Sommelier: the secret weapon of the enogastronomic experiment

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As a luxury wine hotel, The Yeatman takes on the place of an embassy for the best national wines. The secret is well kept in its award-winning wine cellar, which has one of the most complete and diverse collections of Portuguese wines.

All the wines that are part of this anthology are gathered in the "Wine Book", as the wine list of the hotel is named; it was designed by Beatriz Machado, Director of Wines of The Yeatman. With more than 1,500 references, it gathers several vintages, special formats and limited editions, seeking to portray the sensory profile of the more than 100 wine partners of the hotel.

In fact, the wine selection of The Yeatman offers the gastronomic component the perfect complement, where the sommelier appears as the secret weapon of this experience.

Far beyond decanting wines or opening bottles with pincers or sabres, and even before entering the scene, the team of wine stewards goes through the clearing of the wine world, a training of excellence and a deep and rigorous interpretation of the wine list. It is necessary to demystify and get to know the different personalities, understanding how to combine them with gastronomy, through the richness of the countless harmonies and contrasts. Who are the producers? Which is the farm, the grape varieties used, the regions and the terroir from which they come? A set of knowledge and curiosities that, later, shared with the client, enhance the moment and transport it directly to the vineyards and terraces.

At the table, the goal of the sommelier is to create the narrative of an unforgettable memory, leading to a journey of senses and sensations. At The Yeatman, through wine, the client travels through the various regions of Portugal, and may even enter a time machine, through the tasting of different harvests, going back years or even decades.

With an attentive service and as subtle as a chameleon, the sommelier discovers the preferences and profile of the customer. And this is where the magic appears: when the wine goes beyond the gastronomic conjugation and starts to relate directly to those who taste it. In a game of "who is who", the sommelier enters into a Poirot style investigation, offering an experience which will be entirely personalised and idealised for the client.

It is also thanks to this work that The Yeatman was awarded, last June 25th, with the Best of Award of Excellence, granted by the Wine Spectator magazine. Still last year, the hotel once again conquered  international criticism, having won, for the first time, the general category of "Best Regional Wine Charter of the World" and revalidated the awards for "Best Regional Wine Charter of Europe" and "3 Star Wine Charter", attributed by the English publication World of Fine Wine.

In the latest edition of the "Wine Tourism Awards", promoted by the English wine magazine Drinks International, the hotel was again elected "Best Accommodation" and was also "Highly Commended" as "Best Experience of Wine and Gastronomy Harmony". Finally, one of the most recent achievements was awarded by Great Wine Capitals Porto, where The Yeatman falls into the category of wine restaurants and recently won the "Best of Wine Tourism 2020" award.

In the reopening phase, the wine dinners are also returning to The Yeatman. Focused on each wine region, its features and styles, they aim to increase the knowledge and appreciation of wines and also explore the association between wine and gastronomy. The next available dates can be consulted on the events website.

Text and Photos by The Yeatman.