Maître Sommelier Licínio Pedro Carnaz of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has won the Sommelier of the Year Award 2013 from prestigious Portuguese magazine Wine – Essência do Vinho.
In charge of a list of more than 250 wines at Varanda Restaurant, Licínio shines with his immense knowledge when his services are required. In the moment of truth, he's comfortable having an intimate conversation with customers about any wine, but can as easily completely step away from the limelight, ensuring only the excellence of the wine he leaves at the table and the guest's satisfaction, without any further interference.
As an example of clients’ choices, he mentions the preferences of American guests who choose their wine based on the grape variety, namely the more renowned Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties for the red wines, the Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay varieties for the white wines. Brazilian guests, on the other hand, ask for top wines such as Pêra Manca, from the Alentejo region, and Quinta do Crasto, from the Douro region, which are scarce back home.
In a sublime and intuitive complicity with Executive Chef Pascal Meynard, who creates the menus for Varanda, Licínio makes sure that the wine choice perfectly blends with the food being served and is up to par with the highest expectations of the most demanding customers who dine in his restaurant. An inescapable name ofsommelerie in Portugal, he receives this honour for his experience, contribution to the dissemination and good wine service, advisement of new professionals and by he himself being truly one of the best.