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Mariano Braga - sommelier based in Buenos Aires

Published:  08 February, 2012

I'm a sommelier, from Argentina with a personal challenge: I had to taste 2,011 wines over 2011.

It was a challenge, clearly, especially considering that maintaining an average of 5.5 corkages daily was a task, at least, daunting. The point is that The Challenge 2011 (or "El Desafío 2011"), would have no meaning without sharing it. The experiences, findings and also disappointments are always more attractive (or less terrible, as the case may be) when we are not alone and, therefore, each Monday throughout the past year I shared on my web site each and every one of the moments spent in the previous seven days.

With a suitcase in my hands, in 2011 I travelled along the most diverse geographies. Wander the world's southernmost vineyards in Argentina's Patagonia, visited one of the origins of wine in the beautiful Greek island of Santorini and discovered the outstanding flavors of Sangiovese in its native land at Montalcino. And the work was unwavering; against all odds every Monday there a new adventure appeared. It was tiring, for sure, but you cannot imagine how great it felt when some winemaker tells me that he or she followed the weekly videos, or when I got a mail from Los Angeles, Milan, London or Rio de Janeiro telling me about this madness I never thought it would come this far. Exactly 2,011 wines tasted, 60 videos that were played 20,000 times and about $37,000 dollars spent (or invested?). The thing is that, a year later, The Challenge 2011 has finished... but there are many good things more about to come.