Interview with Miguel Ángel Millán, Head Sommelier at DiverXO

Chosen as the best sommelier in the world at the 2023 'The World’s 50 Best Restaurants' awards, Madrid native Miguel Ángel Millán is about to celebrate his fifth year leading the wine cellar of one of the culinary meccas on the planet. We're talking about DiverXO, the hyper-creative and transgressive temple led by chef Dabiz Muñoz, where he arrived after a brilliant professional career in other top establishments like Jockey, Santceloni, and Kabuki.


- You work in a unique and tremendously creative culinary environment. How would you describe the experience of pairing wines with such an innovative cuisine as that offered by David Muñoz?

It's a daily challenge, something tremendously stimulating and motivating.


- DiverXO is above all a gastronomic experience where nothing can go wrong. Wine included. How do you manage that pressure?

At DiverXO, everything happens very quickly during service. That requires great planning for the dynamics of service and anticipating many options in advance, always leaving room for creativity and improvisation.


- Do you have absolute freedom in choosing and recommending wines to customers? What factors influence the selection of wines for the menu?

Yes, I have complete freedom. The selection of wines for the menu is based, on one hand, on my personal tastes and wines that particularly excite me. On the other hand, on emphasizing wines that work in harmony with DiverXO's cuisine.


- What personal or emotional aspects do you consider when selecting wines to accompany dishes?

The bottles selected for DiverXO's pairings are, in many cases, unique for various reasons (vintages, highly sought-after producers, etc.). Additionally, I seek harmony not only organoleptically based on flavors and aromas, but also that the wine has a beautiful story that continues the story the chef conveys on the plate.


- Choose 5 adjectives to describe DiverXO's current wine list.

DiverXO's wine list is very personal, full of unique and irreplaceable bottles, exciting, a living and constantly evolving list.


- What would you say to someone who might believe that a classic Rioja wine, for example, a Gran Reserva, has no place in such a creative cuisine as DiverXO's?

My vision of wine is very broad, and there is room for everything, from the most innovative projects or emerging regions to more classic wines from established areas. I would tell them they are missing out on a great wine from the world.


- Is there a particular experience you remember where the choice of a wine has transformed a diner's gastronomic experience?

It happens daily. We are able to create a unique and exciting experience.


- Choose a wine and vintage from La Rioja Alta, S.A. to toast with David Muñoz and the rest of the team after a successful service.

Viña Ardanza Blanco Reserva from 1986.

* I accept the Privacy of La Rioja Alta S.A.

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