There are many Pisco tasting sessions, but having one in the house of a well-recognized pisco expert is a totally different experience. We had been invited to the house of Lucero Villagarcía, a well-known sommelier from Arequipa who has been sampling and researching pisco for the past ten years.
About Lucero Villagarcía, our amazing host
She is the author of “The Magic of Pisco” (2014) and “A Guide on Pisco”(2018). Her books have been presented in several cities across Peru as well as in Paris and Washington. In 2015, she received an award for “The Magic of Pisco” by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, an international event that congregates participants from all over the world and is considered to be the Oscar’s of the food and drinks industry. In July this year, she will be traveling to Macao, China, to receive another award by the same prestigious organization for her book “A Guide on Pisco.” Lucero is already working on her third book, the “Terruños del Pisco,” which will be published this year by the San Martin University.
Visiting her home and entering into the world of Pisco
As we entered her house in Miraflores, we were mind-blown by her impressive collection of pisco bottles of all sizes, shapes, and origins spread out from wall to wall. There are 515 pisco producers in Peru and Lucero seems to know them all. She has been traveling for years throughout the country visiting pisco producers and sampling different types of pisco.
In her opinion, Ica produces the best Quebranta (good for pisco-sours), Torontel and Albilla piscos while the best Negra Criolla and Moscatel will come from Arequipa. The
Sampling the Piscos
As we sat and while Lucero was setting the scene for our pisco sampling experience, she explained that on this occasion we would be sampling six different piscos: Quebranta, Italia, Negra Criolla, Torontel, Uvina, and Moscatel. Lucero being the expert that she is, identified chocolate, toffee, lychee, peach, apple, lime
You really have to have a trained nose for this: for the rest of us common mortals, it was somehow tricky, although we could clearly distinguish the aromatic piscos from the non- aromatic ones. We also had some fabulous Perla Montalvo chocolates (99 % cacao) from Cusco that melted beautifully in our mouths and was the perfect mix for the pisco.
We ended our day with some extraordinary pisco sours made by blending (
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Cover photo: Marco Simola