Raimonds Tomsons from Latvia has been crowned the best sommelier in Europe and Africa 2017 following the A.S.I. (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale) Contest of the Best Sommelier of Europe in Vienna, Austria held on 11 May 2017.
The 36 year old head sommelier from Vincents restaurant in Riga faced off with 37 sommeliers from 34 European countries and 3 African countries to get down to the final four where he managed to defeat peers, Piotr Pietras (Poland), Julia Scavo (Romania) and David Biraud (France), to take gold.
The prestigious competition is held every three years, and includes a series of demanding challenges set by A.S.I and evaluated by a panel of judges. This year included: a sake aperitif, a pairing of food and wine, decanting and serving a bottle of Blaüfrankisch, several tastings, pouring a magnum of Moët & Chandon into 18 glasses, correcting a winelist and a quizz to identify personalities and items from the world of wine.
According to the A.S.I. rules, Tomsons will represent Latvia in the next world contest in Antwerpen, Belgium, in 2019 as well as giving his country the possibility of presenting an additional candidate in the competition.
Tomsons lifts the title from 2013 winner Jon Arvid Rosengren from Sweden, who also currently holds the world title, after winning in Mendoza, Argentina, last year.