After winning the XVI National Escanções Competition, Ivo Peralta went to Antwerp, Belgium, to represent Portugal at the world championships 'Best Sommelier of the World 2019'.
At a time when Portuguese sommeliers are increasingly showing up – but they still have a long way to go to reach the level of the best internationally – 'our' Ivo Peralta is going in the right direction. But despite the effort, Ivo was nothing but the semi-finals of the Best Sommelier of the World 2019, with a lot of pity on us, that we were all rooting for him. That said, it seems little, but it's not. Competing with the best in the world is not for everyone. At the age of 27, Ivo already has an enviable curriculum. He started teenager helping in his parents' seafood, in The Village of Meco, in Sesimbra. Around the table, as a family, I was already tasting some wines. Later, he was inspired to read an interview with João Pires (the only Portuguese master sommelier) and realized that the way was that way.
Took Hotel Management at the Estoril School of Hospitality and Tourism; the Escanção Course (Sommelier) at the Lisbon Hospitality School and the Court of Masters Sommeliers certificate. The professional experience was gained in top restaurants such as Eleven, Fortaleza do Guincho and, more recently, at Epur, the new project of chef Vincent Farges in Lisbon. In addition, it garnered some distinctions, including having earned the title of 'Escanção of the Year' in the wine magazine 'Great Choices'. The fact that he also participated and won in the national competition allowed him to go to Antwerp where he competed to be the best in the world along with 66 colleagues of his, from the most varied countries. To prepare for this challenge, Ivo Peralta studied 2 to 3 hours a day through books, international websites, and documentation provided by colleagues of profession. Many times, not to waste time going home between shared schedules, he was studying at the restaurant. At the practical level, he made some trips; and it was also worth it to producers, distributors and colleagues in the sector to give them wines to taste. Graham's, for example, even promoted a visit to the Douro where Ivo could not only make a viticulture masterclass and taste wines, but also exchange experiences with other international sommeliers who were also invited, its competitors the best in the world.
For Ivo, the International competition, won by German Marc Almert (who surpassed all theoretical and technical tests with an unparalleled dynamic, posture and sense of humor) served as an experience since, despite the efforts, he knew that the degree of difficulty would be Huge. Expectations were therefore not high. However, he says he is proud of the performance because he knows he studied and struggled. Going forward, the goal is to study and apply more and more. "Heaven is the limit," he says, confidently.
In addition to Ivo, the Portuguese presence was marked by Graham's and CVR Bairrada (sponsors entitled to masterclasses, presence in the sommeliers bar and meals); for the voluntary performance of a team of four Portuguese sommeliers (Pedro Nogueira do Feitoria, Tomás Carreira do Belcanto and Sérgio Santos da Portus wine) led by Nelson Guerreiro (sommelier of alma restaurant); and ViniPortugal (who took over ivo's travel and stay expenses).