Devon Broglie is one of the leading voices in the Spanish wine world, with a resume that’s beyond impressive—the Global Beverage Buyer for Whole Foods, and one of only 269 Master Sommeliers in the world.
How did you get your start in wine? And what draws you to Spain?
I was initially passionate about restaurants and hospitality and gravitated into wine specifically from there. My deep love for Spanish wine began after an extended stay in Barcelona and visits to the DOCa’s of Rioja and Priorat back in the late 1990’s.
How do you go about picking up on the emerging trends in Spanish wine—and wine in general? What are paying attention to at the moment?
I travel and dine out a lot for work and I still find that restaurant sommeliers are still on the front lines and at the most cutting edge position in the wine industry. Right now there is a new generation of winemakers emerging from regions that have always been growing grapes but have not been making wine for export.
Any favorite new bottle or varietal you’ve discovered, or rediscovered, that you can’t stop drinking or telling friends about?
Listán Negro from the Canary Islands is producing fresh, bright, mineral driven wines that are remarkable for being both thought provoking and easy to drink. And the reemergence of Mencía from Galicia has been fun and exciting.
When you look at different wine producing regions and compare, what do you think is Spain’s strong suit?
Spain’s strength is in its history and culture of familial grape growing and wine making. There continues to be incredible access to old vine, native grape varieties at extremely reasonable prices.
Where should wine lovers be looking to discover their next favorite Spanish wine?
For those already familiar with the Garnacha-based wines of Spain I think there are many Garnacha based wines coming from areas near Madrid that are delicious and exceptionally well balanced. Wines from DO Méntrida and DO Vinos de Madrid and from the Sierra del Gredos mountain range just west of Madrid.
What Spanish DO’s interest you most, and why?
The most interesting thing happening in Spanish wine right now is the evolution happening in some of its most notable wine regions. The Singular Vineyards recognized in Rioja, the Nombres de la Tierra being classified in Priorat, even the current debate among producers in Penedès over sparkling wine production will ultimately be positive and beneficial for Spanish wine.
Wine is a very fragmented category with thousands of brands available, from every region and every varietal.
What are the key elements of a successful wine brand at WholeFoods?
Long term success at Whole Foods Market is always predicated on quality and value. Trends and phenomenon will come and go but we have found that the regions, brands and wines that stand the test of time are those that are authentic, committed to quality, and that always over deliver for the price.
WholeFoods is known for its organic selections, how does that translate to the wine department?
Do you see consumers’ interest in organic wines growing? We see increased consumer interest in wines that are more authentic and with attributes consistent with the rest of the groceries they are purchasing. Vegan, Non-GMO, Made with Organically Grown grapes, and Biodynamic are all attributes that our consumers are more and more interested in seeking out in their wine purchases. Last—and favorite—question: You’re stranded on a desert island.
You have only one case of Spanish wine to keep you company until the rescue party comes (or not, so choose wisely). What would you pick?
Good question! I would put together a mixed case of my favorite wines from all over Spain! Priorat, Montsant, Cava, Corpinnat, Rías Baixas, Rueda, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Ribeira Sacra, Tenerife, Jerez, and a bottle of Estrella Galicia for hydration!
Text: Wines from Spain /@ICEX.