The best Baltic sommelier works in Riga

On Saturday, 20 October Baltic Sommelier Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2007, i.e. the competition of the best Baltic sommeliers was held in Riga which was won by the Latvian Raimonds Tomsons from Riga’s restaurant Vincents. The winner won the wine trip with the cost of 15,000 kroons as a prize and the exclusive decanter. “This is the happiest day of my life without doubt, if not considering my wedding day,” Tomsons said a couple of minutes after the end of competition.

The second place was won also by the Latvian Jānis Kaļķis (Restaurant Service School), the Estonian Kristjan Markii from Balthasar, restaurant in Tallinn, won the third place. The Lithuanian competitors did not get to the final.

The competition was organised by the Association of Latvian Sommeliers in cooperation with the Estonian Sommelier Association and AS Liviko. Each Baltic state was represented by three participants. This year Baltic Sommelier Vana Tallinn Grand Prix was organised for the second time.

“This is the elite championship of the Baltic countries, as each country sends the sommeliers to the competition, who have already shown their top level at the local competitions,” Jana Zastserinski, the representative of the Estonian Sommelier Association said.

The honour of Estonia was defended at the competition of the Baltic states by Kristjan Markii (1977) from the restaurant Balthasar who got the Estonian Best Sommelier 2007 title this year; Annamari Nikkel (1986) from Gloria wine cellar who has the “silver medal” of the Estonian Best Sommelier 2007 and Aivar Vipper (1973) from the restaurant Nero who won the IVth place at the competition of the Estonian Best Sommelier 2007.

This year’s best sommelier of the Baltic countries was found out by the international jury with the following members: Mischa Billing from Sweden (secretary general of the International Sommelier Association (ASI), the head judge of the competitions), Romāns Komars from Latvia (member of the management board of the Latvian Sommelier Association), Arunas Starkus from Lithuania (President of the Lithuanian Sommelier Association), Rein Kasela from Estonia (Vice President of the Estonian Sommelier Association), Dmitri Sidorenko from Ukraine (President of the Ukrainian Sommelier Association) and Igor Sharbatov from Russia (President of St. Petersburg’s Sommelier Association).

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