Fabricio Portelli is Partner and General Director of Grupo Simposium SA.
He contributes to: El Conocedor magazine, Vinos de Lujo exhibition, Descorchados Guide, El Conocedor TV show Brasco-Portelli, El Conocedor Radio, www.elconocedor.com and Dolli Irigoyen books, amongst others. Fabricio currently judges at the Decanter World Wine awards, Concours mondial and has judges at Vinitaly, Vinandino and Catador. He attends many international wine fairs to gain materials for his reviews and lectures. Outside of Argentina he has a special love for Bordeaux.
“I have the good fortune to travel the world tasting wines. Sometimes I travel by wine regions, others are culinary trips, and many others attending international wine competitions. Of course, in everyone I learn, but nothing compares to taste many samples together with the opportunity of discussing with experts from each region. And that is the most valuable, at least for me, about the Five Nations Wine Challenge. An original contest that was born from an idea even more original; rugby. Yes, the sport has given the wine, without wanting, a unique opportunity. To compete in the first league with their peers in the New World. Fortunately for us, this is not Five Nations rugby but wine. Something that Argentines are a bit stronger and more competitive, against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, also Chile.
“To choose the top 110 wines in my country for representing us, is a great responsibility that I take with pride and pleasure. Then to taste them in Sydney alongside their peers of the New World, is an invaluable experience, both for me and for the Argentine wine industry. 550 wines and five judges representing each country and endorsed by the wineries, tasting just so that global consumers can choose better. Because that gives the Five Nations, another excuse (or item) for choosing a particular bottle.
Sometimes economic crises do not allow further, but it is necessary to think and act long-term. Today maybe Australia is not a major market for Argentine wine. But there is no doubt of the great opportunity presented there. Because beyond the wonderful beach culture, red meat is a favorite of Australians. Moreover, several of the best restaurants in Sydney are grills. And as everyone knows, in Argentina Malbec is the best pairing with grilled meat. So I am convinced of the potential of this market development. The Five Nations show is good for the whole region because trophy dinners are held in Singapore and Hong Kong, for consumers and trade as in Sydney.
Argentine wine gets better every day, as their counterparts in the New World, and the best way to prove it is getting close to consumers worldwide. So I am committed to this wine show for trade reasons but also I enjoy the experience”.