A new project with a contemporary format of talks and round-table discussions led by top Spanish and international professionals, Madrid Fusión WE aims to enhance the connection between wine and gastronomy, which both sectors are very interested in.
Madrid Fusión 2021, the world’s most influential gastronomic congress, introduces an exciting new event this year and opens a new stage for the world of wine: Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition (MF WE). An event that will be on a par with the fame and prestige of the gastronomic congress, it will seek to discover new trends, new talents and serve as a forum for discussion and learning in a sector that is a fundamental part of our culture and our gastronomy.
To be held in-person from 31 May to 2 June 2021, this edition, for the first time ever, will also allow congress-goers to follow the talks via an impressive digital platform that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition has the support of an international advisory board made up of: Almudena Alberca (Master of Wine, MW), Pedro Ballesteros (MW), Andreas Kubach (MW), Ferran Centelles (ex-sommelier at elBulli), Norrel Robertson (MW), María Naranjo (Division Head of Food, Wines and Gastronomy at ICEX Spain), Benjamín Lana (Vice President of Madrid Fusión and President of Vocento’s gastronomy division) and Patricia Mateo (CEO at Mateo&co and Managing Director of Vocento’s gastronomy division). Wines from Spain is promoted by ICEX, which is the main sponsor of this wine congress.
This 1st International Congress on Wine – Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition – will have its own auditorium that will be equally as important as Madrid Fusión’s main stage. Its goal is to bring together gastronomy and wine to discover new trends, new talents and serve as a forum for discussion and learning in a sector that is a fundamental part of our culture and our gastronomy.
International chefs, sommeliers, wine-makers, movers and shakers, and key thinkers in the sector will take part to give shape to a comprehensive programme of talks, round-table discussions, wine pairings and presentations.
In order to create the vital connection between wine and gastronomy that both worlds are so interested in, both the auditorium and the spaces dedicated to MF WE will be open to all congress-goers. To make this possible, the same entrance ticket can be used for both congresses. In addition, as with the gastronomic event, all the presentations of this first wine congress can be followed virtually via MF’s online platform: www.madridfusion.net.
Round table discussions and Vinomios
Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition is firmly committed to offering live experiences, with many participatory activities and many learning spaces. To ensure the safety of everyone attending, strict health regulations will be in place at the congress, in line with the current Covid-19 situation.
The MF The Wine Edition programme will be held both in the mornings and the afternoons. Theory sessions will take place in the mornings and will include: round-table discussions, talks, conversations and presentations that aim to offer a broad and interesting understanding of what is happening in the world of wine. Conversations on current topics have been programmed and will include post-naturalness (a new look at the world of natural wines), auction houses, and the fine wine market. In addition, informative talks by great names in the world of wine will share their experience for pricing wine lists, discovering the perfect pairings, and finding inspiration from the greatest wine lists in Spain and around the world.
These sessions will also address other trends that are very much linked to wine, such as sake being served at renowned international restaurants and this drink’s potential for gastronomy. Also, and as something of a sneak peek, Ferran Centelles will present Bullipedia’s fourth book at this congress.
At lunchtime, exclusive pairing sessions called Vinomios will be offered. These will look at how wine measures up with all kinds of food, such as wine and hamburgers, pizza and wine, wine and cheese, in a bid to give visibility to other types of cooking, democratise the sector and highlight the versatility of all kinds of wines.
In the afternoons, presentations will be more hands-on with master tastings to demonstrate particular topics that affect wine, such as the importance of the vineyard on ageing, and the relationship between climate change and the character of wines.
Speakers who will attend
Great names from the world of wine who have confirmed they will attend Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition (MF WE) 2021 are: Peter Sisseck, creator of Dominio de Pingus, one of Spain’s most esteemed and famous wines; Dirk Niepoort, one of the most exciting voices in the world of wine, who revolutionised the Douro region at the end of the 1990s; and Josep Roca, sommelier at El Celler de Can Roca, a distinguished ‘walking wine encyclopaedia’. Raúl Pérez, François Chartier, Pablo Alomar, Hitoshi Utsunomiya, David Rubert, Pilar Cavero, Norrel Robertson, Andreas Kubach MW, Pedro Ballesteros, Almudena Alberca and Ferran Centelles are other notable names at this first edition.
