Gigo Moreno Torres, restaurant manager and sommelier at The George Bar and Dining in Bungendore, is a restless soul. After years of travelling, he has found a resting place in Bungendore where he has shared his enthusiasm and knowledge of wine and food for the last five years, including his passion for the regional wines, including Yarrh Wines. As part of the recent Canberra District Wine Week Gigo offered a Steak and Shiraz vertical wine flight with three of our Shirazes, one going back to 2008.
Born and raised in Columbia, Gigo studied Industrial Engineering before deciding to move to Australia to improve his English. Why Australia? It was warm with an easy going culture. After a year he went back to Columbia to teach English and then spent a few years traveling the world, and working in bars and restaurants, getting hooked on the food and wine bug. In Adelaide, while working at the very popular Universal Wine Bar (which has up to 300 wines on offer) he gained valuable wine knowledge while being mentored by the Hardy family. During this time Gigo was invited to join the Court of Master Sommeliers – premier examining body of Sommeliers worldwide.
I first met Gigo in 2013, at a wine tasting event at Hotel Realm. He had just started at the George after receiving a call from the owners, Isabel and Richard Harry (of Wallabies fame) looking for an experienced manager to kick start the restaurant. He was taken by our philosophy of doing everything on site from vineyard to bottle. He also liked the wines and was soon out to see the vineyard and winery, taking back some wine for the restaurant. Our wines have been there ever since - “Fiona, your wines are handcrafted and varietal. Whenever I drink your wine, they take me back to your vineyard and the stringy bark forest.”
When selecting a wine to have with food Gigo looks for generosity of fruit, structure and acidity. “It’s easy to go with classic food and wine matches as it will be appreciated by most people. The challenge is to find an unexpected match that will have the same result. For example, recently, rather than having a Late Harvest wine to complement a blueberry and strawberry jelly dessert I contrasted it with a floral dry Riesling. It was sensational.”
Let’s hope Gigo decides to remain here and continue to take The George from strength to strength. Why not give it a visit and enjoy some great food and a great selection of local wines, including, of course, Yarrh! Be warned – Sunday lunch is very popular!