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What it Takes to be Top Sommelier in Europe and Africa

Raimonds Tomsons recently won the title of best sommelier in Europe and Africa from the International Sommelier Association. But what exactly does it mean to be the best sommelier?

According to numerous sources including Decanter magazine and Pulse Nigeria, candidates must be able to perform the following tasks with perfect composure and charm, in front of 400 guests:

  • Successfully open and pour a magnum of champagne into 18 glasses, evenly
  • Correctly identify vineyards based on a photo
  • Spot mistakes on a wine list
  • Recommend grand cru wines to serve during an imaginary meal to celebrate a president’s six years in office
  • Describe in detail the characteristics of Calvados, Sake, and more
  • Blind taste through numerous wines

Raimonds Tomsons was able to do all of this successfully, leaving judges dazzled. The chairman of the European Sommelier Championship Committee even described watching Tomsons “like watching ice skating — without any effort, such a beauty!”

Will Tomsons move on to compete for Best Sommelier in the World? According to Decanter, we’ll have to wait until 2019 to find out. The next worldwide championship is not slated to happen for another two years.

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