rein to comments from wine lovers, buyers and especially sommeliers. Flequi Berruti, distributor, sommelier, winemaker and visible face of La Tintoreria and the wine bar El Marginal(Retiro) showed us the bitter side of the classicism of wine lists and the power of brands from the best known areas. Mariano Fisac, lawyer by profession, winehunter and author of the famous ranking of restaurants with good wines in Mileurismo Gourmet and author of award-winning and highly recommended books such as “Wines and places for unforgettable moments“, told us about his experience in choosing bars with very good wine cellars and being demanding with all the service, ambience and favorite brands.
Both are advocates of small producers and more forgotten regions and stressed the importance of wine in the on-trade revenue bill (54% value) and the need for more concern among young sommeliers to find winemakers, regions and climates for all audiences and venues to move away from the cloning movement that is all over the boards and wine lists. Flequi insisted that the sommelier or wine distributor must be demanding and provoke with help and solutions to each bar. He has experienced on many occasions that the recommendation of a good sommelier works better than a complete wine list and that if you put even a bottle of a thousand euros to open by the glass, the bottle ends up being a success and a great discovery for the customer that at other times it is impossible for him to pay for its price.
Mariano Fisac revealed that he always chooses a restaurant for its wine list rather than its menu because it makes no sense to find a high level of cuisine and avant-garde if it is not paired with a good wine label. He is in favor of the sommelier being an advisor who does not impose and of the moments and magic that he can provoke with a ritual or his manners. Among all of us we emphasize the relevance that is acquiring the wine waiter who does not need titles but a little more psychology and connection with the taste of the customer.
The evening was enlivened with light and easy-drinking wines from Yecla, ideal for the traditional tavern like Barahonda Organic Blancoand El Carro Roble Tintoor Vetis Tinto de Castaño), as well as more serious wines for menus that need versatile wines such as Santa Tinto de Castaño, Filarmonia MSM Tinto or La Purisima Old Vines Expression). The public highlighted the virtues of price, the Mediterranean style of the grape varieties and the pleasantly balanced structure presented by all the wines, “with great veteran winemaking and a dose of the world they radiated”.
A talk to two and with the audience understood and in which some new keys were revealed to enjoy more new wines and areas like Yecla in the best places: seasonal wines by seasons for proximity menus, wines by climates, wines with the name of the producer, street language and more didactic to not frighten the diner and the undeniable power that is having this to choose the brands you want, not those imposed on you. A great motivational session to continue demanding current, harmonious, modern and organic wines like those of Yecla.