We invited a dynamic wine personality from Santiago Chile to TAKE 5. We met Ania Smolec at the Six Nations Wine Challenge judging in Sydney and find her perspective on wine most interesting. Ania is a journalist, specializing in wine, food pairing and healthy lifestyle. Polish by birth and currently living in Chile with her partner wine judge and author Eduardo Brethauer. Ania is a columnist for some wine magazines; Chilean “Vitis Magazine” and Polish “Czas Wina”. She is also a wine competition judge for Concours Mondial, Vinitaly and Citadelles du Vin.
When/how did you first become interested in wine?
I was in high school when Poland recovered its democracy after being under the Soviet Russia influence. With the new wind of changes came lots of trends and new opportunities. People started to have an access to the new products, cuisines, and wines. I remember one of the first wine stores in the center of Warsaw. I said to myself: “Wow, unbelievable all these appellations, wine countries, different varieties. Probably there are some people that can go inside of this store and consciously choose something that they want to taste and enjoy. I want to be one of this persons”.
Do you have an all-time favorite variety or does it change (and what is it)?
Since I have started my journey with the wine I always have been attracted by Riesling and Muscat. Then with the years passing, I discover that my big love is Pinot Noir. And today, although I enjoy several varieties, the global ones, and the indigenous, I am always quiet loyal to my favorites.
What is the biggest misconception about wine?
When people say that wine with the high score of points in the rankings it is for sure great wines. Sometimes it is, but sometimes even the best-made wine from an exceptional terroir doesn’t have to be in your taste or preferences or mood. So instead of buying wines 90+ in my point of view, it is better to be adventurous and try, taste and have own opinion.
If you were going to a dinner party, which wine would you take for the host?
It depends on the host. But I like to give unknown wine from some little and/or new producer. The big names almost everybody can buy and taste by himself and some rarities it is good when somebody points you.
Scenario: You’re blissfully enjoying the perfect glass of wine. What music is playing?
La Vie en Rose. For so many reasons.
Thank you Ania for your charming addition to TAKE 5.