It was again that part of the year when wine professionals roll up their sleeves and get ready for competition time. The 3rd Indian Sommelier Championship was organised by Wi-Not Beverage Solutions Pvt Ltd at the International Food and Drinks Expo, 2010, on the 3rd of December 2010.
Numerous discerning candidates from over 10 prestigious organisations applied. Like last year, students were called for some classroom training based on their applications. Then were conducted the intense two-day pre-competition trainings by the Wi-Not sommeliers that covered a vast area of technical inputs, exhausting sessions of wine tasting, and hours of grooming for the final competition. A technical examination was conducted at the of this event which, combined together with the scores of the initial application, decided the top five. A panel of international judges and the Wi-Not team announced the final five candidates who then battled for the top spot at the venue, live! The judges this year were:
•Mr. Sanjay Menon – Owner, Sonarys (Mumbai based wine import company)
•Mr. Angelo De Ioia – Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, Travertino at The Oberoi, New Delhi
•Mr. Davide Zubani – Head Sommelier, China Club, Gurgaon
The final contestants were judged on their proficiency to pair wines with dishes from various cuisines, suggesting best dishes to marry a list of high-end wine, technical know-how, wine handling and serving skills, and interpersonal and communication dexterity. If this wasn’t enough, judges incorporated a parameter of personal questions that tested the eloquence and creativity of the candidates. The wines were selected by the judges at the last moment to ensure no bias could be administered. The best bit was that all members of the audience also tasted the wines that were allotted to the candidates to be commented. This further made it a consolidated judgement.
After some serious discussions and a bout of seemingly endless and intimidating silence, the results were announced:
1.Winner – Mr. Navrose Arora, Hyatt Residency, Delhi
2.1st Runner-up – Mr. Ankur Chawla, Hotel Taj Mann Singh, Delhi
3.2nd Runner-up – Mr. Ravish Gadhwal, Aman Resort, Delhi
4.Finalist – Mr. Mohammad Farat, Hotel Le Meridien, Delhi
5.Finalist – Mr. Abhijit Haiti, Hotel Trident, Gurgaon
Arc International ingenuously sponsored the awards for the winners and the judges. Chef&Sommelier limited edition wine glasses not only put a big smile on the faces of the winners but will also keep them tasting more wines here-on The competition is all set to expand next year. This will not only include city prelims nationwide but will also hold a week-long training before the finals in Delhi, same time, next year. See you there!!