The moment we walked through the glistening marble foyer we knew we were some place special. The young maître d’ immediately introduced himself and gave us a personal tour of the grounds before showing us the way to the vinoteca.
It’s tucked intimately between the contemporary art gallery and hotel entrance and is truly an oenophiles happy place. The marble tasting table enticingly set with crystal glasses, violet murano-glass ’grape-cluster’ chandelier, 4000 bottle wine cellar and separate cheese room mesmerized us like the Sirens song.
After a few minutes, we were snapped back to reality by Sommelier Marcelo Rebole when he called out “Welcome to my office!” from the wine cellar. I need to take a minute here to talk about Marcelo. He is one of those rare people who makes you feel like family after only mere minutes of meeting him.
He’s one of the leading Sommeliers in South America, is incredibly knowledgable, but not pretentious at all. He can talk about anything and knows where to go out and who to ask for, the latest weather in Mendoza and Patagonia, and even a little wine industry gossip.
Most importantly though, he talks about wines like a human being and not a tasting sheet. There was even the occasional well-placed cuss word (or two) which we thought was a refreshing quality in a person of his position and knowledge, and helped us feel comfortable asking him questions.
After expressing our desire to focus mainly on Argentine wines, we sat down and left the rest to Marcelo. He proceeded to wine and dine us for three hours with a top-notch Argentine Torrontes, a Patagonian Pinot Noir, 3 Malbecs and a sentimental California Cab.
To make the whole situation even more awesome, the Maître Fromager personally selected four cheeses, homemade grape and tomato jelly and fresh bread to pair specifically the wines Marcelo has chosen. Wow, wow, wow, wow and wow!
The Vinoteca offers cheese and wine pairings like this every day from 6pm to close, and while we chose to let Marcelo do his thing, guests can also customize tastings to suit their individual palates and preferences.
While it can be pricey, it was by far the best wine experience we’ve had yet, and we’ll just end it by saying that this tasting was our first ‘oeno-gasm’ since being in the southern hemisphere. And like other things -gasm, you don’t know how amazing it can be until you experience it yourself!