Gianluca di Taranto of The Jane restaurant has been named winner of the “Best Sommelier of Belgium 2019-2020” competition. He closely edged out Dries Corneille from De Jonkman Restaurant and Stephane Dardenne from Air du Temps to claim the crown.
This competition was made possible thanks to the collaboration between the Belgian Sommelier Gilde and the Flemish Sommelier Association (VVS). This year’s contest was held in The Dominican, an elegant 4-star hotel in Brussels. The winner was selected by an international jury of sommeliers and members of the trade press under the supervision of Ann Pirlot.
The finalists were each confronted with a series of high-level challenges, including a tasting, knowledge of food & wine pairings, wine decanting and tableside manner. Di Taranto will now have the opportunity to officially represent Belgium at the “Best Sommelier of Europe” and “Sommelier of the World” competitions in the coming years.
Belgium is no stranger to hosting high-quality sommelier competitions. The Best Sommelier of the World competition was held in Antwerp this past March. Marc Almert from Germany prevailed after three fierce rounds of contention.