¡Un gran orgullo! Aunque El Desafío 2011 ya terminó, las repercusiones siguen y, esta vez, llegan desde Inglaterra. Acá quiero compartir la nota (en inglés) que salió en la revista británica Harpers hablando de esta locura.
I’m 25 and a sommelier, from Argentina and, as if that was not weird enough, a little bit crazy. Why? Because the past year I set a personal challenge: I had to taste 2,011 wines over 2011. It was a challenge, clearly, especially considering that maintaining an average of 5.5 corkages daily was a task, at least, daunting. That was the idea from the very beginning. From January, 1st 2011 until December, 31, the road led me to taste wines from all styles and from all origins, with the only exception, of course, that these 2,011 wines should be all different.
I usually use a phrase that seems divine to me: “the best way to learn about wines is to drink them” and, while it may sound rather obvious, I am convinced that it is indeed the best way to discover interesting labels, meet the overwhelming people hidden behind the wineries and expand our wine knowledge. The point is that El Desafío 2011 would have no meaning without sharing it. The experiences, findings and disappointments are always more attractive (or less terrible) when we are not alone and, therefore, each Monday throughout the past year I shared on my web site each and every of the moments spent in the previous 7 days. There was a report, the complete tasting notes and a video conveying in words and pictures how the week was.
I confess myself not only as a wine lover but also as a travel one. Since I’ve been a little boy I had the fortune of travelling around 59 countries; from diving with sharks in the sheer waters of Moorea to finding gold in Alaska’s frozen rivers and, both wines and travel, have one thing in common: the infinite capacity of handing over millions of experiences. That’s why El Desafío 2011 had to show this other side and, with a suitcase in my hands, in 2011 I travelled along the most diverse geographies, from the world’s southernmost vineyards in Argentina’s Patagonia to the outstanding flavors of Sangiovese at Montalcino.
The number 2,011 came naturally, though I knew from the start that the idea was provocative. Not because a sommelier didn’t taste that much each year, but because it was hard to keep up the framework that El Desafío 2011 required: weekly videos, consistency and jotting down one by one the exact origins, prices and vintages. And the work was unwavering; against all odds every Monday there a new adventure appeared. It was tiring, for sure, but you cannot imagine how great it felt when some winemaker tells me that he or she followed the weekly videos, or when I got a mail from Los Angeles, Milan, London or Rio de Janeiro telling me about this madness I never thought it would come this far.