Wine guru Nigel Tollerman may be British, but he knows an awful lot about Argentine wine. Why else would renowned director and wine buff Francis Ford Coppola trust him to look after his Argentine collection? Attending one of his tastings is bound to be a learning experience, whether you’re a wine aficionado or a novice.
There are tasting open to general public, with cost varying depending on the quality of wines featured. Generally you get more than your money’s worth at a tasting; as long as the crowd remains thirsty, the corks keep popping.
Tollerman talks about wine with a contagious passion. He is able to handle questions from inexperienced wine tasters with patience and an admirable lack of condescension, as well as drawing on an encyclopedic knowledge to offer expert advice to the most erudite of wine snobs. Although he graduated with a degree in Moral and Political Philosophy, worked in corporate finance and has an MBA in International Business, Tollerman found himself hooked on the world of Argentine wine soon after moving to Buenos Aires in 2002.
“I had the idea of working with wine in the back of my mind, but nothing concrete,” he says. “But within a few months of moving to Argentina, I was set upon a career in the industry, having been amazed at the quality and diversity of the local wines. I think previously I had underestimated how much of an exciting wine destination Argentina was in the process of becoming.”
This enthusiasm is carried to each wine tasting, meaning the evenings are fun, lighthearted and educational. Tastings usually last a couple of hours, and fly by quickly. The cellar holds a maximum of 25-30 wine swiggers, whose numbers are split between Argentines and expats — regular devotees and tourists who are keen on getting a crash course on the local product.
The cordial atmosphere at 0800 Vino includes curious kids in their early twenties right through to wine lovers in their sixties and beyond. It’s the alcohol connoisseur’s mature alternative to the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl. Tollerman’s tasting are a social, standing room only affair.
*Please note, this business was sold and no longer offers wine tastings in English.