The 27th edition of the Fisar Competition for best Sommelier in Italy saw the victory of Marta Ingegneri, who took the podium last October 23rd at the National Congress in Paestum.
Born in 1987, degree in architecture, Marta Ingegneri graduated as sommelier in January 2020, in the Fisar delegation of Padua. A year later he is Italy's best sommelier. We couldn't not interview her!
How did your passion for wine begin?
My passion for wine comes from an attitude, rather than a specific moment: that of asking questions about the bottles being tasted. When I started wondering about the wines I drank – about 10 years ago – a great passion developed, thanks to a succession of curiosities .
In other words: before taking the sommelier course I took it for granted that DOCG was synonymous with excellence, that a DOC wine was of slightly lower quality... but this is absolutely not the case. The denominations are certifications of a territory, first of all, they give production criteria but this in itself does not make the best wine. Today I drink a lot out of denomination.
Yours is a prodigious and very rapid parable: can you tell us about it?
The achievement of being the best sommelier in Italy is something unexpected, which in a certain way overwhelmed me.
I have been a sommelier since 2020 but for 10 years I have been passionate about wine, including travel, visits to cellars, events... And then my husband is also a sommelier: this passion that unites us, the fact that we have vast conversations dedicated to wine , the continuous exchange of opinions (because every single bottle is a tasting opportunity for us) were determining factors.
And then I studied a lot , every day. I have never stopped within my comfort zone: I always try new things that I don't know, even at the risk of drinking not according to my taste.
How do you prepare for the best sommelier competition in Italy?
You prepare by studying a lot: essential because the competition presents you with all kinds of questions. I studied everywhere, in the course manuals, in many books, studying all the disciplines in depth. And then you need a lot of thoughtful tasting , which is not the same as drinking a lot but doing so with awareness: opening a bottle with the aim of understanding, doing a real tasting, to ensure that every wine drunk leaves an imprint and a memory.
Your future goals?
There are many, because in this world you have never arrived and no title can make you feel like you have crossed the finish line. Among other things, at the moment this is not my job but the idea that it could become one is in the air because it would allow me to combine work and an enormous passion.
I will be the face of Fisar for the whole year: an honor in this particular year which also marks the 50th anniversary of the association.
My greatest goal is to bring people closer to the world of wine : I would like to make everyone understand that the wine world is not a distant and elitist environment as the sommelier's uniform might make it appear. There is a complex lexicon and complicated and specific topics but at the same time wine is, and must always be, for everyone.
It seems to me that an intermediate step between professionals and non-professionals is missing: there I want to find my space. With truly accessible evenings, tastings and lessons.
The wine of Marta Ingegneri's heart?
I really love tannic wines: Sagrantino above all - whose territory I also love - and Cesanese . My personal taste goes right in the direction of wines with strong tannins.
Give us your advice for wine enthusiasts
Look for the most artisanal wines possible . Personally, when I want to understand an area I go to an established winery because that way I get the imprint of the denomination. And then I look for the small ones: that's where the authenticity of a territory is found.
The advice is therefore to look for the small ones, not to be fascinated only by the name of the large wineries, which certainly have excellent and correct products, but to also go and find the small ones: these allow you to get closer to the soul of the wine , offer more particular products and a usually very interesting quality/price ratio.