Currently womaning the cellar at Proper Restaurant in Palermo, Champagne fan Magalí Copsel’s pedigree is splendid: she used to be Martín Bruno‘s number two at Tegui, Argentina’s top dining establishment according to Latin America’s 50 best Restaurants 2015.
What was your last pairing recommendation?
I´d rather tell you about one I particularly remember because it was mind-blowing. It was the pairing for the first dish in the 10-course menu at Tegui, which was different textures of tomato with goat’s cheese snow served with Miras Pinot Salvaje by Marcelo Miras. This wine is a white blend made from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from Río Negro in Patagonia, Argentina.
What did you drink last night?
Some nights after I finish service, I like to wind down having a beer with my colleagues. For example, last night I had Patagonia Amber Lager.
What’s your favourite wine region in the world?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I feel that I still have a lot to learn and a lot of wine regions to visit, but on one of my first trips abroad I had the chance to go to Champagne and I absolutely loved it! The people, the wines, the streets, the countryside, everything is amazing.
I must say that I’ve always liked Champagne and being able to tour the area where it all started was a great honor for me. I think that champagne is associated with special occasions. It helps generate pleasant moments and brings people together.
What do you like most about your job?
I really love meeting people from different backgrounds, with different tastes, but who all share the common interest of enjoying a good bottle of wine and gastronomy in general.
Something else I like about my job is being able to travel to continue learning by meeting winemakers and finding out the history behind every bottle. It is very enriching.
Name a gem in your personal cellar.
When I travelled to Alsace, I visited a lot of wineries but I particularly remember a long and inspiring tasting and chat in Hugel & Fils. The owner decided to offer me a very special wine, Hugel SGN 1988. When he learnt that was the year when I was born, he kindly gifted me a bottle. Ever since then, I’ve treasured this bottle. Actually, I’m keeping it for a very special occasion.
Another gem in my cellar is a Dom Perignon Vintage 2003. This was a gift from my dad before my trip to Champagne. I feel it was a sign.
What`s the best thing that happened to you as a somm?
Seeing a guest smile in approval because the wine was everything they expected. In my opinion, as a sommelier, I have the possibility to help guests to enjoy a very special moment, so the relationship created is really unique. That really is one of the best things that happens to me as a somm.
If you were a wine, you’d be…
God, that’s a hard choice. I would say Pinot Noir. It’s a variety which captivated me even before I became a sommelier. I enjoy discovering how it adapts to different styles, soils and ageing. It’s a very delicate and elegant variety, which loves cool climates. Just like me.