At Dabiz Muñoz’s restaurant Diverxo, every detail is finished to the highest possible standard and nothing is left to chance – not least the choice to employ Miguel Ángel Millán as sommelier in 2019, who is now voted as the Beronia World’s Best Sommelier 2023. Since joining the restaurant, Millán has expanded and diversified the wine cellar, curating two pairing menus that perfectly complement Diverxo’s hyper-creative, boundary-pushing dining experience.
A Madrid native, Millán fell in love with hospitality while working in high-end catering, but it was when he joined the now-shuttered Jockey – a celebrity hotspot and one of Madrid’s original fine dining venues – that his interest in wines bloomed. Graduating top of the class from all his sommelier training, he subsequently spent his formative years at renowned Spanish restaurant Santceloni and later at the Michelin-starred Japanese fusion spot, Kabuki, where he began to pair wines with Asian-influenced foods.
His experience made Millán the perfect candidate for the job at Diverxo, where Muñoz’s cuisine spans the entire world in terms of inspiration, techniques and flavours, often overlaid with an Asian accent. The Spaniard set to work researching new labels and soon built on the existing cellar to include more than 1,500 references in total, going beyond wine to source rare sakes specifically to match with the chef’s dish of cold pigeon with smoked caviar and grilled egg yolk.
Resilient and persevering, Millán is known for going to the ends of the Earth to source a specific vintage he has been keeping an eye on, or to contact a small producer whose work he wants to taste. But in Diverxo’s dining room, it’s his quiet confidence that sets him apart, as well as an innate ability to listen and understand diners’ wishes. Whether it’s a rare bottle of 1992 Fleury Pére et Fils Symphonie d'Europe Extra Brut to start the meal, or simply a glass of Spanish white wine to be enjoyed at the client’s own pace, Millán makes it his mission to take care of everyone and help them leave the restaurant a little happier.
Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Spanish wines, Millán has long been considered a leader within his country, having already picked a Best Sommelier award at national newspaper El Mundo’s Metropoli awards, who summarised his qualities as “style, restraint, care and skill”. But his knowledge goes far beyond, and with the Beronia World’s Best Sommelier accolade now in the cabinet, he is set to become even more influential across the world.
The World’s Best Sommelier Award recognises an individual displaying innovation, deep knowledge, customer service and outstanding communication skills in the world of wine and other drinks. It is voted for by the Academy, formed of 1,080 independent restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets from across the world.
Discover more about the previous award winners