Ciudad Real, may 07-09 2019

Ciudad Real, may 07-09 2019





"Humbleness, discretion, courtesy and psychology to understand the customer, main qualities for a sommelier"

According to Custodio López Zamarra, sommelier at "Zalacaín" restaurant in Madrid and considered to be one of the best professionals by wine lovers

04.04.2005 | 

Custodio López Zamarra, sommelier at Restaurante "Zalacaín" in Madrid and considered to be one of the best professionals by wine lovers, states "humbleness, discretion, courtesy and psychology to understand the customer are the main qualities a good sommelier should bear in mind".

Zamarra will participate in the Feria Nacional del Vino (National wine Fair), FENAVIN 2005, which will take place from 9th to 12th of May in the Ciudad Real Fair Pavilion. He will be present at the round table "the pleasure of the senses: wine at the restaurant", together with the oenologist Jesús Flores, who is an expert in sensorial analysis, and the agronomist Mª. José Huertas.

According to the also famous teacher responsible for the training course for sommeliers at the Chamber of Commerce in Madrid, "the pleasure of the senses consists of enjoying the wine with sight, smell, taste and touch". With the sense of sight one can appreciate the color and the shades of the wine, with the sense of smell one can check the primary, secondary and even tertiary aromas and with the senses of taste and touch one can appreciate the taste of wine in the mouth.

Custodio López Zamarra, joint author of the books "Guía práctica del servicio de mesa" and "Guía práctica para invitar a casa", will, in Feria Nacional del Vino (National Wine Fair), FENAVIN 2005, talk about the "last cycle of wine at the restaurant and, more specifically, at the table". The sommelier will explain the first part of the cycle which consists of an inside job within the winery: storage, treatment, food pairing, climatology, orientation, rotation, etc, and the second part of the job: the external part which resides in the "contact with the buyer and the customer's psychology through recommendation. We explain the pleasure inherent to wine drinking. With these steps we close the wine cycle" Zamarra explains.


The not so long ago president of the Madrid Sommeliers' Association states that "FENAVIN is a wonderful trade show, the most important in our country and one of the best in Europe". The sommelier asserts FENAVIN is a very important setting where buyers from all over the world come to a city, which is not the capital of Spain, just like other prestigious wine fairs like "Vinitaly" in Verona or "Vinexpo" in Bordeaux.

The national market for Spanish wine is quite relevant, Custodio L. Zamarra explains. "Wine consumption is decreasing but quality is increasing. The consumer demands quality and looks for a balance between price and quality". Likewise, he explains the Spanish wine market at an international level "has a long way to go". Although he adds that amongst the 100 most famous wines in the world, twenty-five are Spanish. "We have to believe in it and say it loud. The quality of our wines is extraordinary", he adds.


As for Mª José Huertas, agricultural expert specialized in food and agriculture industries, she will talk about sommeliers and their role, as well as the growing importance of wine in the past years, the wine list at the restaurant, how they should be and their prices.

The professional career of this sommelier has been within the Madrid Casino, at the Restaurant "La Terraza" where she still works. She is part of the wine tasting committee for the Gourmets group. "This is the fourth year I participate in wine tasting for the guide and, to me, this is paramount because it helps me keep updated regarding news in the wine world and, mostly, it makes me taste many wines, which is fundamental" she explains.

Huertas has participated in wine tasting events in different Spanish regions as part of the panel of judges and she has written articles in books and magazines. Currently she also cooperates with the Food and Beverages Purchasing Department for NH Hotels. She has also been awarded many prizes, amongst them the Premio Nacional de Gastronomía 2003 (National Gastronomy prize) as sommelier and the Premio Metrópoli (Metropoli Prize) from El Mundo Newspaper or the prize Sommelier of the year 2003 by the Gourmets group.