Back in 1853, president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines to Argentina’s terroirs. Thus began Malbec’s greatest migration yet from Cahors in France to its new heartland.
Today, Argentina has the largest Malbec plantings on the globe and produces some of the world’s best Malbecs from the upper Mendoza River Valley (Maipú and Luján de Cuyo) and in the mountainous regions of Uco Valley.
To promote and celebrate the success of Malbec globally, the first Malbec World Day (MWD) was created on April 17, 2011 by Wines of Argentina, the same date when Malbec entered the country. Since then MWD has become an annual cultural event in the international vinous calendar.
This year, Vino Joy News joined hands with the Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in Hong Kong to launch Malbec Month in June, a month-long promotion in the city to raise awareness on Argentina’s signature grape.
As part of the promotion, we are doing a series of video interviews where we ask top sommeliers in Hong Kong to share their impressions and go-to pairings of Malbec, and – for a change – which Marvel superheroes resemble the popular wine.
Our first guest to kickstart the series is Arnaud Bardary MS, Group Sommelier at Black Sheep Restaurants.
Born in Lons le Saunier, Jura, Bardary was the 5th generation in the family devoted to the catering industry. His passion towards wine is perhaps predestined as his grandfather and uncle were wine producers of the iconic appellation Chateau Chalon.
Bardary first studied catering in Le Mans and Nice, then trained in Toulouse as a sommelier for a year. He worked in the UK for years where he acquired wine knowledge and skills, including at Hotel du Vin. In 2015, he eventually earned the much coveted Master Sommelier Diploma.
In 2016, Bardary moved to Hong Kong, where he oversees and designs wine programs for the high-end dining group Black Sheep Restaurants, which owns the Argentinian steakhouse Buenos Aires Polo Club, which has the most extensive Argentine wine list in Hong Kong, as well as Michelin starred restaurants – BELON and New Punjab Club, and more.
Since he joined Black Sheep Restaurants, he has introduced one of the best training programs in Asia for his sommelier team which includes tastings, practical and written tests to brush up their skills.
Watch the video interview with Arnaud below.