The ASI Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe 2013 gathered 37 candidates in Sanremo from September 26 to 30th. 10 of them reached the semi-final and the 3 best ones- Arvid Rosengren, David Biraud and Julia Scavo – competed in a high level final concocted by the Sommelier Contest Commission headed by Gérad Basset. Days of concentration and work for the candidates, whose professional attire was offered by Bragard, and the members of the jury, but also discovery of the Riviera dei Fiori, the gastronomy and the wines of the region for the 250 members of the European delegations.
Giuseppe Vaccarini, with the constant support of Piero Sattanino, Best Sommelier of the World 1971, who owns a hotel restaurant in Bordighera, and the logistical help of Marta Perduca and Alberto Merico, pillars of the ASPI, succeeded in realizing a world-class competition, despite a serious political and economic crisis in Italy. It is necessary to specify that Shinya Tasaki, understanding the financial difficulties due to this exceptional situation, had incited the General Assembly of the ASI to pay to the ASPI a part of the aid promised by the Italian authorities but never materialized…
So, thanks to a magnificent surge of solidarity and to the famous sense of hospitality of our Italian friends, this stay remained memorable for many of us.
For the winner, of course, Arvid Rosengren, but also for the youngest candidate, a 24-year-old Finnish sommelier, Markku Tapio Niemi, from the Muru restaurant in Helsinki, who was awarded by SanPellegrino Acqua Panna. Not forgetting, on the sidelines of the competition itself, Paul Brunet, who received the prestigious Emozioni Prize in the superb setting of the Villa Nobel, for the whole of his work and his exceptional educational career. Moët & Chandon had sponsored the Prize.
A day of tasting and visits in Monte Carlo was also organized by the Monegasque association of sommeliers at the instigation of Patrice Frank and Jean Pallanca. The event ended with a superb dinner at the Hermitage with the discovery of South African wines such as Anwilka, Klein Constantia and its emblematic Vin de Constance.
As for the competition’s gala dinner, it was prepared by starred chefs. We were able to enjoy the delicate and inventive dishes of Fratelli Ceresa, Ristorante Da Vottorio, Sadler, Enoteca Pinchiorri and Lucio Pompili. The dessert was offered by Ferrero. All this was accompanied by opera songs thanks to the collaboration of the Milan Conservatory of Music, on the Roof Garden of the Casino of Sanremo. A wonderful evening accompanied by a service of beautiful wines and spirits made by the sommeliers of the ASPI and orchestrated by Alberto Merico.