Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Beata Vlnkova

Ok, one more before 2016 is over :-) This honor goes to Beata VInkova who is president from the Slovak republic Sommelier Association Unfortunately sommeliers are still very undervalued in Slovakia, nevertheless Béata makes it her life mission to change all of this by educating as many people as possible in wine... not that everybody has to become an expert, but just that they would understand more about what a wonderful product wine is and the value of a sommelier during a culinary experience,. At all culinary levels that is, not only the Michelin starred level! Even though Béata studied at hotel management school and worked at the luxury Dévin hotel in Bratislava, I think she got most of h

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Franck Moreau

For the last (unless I can't keep myself form posting another one :-) ) sommelier I'll be putting in the spotlight in 2016 I couldn't have looked further :-) I went to look for him in Australia... although technically speaking he's French as he was born in Beaujolais. The sommelier I'll be putting in the spotlight this time is Franck Moreau. I'm not sure what brought Franck to Australia, but let's say that 'love' is the first thing that pops in my head :-) as usually that it the reason for people to move to the other side of the planet. What I do know if that Franck's career before arriving in Australia in 2004 has been very impressive as he worked as sommelier in a restaurant that to my opi

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Julie Dupouy

Here is my Christmas gift to you guys :-) an interview with Julie Dupouy one of the top young (she is as old as me) lady sommeliers around for the moment. Julie was born in a little French town called Agen (somewhere between Bordeaux and Toulouse), where funny enough didn’t go to hotel management school… Julie only found her passion at age of 16. So you see how your life can sometimes take ‘strange’ turns and that even if you were studying something else….life has something totally different planned for you :-) It was also not in France, but in Ireland that Julie has build up her career where she has worked in some of the best restaurants like Patrick Guilbaud Restaurant** and The Greenhou

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: George Kassianos

The reason why I started with this column is because to my opinion it are always the chefs that are put in the spotlight and the sommeliers deserve that same recognition as they are as important for the restaurant experience as the chefs are... Cyprus must have a good breeding soil for top sommeliers as today we're about to introduce yet another cypriot top sommelier George Kassianos who is president of the Cyrpus Sommelier Association and manager/head sommelier of the Thanos Luxury hotel group George Kassianos lived almost all his life in Cyprus, but has done his Hotel management studies (started in 1984 - 1994) in the UK and that is also where the 'wine bugs' bit him ... After his studies

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Vasos Manoli

If you have it in you it doesn't matter where you come from or where you went to school. This applies for all jobs of course... I might even say that for sommeliers from 'less known' wine countries like Cyprus it took much more effort of getting the recognition this job deserves. If I remember it correct, it was Paolo Basso who said the biggest problem in southern countries like Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus... is that most local people always think they know it better :-) this doesn't make the job as sommelier easier.... although if they would just consider listening to you and try something different you could make their whole food/wine experience one of another level. A perfect example

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Michèle Chantôme

Just like I said before more and more women are entering the sommelier world and we should be very happy about that. Nevertheless like in every branch there are set values, in the world of sommeliers this would be Michèle Chantôme who has dedicated her whole life to wine/sommeliers! More in a back-ground/supporting position, so not actually working in a restaurant or hotel... but those are very important as well I would say!! She is one of the reasons many woman want to start in the sommelier world... For many years Michèle was working as a freelance PR consultant and was in charge of the Ruinart Challenge in 1988 and has been the motor behind the contest until 2006. She also did the PR for

Ruinart Challenge Belgium 2017

The Ruinart sommelier challenge has been for many years a set value in the European sommelier competitions organized in over 15 countries. After nearly 30 years, Ruinart remains committed to train and educate the sommelier community worldwide. The Challenge has been inactive for a while, but they’re back with a new unique ‘Rendez-vous’ for wine experts that will take place in Antwerp - Belgium on February 20th, 2017! Why participate? Besides for expanding your knowledge about wine, it must be said that the prices aren’t bad either  the winner will get a 4 day educational trip to Champagne and a $1,000 EUR scholarship. The competition itself is a written, blind & tasting test of 4 wines. O

Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Eric Zwiebel

In the gastronomical world it are always the chefs that run away with all the compliments and attention. For me sommeliers deserve the same amount of compliments and attention (if not more ;-) ) That 's why I started this column to put as many sommeliers I can in the spotlight!! This time I chose Master Sommelier Eric Zwiebel. Eric was born in France, where he also started building his career and got classically trained at the Lycée Hôtelier Joseph Storck Guebwiller. HIs first steps in the world of gastronomy was at his parent's restaurant, from there his journey brought him to Paris or better to Le Pavillon Elysée Lenôtre After all those wonderful years Eric thought it was time to aim highe

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