A fellow wine school graduate, Amilcar recently worked as a somm volunteer at the World’s Best Somm contest in Mendoza, an experience he calls â€śuniqueâ€ť. You find him offering advice at Cepas del Alma wine store in Buenos Aires.
What was your last pairing recommendation?
Beyond it being a question of label, protocol or good taste, knowing how to combine a drink with foodÂ is important because you need to ensure all the flavours complement each other and nothing loses its role.
Besides, maintaining a perfect balance between wine and food is key to ensuring diners enjoy the menu.
People always ask me where to go for dinner and what to drink and I give my point of view so that they have a good combination of aromas, flavours and moments that they wonâ€™t forget.
Wine doesnâ€™t just accompany meals but a good selection can heighten dishesâ€™ flavours and considerably improve them, but the ideal combination at the end of the day is that all this works according to oneâ€™s preferences.
The other is Tuscany, precisely San Gimignano, and the truth is the vineyards and hills had a big effect on me. The 360Âş view is a marvellous selection of terroir located at different points and positions and the sun reaches every corner each morning. And behind it, that magical village. One of my favourite varietals without a doubt is Sangiovese and Chianti Classico.
What do you love most about your job?
I really enjoy food and wine and itâ€™s very much part of me. Itâ€™s culture. I love communicating, expressing and giving everything that I have learnt so far in this beautiful world of wine. We can talk about countries, regions, climates and soils. In the past five years Iâ€™ve learnt so much and itâ€™s a continual learning process. I want to grow every day and make this amazing small world bigger. This search, the ability to travel around the world and meet new people means I love this profession more every day.
Name a gem in your personal cellar.
I love whites but they donâ€™t have muchÂ chance in my own cellar â€“Â I open them and enjoy the moment. Iâ€™ve got a few things in my red cellar, wine Iâ€™ve purchasedÂ on trips, someÂ Iâ€™ve bought in Argentina and others are gifts. But Iâ€™m pretty anxious to try a vertical which always requires you to have just one more glass: the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Val de Flores from Michel Rolland. Â
Whatâ€™s the best thing that ever happened to you as a somm?
Not just finishing my degree at CAVE wine school in Buenos Aires and undertaking some international courses but I was part of the voluntary staff working at the Best Sommelier of the World contest in Mendoza in April.
The truth is it was a unique moment that left our country on a high and Iâ€™m extremely proud ofÂ the whole experience. A group of volunteers worked at the contest knowing we would probably never have that chanceÂ again. A lot of work and effort ended up being the best experience in this short and marvellous career. I define it as ‘culture for the soul’. Good for Argentina, good for the world and we sommeliers, well, our profession in this step of the world cup was the result that each one of us accepted #BestWorldSommARG2016.
If you were a wine, youâ€™d be:
Mmmmm. I donâ€™t think I can. But I do have good acidity!