Uncover the best Brazilian vineyards with wine expert Gabriela Monteleone
Gabriela Monteleone’s knowledge of Brazilian wine is matched only by her passion for it—and she’s on a mission to share both with the world. As the head sommelier and beverage curator at chef Alex Atala’s D.O.M. in São Paulo, Monteleone is part of a movement to get Brazilian food and drink recognized on the global stage. She presides over a wine program for the two-Michelin-starred restaurant that features bottles from the country’s top vineyards.
Curating such a list is not easy. Brazil’s wine industry is relatively young, having emerged as a global player only within the past two decades. The majority of winemakers are small family operations, making in-person research a crucial part of a sommelier’s job. That requires plenty of travel, although recent Coronavirus restrictions have paused it temporarily. Whenever she can, Monteleone visits winemakers throughout Brazil to tour their vineyards, hear their stories, and taste their wines. The finest make their way to the menu at D.O.M., and all of them inspire Monteleone’s latest project as a Mastercard ambassador: a virtual tour through the world of wine.
This multifaceted program is designed to teach people about wine through an e-magazine, video series, and interactive online chats. It’s all in the service of her belief that wine is much more than a drink—it’s a way of communication, and even travel. “Wine is a complex universe, full of richness and connections with people and places,” Monteleone explains. “It’s a fermented beverage that talks about social reality, biodiversity, culture, and all kinds of subjects.”
There’s certainly a great deal to discuss, particularly when it comes to the evolution of Brazil’s homegrown wine scene. Monteleone, who began her work as a sommelier in the early 2000s, was a witness to the change in Brazilians’ attitudes toward wine over time. And through this lens, she’s developed an admiration for every person and every role in the winemaking process, from the farmers who grow the grapes to the waiters who fill the glasses. “There is a chain behind every bottle,” Monteleone says. “There are many people involved, and we must respect each and every person in it.”
It’s no surprise, then, that this sommelier wants to make wine accessible to everyone. Monteleone says her main goal is to deliver a great value in wine, and that “whatever the price, the wine and the experience are worth it.” Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or just a beginner, you’re likely to find plenty of inspiration in Monteleone’s new e-magazine. So, pour yourself a glass of your favorite vintage and take a look.
After a personal introduction, the e-magazine begins with a glossary of common wine terms and a list of important moments in wine history—both of which will come in handy during your next wine-inspired conversation. Monteleone goes on to discuss the different types of grapes before introducing readers to some of the leading winemakers in Brazil. A fact-or-fiction section helps clear up some wine myths, and a special news spread sheds light on the latest trends, including orange wine and the rise of “natural” wines.
When you’re finished reading, visit Priceless.com to register for a wine-focused videoconference with Monteleone. During the intimate, 90-minute sessions, she’ll discuss her favorite wines from Brazil and around the world, share tips on the perfect pairings, and take the time to answer your questions.
“I’m happy when I present a wine to someone who starts to consume differently from that moment on,” she says. “It’s good for everyone.”
Click here to access Gabriela Monteleone’s exclusive e-magazine, learn more about her, and read articles and tips on the world of wine.
*English subtitles are available within the YouTube video.