Face to Face Interview with…
Fernando Onega is a Spanish journalist who has worked in different media throughout his career. He was press director during the government of Adolfo Suarez, being the author of the famous phrase “I can promise and I promise…”. Between 1985 and 1986 he was Director of Diario Ya. In addition, he collaborated in different radio stations during the 80’s and 90’s, highlighting his role as news director of Cadena Ser and Cope. Between 1992 and 1993 he was director of Onda Cero.
In television, he began his career at TVE, where in the late seventies he directed the news program Siete días (1978-1979) and Revista de Prensa (1980). He was news anchor at Antena 3 Noticias between 1991 and 1993.
Currently, Fernando Onega is a regular contributor to La Vanguardia and has a daily column in La Voz de Galicia. Since 2004, he has collaborated with Carlos Herrera in the program Herrera en la onda, as well as in La Brújula de Carlos Alsina, both in the same radio station. In television, his collaborations in different talk shows have been frequent in recent years, highlighting the programs 59 segundos, El debate de la 1 or Las mañanas de cuatro.
- How did you start enjoying wine?
– I’m a little ashamed to confess it, but I started when I was a child. Motive? In my village in Lugo it was said that, drinking water with the octopus, we were inflated. And, since octopus was a frequent meal, it had to be washed down with something. After that, my house lacked everything but wine. And since the flesh is weak and temptation exists, wine became an insurmountable seduction. And I have been faithful to him all my life. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve never missed a single day in my life.
- What has been the influence of wine in your life?
– I wouldn’t know how to live without wine. I presume to have an adequate wine cellar, without being excellent. Good wine is for me an object of worship. It is the only beverage that can be drunk at any time. And it is much more than a culture: it is the great example of Western civilization. The only thing that happens to me is that I don’t know how to say those things that are said at tastings.
- A wine-flavored souvenir.
– Military Service. Wine was the escape for the lonely and homesick soldier. We ordered it in the canteen by the bottle, not by the glass. He helped us to sing and to master the frost at the Parga Camp, in the province of Lugo. I must say that he was very bad, he was a fighter, he came as a conscript. But it was wine!
- A special moment in which wine had a leading role.
– My stays at Julio Iglesias’ house, in Spain and in Punta Cana. He has the best wine collection in the world, and he never runs out. He treats me to some great wines. And the moments before dinner are a liturgy of adoration of these wonderful wines. By the sixth glass, I’ve come to think that Julio drinks better than he sings.
- A trip to a wine region that you remember with special fondness.
– I am a very Galician Galician, even too Galician. The Ribeira Sacra wine region is a magnificent landscape, a sublime example of man’s work on the terraces. But I remember with great affection a trip to Arnedo, in La Rioja, where I was the town crier for the festivities. I liked it so much, I almost stayed. If I didn’t, it was because I am too uneducated to grow a vineyard.
- Do you prefer red wine or white wine? Why?
– I’m a red wine guy, although I recognize that Spain makes fantastic whites. A good red wine is unbeatable. Why? I could not tell you technically. Maybe because it seems more like wine to me. Maybe because I don’t need to cool it. Maybe because it gives me more fullness in my mouth. Maybe because I was raised that way. Perhaps because it lasts longer. Maybe that’s why you say the cults of pairing. Maybe, who knows, because I remember more those kisses in the inns that tasted like red wine…