von Ina-Johanna Becker
Guillermo Gomez Camargo ist ein junger aufstrebender Sommelier aus Mexiko. Als guter Vertrauter und Berater des bekanntesten mexikanischen Oenologen Hugo d’Àcosta, mischt er die Weinbranche in Mexiko mächtig auf. Als Shootingstar der Medien hat er bei sämtlichen Neueröffnungen von Bars und Resaurants bei der Weinauswahl die Finger im Spiel. Für seinen senorischen Scharfsinn und Weitblick wird er hoch gelobt und geschätzt. Als alter Bekannter hat er uns ein Interview gegeben und einige Fragen zum mexikanischen Weinmarkt und Trinkgewohnheiten der Mexikaner beantwortet.
YouWine: What do you think does the mexican wine drinker prefer?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: Sad but true is that Mexican wine culture is based in the wrong rule that “the best white is a red”, that is a heritage from the Spanish conquest during the 1500. As a part of our history, Spain figures in the world because of its red wines, more than Italian, French or German culture, that has and promote excellent whites and roses. Mexicans wine drinkers prefer the tradition of the Spanish grandparents and ask more than 50% of the times for a red wine in a restaurant. Even when it is changing nowadays there is a strong attitude to roses and whites, because it should be wines for “girls” because of the lightness or because they should be sweet wines. Just ignorants perspective that we as restaurant managers or sommeliers are changing everyday. In the Mexican side of California the biggest grape productions are based in Tempranillos, Cabernets, and Merlots. There is a new current of enologists that are producing and working with Italian grapes such as Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, and Aglianico.
YouWine: Which trend is currently presented in Mexican bars and restaurants?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: The trend in bars and restaurants is based more in the mixlogy, with destilated drinks mixed with sparkling wines, like mojito with champagne, or tropical drinks with Italian Prosecco. The distillated liquors suchs as Gin, Bourbon, Rum are more in the Mexican palate because of the value that our culture gives to sugary drinks. Remember we are the biggest consumption per persone in Coca Cola in the world! We are the first market for Lambrusco importation wine. We don’t really have the culture of the european market for off-dry or dry whites or roses. Mexican loves the German sweet wines because it has sugar. In restaurants is another story, our food is really spiced and complex, so there is a recent boom of Mexican wine promotion that is founded and pushed by the Mexican wine producer. The strong area in Mexican wines in Ensenada (where Hugo d’Àcosta is from and has most of the projects is to “mix”). I mean to make a lot of blends, saturating flavors, aromas, French Barriques, Slovenian Barriques and American Barriques in one wine, just like the way we cook, mixing everything to explote the flavors. Roses of 7 grapes, or red blends of more than 5 are commons in Mexico. In the white wine department, there is another current, lack of augment because of our market. Because our sunny and hot weather we get wines with structure, density that can be made with steel container. The Chardonnay is more to the Chablis side than to a fresh young one.
Full of corruption and with no sense of what the wine cost is to produce it fomally, every Mexican producer pays more than 45% of taxes to sell the wine INSIDE MEXICO!
YouWine: What think the Mexicans about German wine or especially about German Riesling?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: We don’t know too much about Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Weissburgunder, Pinot Noir. Only in specialized trainnings in big chain hotels, or five diamond hotel wine cellar you can find some.
YouWine: Tell us more about your latest project!
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: Right now, I just founded a Mexican restaurant consult company that is dedicated to open and run restaurant projects in Mexico City, obviously it goes together in most of the openings to wine cellar, tasting menus, enologues dinner and wines presentations. We love wine, we give much support to Mexican production but we recognized the quality of European wines and from all over the world. Personally I love white wines, sparkling dry ones, or dry roses. We are changing the Mexican culture everyday and the offering of wine. Wine cellar projects with a lot of personality and a story to tell in the service. I want to promote the distribution of Mexican destillated liquors, such as Mescal, Tequila, Stool, and for sure Mexican wine out of Mexico. We open a jazz bar recently with only Californian wines from the Mexican and north American side, including sparkling, roses, whites, reds and dessert ones.
YouWine: How is it going on with the viticulture development in Mexico and the oenological?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: Mexico has the worst enemy inside of our country that is the Mexican government. Full of corruption and with no sense of what the wine cost is to produce it focally, every Mexican producer pays more than 45% of taxes to sell the wine INSIDE MEXICO! In the other part, Chilenian, Argentinian or some European ones are cheaper inside Mexico. Because the arrangements that politicians made to foreign wine producer in the past. You can pay for a Chianti or a Bordeaux half of the price in Mexico than for an average Mexican wine. It is absurd but so difficult to change. That makes a difference in the capability of the national producer to buy technology, equipment, that will make a diference in the quality and a bigger promotion of it.
We are changing the Mexican culture everyday and the offering of wine.
YouWine: What should we really know about Mexican wine?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: What you should know is that Mexico is making a BIG effort to promote and grow it wine culture. We are the exception to the rule to many countries that makes wine, we don’t have AOC, DOCG, DO, and we don’t need. I called Mexico like a paradise for enologists, because we are the only country where you can mix a Spanish grape, with an Italian and a French one without a war like in Europe. You can mix almost everything, change the traditional process like in another countries and experiment. You should know that we have more than 10 valleys for wine, and 3 big regions, where the oldest one is in Coahuila state and the oldest wine cellar was founded by Spanish in the 1595 by a Spanish priest.
You should know that we have Ensenada that is our wine country and just below to the Napa and Sonoma wine latitude. The wines from that area are “salty” because it was many million years ago the bottom of the sea and know it’s a mediterrenean semi desertic area. That in Zacatecas we have vineyards that are 2,300 meter above the sea level.
YouWine: What is your top favorite of Mexican wine at the moment?
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: It depends who is the company to drink it, and what time of the day is it. But I preferred Chardonnay with 12 months or with French Barriques.
YouWine: Memo, thank you for the interview!
Guillermo Gomez Camargo: You’re welcome and please send me a nice bottle of Riesling 😉