Sérgio Marques, from Il Gallo d’Oro is “Best Sommelier of the Year”
He was recently named "Best Sommelier of the Year" in Portugal, by Revista de Vinhos wine magazine. He says that ‘wine is the key to making a dining experience perfect’. .. discover the secrets to a perfect match with Sérgio Marques, sommelier at Il Gallo d'Oro !!
What does it mean to win this award ?
For me, this is the reward not only for an entire year’s work, but for the consistency of the good work and service that I have tried to give every day with our team over the years.
What is the importance of wine in a meal ?
Wine is the magic ingredient that enables us to bring out an aroma or to balance a dish. It’s the key to find making a dining experience perfect.
What are the latest trends in wine ?
The latest trends are for terroir wines, wines with the soul of native varieties. For Old World wines. Another trend is for older whites aged in the bottle and, finally, for organic wines.
Name a wine that has surprised you recently and why ?
Triumvirate Nº 4. It surprised me by its complexity, elegance, freshness and balance. It combines the best of the Douro, Dão and Bairrada.
Three highlights from the Il Gallo d’Oro cellar? What characteristics make them special ?
Frei João White 1996 , Viúva Gomes Red 1969, Luis Pato White 1991. These are wines that stand out for their elegance and despite their age, they have kept their youth, and represent the terroir of their region. They may not be perfect, but they are wines that you can get emotional about.
What combination of food and wine at Il Gallo d’Oro would you regard as exceptional ?
The outstanding combination for me is Sercial Blandy's 10 year-old, which goes well with a Ceviche of Snapper and Passion Fruit. It's fresh, vibrant, brings out the citrus and tropical notes and, at the same time creates an explosion of young spices.
What are the essential points for a good match ?
You can do various types of matching: by tradition, by balance and by contrast, but the main point is balance. For example: food with more fat in it needs a more acidic wine, which will cut the fat. As a rule, lighter wines go well with lighter dishes.
Find out more about Sérgio Marques . ..
Returning to his origins, he joined the staff of the Choupana Hills hotel, where he worked alongside big names such as the winemaker Francisco Albuquerque and his mentors Américo Pereira and Ricardo Henriques.
In 2009 he joined the team of the Il Gallo D'Oro restaurant (2 Michelin stars) at The Cliff Bay hotel. During 2012/2013 he headed for France, where he worked with George dos Santos (Best Sommelier in the World 2010) and had the opportunity to expand his knowledge and deepen his passion for wine; later he returned once more to Il Gallo d'Oro restaurant.