Raimonds Tomsons, Latvia, 14° Best Sommelier of Europe

One year ago, in Mendoza, Argentina, the semifinal of the 15th A.S.I. World Contest revealed new faces from new countries. Among them was a young Latvian, Raimonds Tomsons, who just became, on May 11th, Best Sommelier of Europe after a very high level Final in the Parkhotel Schönbrunn beautiful Ballroom.

After the tests of the semifinal, David Biraud (France), Piotr Pietras (Poland), Julia Scavo and Raimonds Tomsons were selected for the Final out of the 12 -

Christian Jacobsen (Danemark), David Biraud (France), Terry Kandylis (Grèce), Julie Dupouy (Irlande), Raimonds Tomsons (Lettonie), Piotr Pietras (Pologne), Jakub Pribyl (République Tchèque), Julia Scavo (Roumanie), Eric Zwiebel (Royaume-Uni), Aleksandr Rassadkin (Russie), Robert Andersson (Suède) et Fabio Masi (Suisse)-

Usually, only 3 candidates go to the Final, but this time, there was a tie between the two third ones and it was impossible to separate them. That’s why we kept 4 !

The 2017 Final in Vienna took place exceptionally during the gala dinner and required, as usual, different skills and knowledge from the candidates. The panel of judges had to evaluate each of them through 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 showing personalities and items from the world of wine to identify.

Raimonds Tomsons, 36 year old, successfully completed all these tasks and logically won the title. He has been for 17 years the head sommelier of restaurant Vincents in Riga. He is the first Baltic sommelier ever to reach such a high level in a continental contest.

According to the A.S.I. rules, he will represent Latvia in the next world contest in Antwerpen, Belgium, in 2019 and gives his country the possibility of presenting an additional candidate in the competition.

Final results :

Best sommelier of Europe & Africa : Raimonds Tomsons

2nd : Piotr Pietras from Poland

3rd place shared by Julia Scavo, Romania, and David Biraud, France.

A big Thank you to Moët & Chandon, Chef&Sommelier, Vinexpo, SommelierS International, Austrian Wines, SanPellegrino & Acqua Panna, Suntory, Alsace Wines and ViniPortugal, the A.S.I international partners who are supporting and helping us promote the profession of sommelier all around the world.