The title of Best Sommelier in the Baltics was awarded at the Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix held in Tallinn and went to Narimantas Miežys from Lithuania. The second place was won by Martynas Pravilonis from Lithuania and third place by Mikk Parre from Estonia. The title of Young Sommelier was awarded to Kevin Lilleleht from Estonia.
“The level of the competitors was extremely high, as shown by the professionalism and elegance with which they performed their tasks. In the final competition, the participants were asked to serve guests at dinner tables and communicate with the audience. In addition to the excellent theoretical knowledge expected of a sommelier, the competitors benefited from being up to speed with the big stories in global news,” said jury member and Liviko sommelier Urvo Ugandi, who won the title of Best Sommelier in the Baltics at the first Vana Tallinn Grand Prix.
The finalists selected a wine to accompany the dishes for the guests at the gala dinner, competed in serving champagne, in decanting and serving red wine, and in a round of quick-fire questions. The special menu for the dinner was prepared by esteemed chefs Andrus Laaniste, Priit Toomits and Dmitri Rooz.
The international jury was chaired by Raimonds Tomsons, who has been awarded the Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa by the International Association of Sommeliers and has won the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix on several occasions. The Estonian jury members were Liviko sommelier Urvo Ugandi, president of the Estonian Sommelier Association Kristjan Markii, and sommeliers Ketri Leis and Els-Maria Kullamaa.
Ten per cent of the proceeds from the auction held at the final competition and the ticket sales for the charity dinner will be donated to the Toidupank “Feed the Children” project.
This year’s final event for the annual Best Sommelier in the Baltics competition was held in the Nobel Hall at the Noblessner Foundry in Tallinn. The competition is named after Estonia’s most popular liqueur, the legendary Vana Tallinn. Liviko AS has been organising the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix in cooperation with the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian sommelier associations since 2006.
Gallery of the finals: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hdu3u07twix6v7p/AAATxmyx8ZcopOr2gyVw0dtQa?dl=0
Photos by: Rauno Liivand