Some of the best sommeliers across the globe gathered in Tokyo on Wednesday for a competition that will name the world’s best wine waiter.
The competitors come from 54 countries including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Sweden. For three days, they will prove their skills in front of the jury as they combine wines to foods and serve consumers. All of them will have to work in a foreign language.
“A good sommelier not only has to have good knowledge of wine, but he also needs to be able to put customers at ease and know what to do to let them enjoy the food,” explained Serge Dubs, chairman of the jury and a former champion.
“A sommelier has to be a very good communicator, he has to know what his clients want and how to make them remember their experience at the restaurant,” Gerard Basset, the British winner of the competition in 2010, said.
“The sommelier should also be a good cellar manager and act as an ambassador for producers, constituting a kind of link between the growers and consumers,” he said.
Candidates will be selected during the two preliminary rounds held on Wednesday and Thursday, while thee finalists will be selected for the final round on Friday. The world’s best sommelier out of them will be selected in front of about 5,000 spectators.