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Wine Talk: Luis Miguel

The Grammy-winning singer produces his own Chilean wine and collects fine Bordeaux

Posted: December 5, 2006

Luis Miguel won his first Grammy Award at the age of 15. Since then the Puerto Rico-born singer, 36, has earned four more Grammys, four Latin Grammys and he's sold more than 50 million records—an achievement that makes him one of Latin music's top-selling artists. But music isn't Luis Miguel's only passion—he also loves wine. So about five years ago, he partnered with Viña Ventisquero winemaker Aurelio Montes del Campo, son of legendary Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, to produce wine under the Ventisquero label. Único Luis Miguel, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah sourced from a single vineyard in the Maipo Valley that debuted in the United States in September. Miguel was interviewed at the launch party for his new Christmas album, Navidades Luis Miguel, held in New York.

Wine Spectator: How did you become interested in wine?
Luis Miguel: I've been interested in wine since I was a child, because my mother is from Italy and my father is from Spain, so it is very normal to have wine with food. It's like a marriage. My [maternal] grandparents have their own wine. They are from Toscana, and it's a tradition there for families to create their own wine. They have their own small vineyards in the back of their houses and they make their own wines, maybe 50 or 100 bottles. So I learned about wine from my grandparents as well. We had pizza, we had pasta and we had wine. When I was young, they would put a little bit in my glass for me to taste.

WS: What inspired you to produce your own wine?
LM: You have a list of things that you want to do in life—to own your own house, to own your own car, to own your own yacht. [Making] wine was on my list, because it has a particular glamour to it.

WS: Why did you decide to work with a Chilean winery to produce Único Luis Miguel?
LM: I believe that grapes from Chile have a lot of personality, a lot of character, a lot of strength.

WS: How involved are you in producing the wine?
LM: We got together in the beginning and Aurelio showed me all of the different grapes that Ventisquero had at the time. I tasted [various blends] and I gave him some direction.

WS: How have you developed your tasting skills?
LM: You need to drink wine. You need to really love it and you need to have a passion for it. You learn what you like ... then you go in that direction.

WS: Beyond Chilean wine, what else do you drink?
LM: In my house in Acapulco, Mexico, I have around 10,000 bottles. I'm a big fan of Bordeaux. I drink everything else, but Bordeaux is my favorite. I enjoy first-growths the most.

WS: What are some favorites in your collection?
LM: I have every bottle of Mouton from 1945 through 2000, and I am very proud of that. I put [the bottles] in glass so you can see all the labels. They are like a work of art.

WS: Are there any similarities between music and wine?
LM: I believe that bottles of wine get better through time. You put them away for a while and they get better because they're a fantastic wine to begin with. Sometimes that happens with records, with CDs ... a great song, a great album is great a year ago, two years ago, 20 years ago—it defies time. That's what we want to achieve with wine as well. We want something that people will still be talking about in 10 years.

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