Best Baltic Sommelier named at Tallinn Grand Prix

The Best Baltic Sommelier has been crowned following the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2011 in Tartu, Estonia.

Kristjan Peäske of restaurant Leib, Resto ja Aed, Estonia was declared the region’s best sommelier and was awarded a 'wine trip' worth €1,000 courtesy of Baltic drink producer and importer AS Liviko.

Kristjan Markii of Estonia won second place and Liora Levi of Norway came third.

Janek Kalvi, chairman of AS Liviko said: “The aim of this competition is to develop wine and alcohol culture and the event taking place in Tartu shows that we do not only concentrate on capital cities but work towards that goal all over the Baltic countries.

"It is extremely important that Baltic sommeliers have a chance to compare themselves to the best in Europe.”

The competition saw a mixture of theoretical and practical examinations and this year, for the first time, competitors from Scandinavia also competed.

Kristel Nõmmik, president of the Estonian Sommeliers’ Association said: “The participation of sommeliers from Scandinavia is extremely important to us, since there is a lot our sommeliers can learn from the Nordic countries, whose sommeliers have achieved high places at worldwide competitions.

“Nordic countries and the Baltic states are in a similar situation, because they do not really produce wine themselves and more emphasis is placed on the culture of serving wines.”