Master of Wine Almudena Alberca, will be accompanied by Daniel Carnio, Jochen de Vylder and a representative from Christie’s to talk about auction houses and fine wines.
Great wine lists
Great lists of Spanish wines will be a topic at the congress, and speakers will include three of the best professionals of our gastronomy: José Polo (sommelier and co-owner of Atrio**), Rafa Sandoval (sommelier and co-owner of Coque), Mohamed Benabdallah (sommelier at Etxebarri*), and José Antonio Navarrete (sommelier at Quique Dacosta***). The great wine lists of the world will be discussed by César Román (ex-sommelier at Le Chalet de la Forêt) together with an inspiring group of international sommeliers who belong to Les Grandes Tables du Monde.
One of the best round-table discussions will undoubtedly be that on ‘wine pairing’, at which the chefs and sommeliers from the restaurants Ambivium, Abadía Retuerta and Disfrutar will share their tips for creating perfect pairings.
Falsehoods about wine will be analysed in depth by the well-known journalist Juancho Asenjo, the writer Antonio Tomás Palacios García, and Tao Platón (head winemaker at Península Vinicultores).
Top Tastings from around the world
Andreas Kubach will talk about international rosé wines, and Agustín Trapero will reveal the secrets of Cabernet Sauvignon wines from all over the world – two interesting talks.
Norrel Robertson (MW) will disclose the best grenaches from different wine-growing regions in the world, and Pedro Ballesteros (MW) will offer a very singular wine tasting in which participants will find out first-hand about the evolution of the most renowned wines from Spain (Vega Sicilia, Pingus, etc.) long before they become Grand Reserves. Josep Roca, sommelier at El Celler Can Roca, will bring these master tastings at this 2021 edition to a close with a wine tasting showing how landscape and climate affect the character of wine, and the results of extreme viticulture and climate change on wine.
A Tasting Space to continue exploring the diversity of the wines of the world
In addition to the Auditorium, there will be a space where wineries and regions will have the chance to present their wines alongside tastings from great names in the world of wines, pairings with food, and new wine-related projects and trends. Antonio Flores, from González Byass, will offer a journey through the 180 years of Tío Pepe, and the brand’s great Spanish reds from around the country will be presented by their oenologists. Pago de los Capellanes – which is celebrating its 25th anniversary – will offer a video-conference, and Ferran Centelles and Pablo Alomar will create surprising pairings with sake. This space will also host the introduction in Spain of OENO, a wine investment firm.
Juli Soler Award for Talent and the Future of Wine
While Madrid Fusión will unveil the latest generation of upcoming cooks, Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition aims to do the same with upcoming professionals in the world of wine. So, on the last day of the congress, the 1st Juli Soler Award for Talent and the Future of Wine will be handed out to 10 young people with a bright future in the different fields of this sector. The awards will be presented by his daughter, Rita Soler.
In addition, tribute will be paid to Carlos Falcó, Alfonso Cortina and Chelo Palacios, who all passed away in 2020 – eminent figures who have left their mark on the Spanish wine sector.
Both Madrid Fusión and Madrid Fusión The Wine Edition will be held safely, and the events will be adapted to the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. All health and safety guarantees required by this new scenario will be put in place via a protocol that includes: the necessary measures to organise the flow of congress-goers and their mobility; controlling capacity in the various spaces; and ensuring the required social distancing. Furthermore, all the pavilions will be equipped with a ventilation system that guarantees the air is 100% from outdoors.
The registration period for purchasing tickets for all of Madrid Fusión’s events, as well as for MF The Wine Edition, whether attending in-person or online is now open at www.madridfusion.net.