Agustin Trapero, Head Sommelier of Launceston Place gives advice and opinions on the wonderful wine world

  • Sharebar
Agustin Trapero

Hailing from El Tiemblo in Spain, Agustin was practically born in a vineyard, but it wasn't until he came to the UK in 2001 and began working in restaurants here that his love of wine also became a career.

He joined Launceston Place in the summer of 2011 after completing a stage at Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck in Berkshire. He is a big fan of the wines of his home country, but as you'll discover, he holds a special affinity for the wines of Burgundy.

Agustin is looking foward to welcoming Master of Wine, Richard Lashbrook, as co-host of a wine dinner he's organizing at the restaurant on October 23. The two gentleman will be showcasing some of their favourite Burgundies alongside the artful cuisine of Head Chef Tim Allen - it will no doubt be a memorable evening.

I recently caught up with Agustin to find out more about the dinner, the wines that get him excited and what guests of Launceston Place can expect to find on the wine list.

How would you describe the wine list at Launceston Place?
It is classic, mainly focused on wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, but also you can find eclectic regions like Valle Isarco, Crespy, Carema, Yecla, etc.

What is your favorite dish on the menu and which wine do you like to pair with it?
I have to say that I love all dishes from Tim, he is really a talent chef, and I am so glad that he is here with us…. But if I have to pick one I would take wild sea bass with baked aubergine, a hint of anchovy, Provencal tomatoes, fennel purée, courgette, basil and candied olives and I’d pair it with a Grenache Gris from Côtes Catalanes in France, with aromas of ripe white peach, pears and touches of toasted nuts in the palate….an excellent combination.

Was there one wine that inspired you to make your career in wine?
No a one particular wine, it was the all experience working with wine that  woke my passion up.  All the stories behind the label; the way has been made, the area where the vines are planted, the winemaker techniques… all that in general has inspired me to take choose the career that I love.

Do you have a favorite wine region?  Why that region?
I have many, because all wine regions are very different. But there is one area that for me stands out from others: Burgundy. I have been working with a winemaker from Vosne-Romanée (Domaine Mongeard) who helped me to understand and to get to know this region even better. I have tasted so, so, so many Chardonnays and Pinot Noir from other regions and countries ….but Burgundy always stays ahead for me, the complexity and magic of this region is indescribable.

What for you, are the most exciting aspects of your role as sommelier?
When you make a recommendation and the guest says to you  “Agustin, thank you very much for you recommendation…. this wine I will never forget”.

What suggestions would you give restaurant-goers about how to navigate a wine list and what questions to ask their sommelier?
When I go out for dinner, I always ask the sommelier about his wine list. They know their wine perfectly, so always I listen to them.

Is there a certain wine region or style of wine that you feel are best suited to pairing with food?
All wine regions  have their own local food, therefore the wines and food from the same region suit and complement themselves well.

What is your best piece of advice about how to find a wine to match with a meal?
To find the balance between the weight of the food and the weight of the wine, acidity, tannin and body need to go harmoniously with the dish, sauce, and way of cooking.

In your opinion, what are some of the most exciting trends in wine at the moment?
I have to say that Spanish wines are in the fashion again. Regions like Cariñena (producing fantastic old vine Garnacha Tinta), Emporda (producing very rich white wine for Garnacha Blanca). Also indigenous  grapes like Manto Negro from Baleares or Caiño Tinto from Galicia are really getting extremely exiting.

Which wines do you enjoy drinking at home on your days off?
Ufff….. Depends of what I feel like, my mood or even my company. It varies a lot from Champagne to Sherry…… it is depend of how I feel that day.

On October 23 Launceston Place is hosting a 7-course wine dinner, where you and Richard Lashbrook MW will be pairing wines with each course. Tell us about the evening and the wines you will be showcasing.
I am very exited about it! This dinner is going to be a completely huge success, having Richard with us with Burgundy wines paired with beautiful food from Tim cannot be wrong….. Not at all.

Where can people find more information about the dinner and make their bookings?

All the information about the evening and how to book are on the website.