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Sommelier Antonio Lopes at 28º-50º in November last year (Photo: Kate Woods)


A Matter of Taste

Back home at CONRAD Algarve, where he is Head Sommelier at Heinz Beck’s Gusto restaurant, TASTE PORTUGAL’s Official Sommelier Antonio Lopes sums up the highlights of his time with the project so far and of Portuguese wine at large.

WORDS: Anna McNay|PHOTO: KATE WOODS| 4 March 2015

A Matter of Taste

‘People are usually amazed with the quality of the Portuguese wines we present and often ask where to buy them’

‘IT HAS BEEN a pleasure to work with TASTE PORTUGAL in all these different places,’ reflects Antonio Lopes, thinking back over the past six months of exclusive events, bringing Portugal, its gastronomic delights and its wines to London. ‘It’s been wonderful working with such a great team and it has been very rewarding both for my career and my personal development.’

Indeed, Lopes recently won the Revista Wine: A Essência do Vinho Sommelier of the Year Award, so his career success is certainly on an upward trajectory.

Lopes remains as modest as he is keen to promote his native wines abroad. ‘People are usually amazed with the quality of the Portuguese wines we present and often ask where to buy them,’ he smiles. Back in October, he was already boasting about the great value for money available with the Portuguese produce. Hopefully some of the UK customers are now a little more aware of this than they were then. If so, TASTE PORTUGAL has achieved its goal!

For an exclusive spring event, taking place in Portugal itself, in association with CONRAD Algarve, Lopes will be inviting seven of the country’s best sommeliers to join him and present wines from all seven wine-making regions at a weekend of special dinners. ‘The range of wines I have chosen for the event will cover different regions, grapes and styles,’ Lopes explains. ‘One of the most original wines on the menu, Gilda 2013, is a Bairrada red, a very elegant young wine, although this region usually produces more powerful and tannic wines. It is made from three grapes from three different regions.’

To find out more, don’t miss out on the events themselves. Check out our events pages now!