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Your Expert Sommelier, Jose Martin Ek

Originally from Mérida, Yucatán, Jose Martin is a member of a hardworking family whose work ethic was instilled to him as a young boy by his father. Today, after 25 years of working in Cancun, having worked in various hotel departments from Rooms Division to Reception, he is an integral member of the Food and Beverage Department at Villa del Palmar Cancun sharing his knowledge of wines as sommelier.


Read on to learn more about Jose Martin in our recent interview.

What experiences have made you the man you are today?

Watching my father as I was growing up had a profound impact on my work ethic. He was always working so hard. I had the best example. He would encourage me and my siblings to work hard too, and we all had jobs during the holidays. He didn’t like us working during term time as he wanted us to focus on our studies, but in the vacations, we all worked. We did all kinds of things from cleaning, picking up tennis balls on the local courts, working in restaurants.

When did your passion for the world of Food and Beverage begin?

My father wanted me to be an accountant, but when I went to high-school and they asked us about what we wanted to do with our lives, I realized that I leaned towards the humanities, and was interested in careers related to tourism, gastronomy and customer service.


I have always been interested in wines. Whenever there was a wine tasting I would join in. It is something I am passionate about and I am still learning new things. Fortunately, today there is more awareness about wine and you can find information easily. I got my sommelier qualification in 2013 and now teach subjects related to wine at the university where I graduated.


How do you keep yourself up-to-date?

I never stop learning. In 2015, I went to visit the Casa Madero and Rivero Gonzalez vineyards in Coahuila as well as the Moctezuma brewery in Monterrey. Last year I went to the Bourbon Train area in Kentucky, where the experience was much more than just learning more about wine. We visited the following distilleries: Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace and the Kentucky Artisan Distillery.

How do you describe wine?

Wine is a multi-sensory experience, it is a gastronomic experience where all our senses are alerted. It’s about appreciating aromas and flavors. Wine for me means art, passion, tradition

Wine tasting theme with four glasses of wine

What is your favorite wine?

I like Mexican wine a lot, we have excellent labels. I prefer cabernet, I like intense flavors. Also, Italian wine is something that we should explore because it has a lot to offer.

How do you feel about your role as sommelier at Villa del Palmar Cancun?

It’s a lot of responsibility, which motivates me to give my 100% (and more) at all times. I am committed to promoting the culture of wine, and how drinking a glass of wine should be a rounded experience. I am eager to share my knowledge to train staff so that we can greatly enrich the culinary experiences of our guests.