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The somms share their Wine Bar War experience

After going head to head with the other sommelier teams to create a pop up Chilean wine bar on 20 August in Wine Bar Wars, we caught up with the sommelier captains to find out how the experience was for them:

 

How was the experience of Wine Bar War?

The experience was absolutely amazing. Since all of us regularly work the floors of restaurants, we don’t normally get to express ourselves creatively; this event was a unique outlet for all of our collective, pent-up creative juices. I was recently talking to my team about how surprisingly profound the experience was, seeing our ideas and imaginations realized so fully was extremely satisfying and empowering.

Chris Raftery, Finis Terrae

 

The experience was fun, challenging and rewarding – way more than I would have ever anticipated! The opportunity to build a bar with friends and colleagues, while immersing ourselves in the wine and culture of Chile was a unique one, and an opportunity that we are all so grateful for.

Anna-Lisa Campos, Earth’s End

 

What was the most challenging part?
What made this competition so unique is also what made it so challenging; there was such a range of criteria to dial in on. From concept, design and construction to studying and blind tasting, social media and service – it required a lot of time and dedication to execute a bar that we hoped would honor the producers and regions of the wine we poured in an authentic way.

Anna-Lisa Campos, Earth’s End

 

Did you learn anything about Chilean wine during the experience?

I learned SO MUCH about Chilean wine. I didn’t have a strong opinion either way before participating in the event, so to come out of it and have all of this knowledge and experience is very exciting. Obviously we were expecting quizzes and questions from the judges, so we made sure to really dive headfirst into studying theory for the two weeks; but also just tasting and experiencing all of the wines really opened our eyes as to the vast differences between the terroirs and microclimates within the country. I think the most interesting takeaway was the sheer quality of the wines. We often think of South America as a place for inexpensive, maybe not super serious wines, but this whole experience really gave me an appreciation for the crazy high standards that some producers are setting for not only themselves but for the entire Chilean wine industry.

Chris Raftery, Finis Terrae

 

What did you find most interesting about working with Chilean wine?

I found that people’s opinions of Chilean wines were surprising narrow. Few knew that Chile makes sparkling wines, low alcohol and lighter reds from the south or that experimentation with new varieties is afloat. The most enjoyable part was getting to work with such a remarkable team and meeting so many new and wonderful people. Sharing our vision with consumers and the trade was also exciting and allowed us to talk about the wines we share a passion for.

Victoria James, Carrete

 

What are you looking forward to during your visit to Chile next year?

So much! Visiting producers is at the top of the list; visiting Atacama, Patagonia – and we hope Easter Island! To share this experience with friends is truly a dream.

 

Anna-Lisa Campos, Earth’s End

 

 

I can’t wait to see Patagonia, Casablanca, the Atacama and the Andean foothills. The extremes are where it’s at!

Morgan Harris, Wena Weon

 

 

 

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