Eleftherios Hanialidis prevailed over 14 Greek participants and one guest participant from Cyprus to claim the title of Best Sommelier of Greece for 2020. For Hanialidis, head sommelier at the Cava Vegera retail chain and an active member of the Greek Sommelier Association, it was a thrill and a relief to compete against two proven winners from his own nation who also happen to be his friends: “I think the level of our sommeliers is rising year after year. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with two great friends and exceptional sommeliers, Alexandros Bouzikas and Aris Sklavenitis, who were ranked second and third respectively.”
Interestingly, Hanialidis will not be representing Greece at the European Contest in Cyprus. That honor will go to Bouzikas, 2nd place finisher here, based on his prior win. Hanialidis is now slated to carry the Greek flag at the European contest in 2023.
The jury for this contest featured iconic personalities from the global sommellerie scene. These included: Michèle Chantôme, President of the Sommeliers of Morocco and General Secretary of ASI; Giuseppe Vaccarini, President of the Association of Sommeliers in Italy and Best Sommelier of the World in 1978; Dashamir Elezi, President of the Association of Sommeliers in Albania; and Florin Voica, President of Sommeliers in Romania.