What would the wine scene be without the wine experts? “Sommelier” is the French term for one who is well-versed in the ways of wine, being trained in all aspects of wine and how it should best be served. Sommeliers are experts of their trade, and there are many criteria that one must meet before meeting the benchmark and earning the title. There’s even a prestigious competition, held once every three years in cities around the world, to determine who is the world’s best wine expert.
It’s a gruelling, intense contest, containing three parts: a written theory exam, a component where the competitor must serve wine to the judges, and a blind taste test. The competition is called the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, and all self-respecting sommeliers have at least considered partaking in the event. In winning the competition, the champion becomes revered in the world of wine, installed in its hall of fame and becomes something of a wine celebrity. Here are a few of the world’s most renowned wine aficionados, having won the Association de la Sommellerie at one point.
A native Swede, Rosengren won the title of World’s Best Sommelier in the Association de la Sommellerie in 2016. Despite his father’s push for a more conventional, academic career path in Nanotech Engineering, he decided to follow his love of gastronomy, studying food and wine for two years. He now owns an Italian-American restaurant in Soho, NYC and travels the world taking interviews, offering his expertise at other wine competitions and hosting classes, lectures and tastings.
Winner of World’s Best Sommelier in 2007, Larsson also hails from Sweden and attended restaurant school where he began his love of wine. After being a chef for 7 years, Larsson discovered his passion while travelling in Burgundy, France. His preferred taste is for the traditional French wineries of Bordeaux, Champagne, Sherry and Riesling.
At 27 years old, Enrico Bernado was the youngest person ever to win the World’s Best Sommelier championship in 2004. Wine was introduced into his life by one of his teachers at culinary school in Milan who happened to be the best Sommelier of 1978. His love for wine combined with his love of food makes him one of the greatest gastronomists. These days, he is a renowned author and authority on wine.
Having won the ASI in 1996 and 2010, and placing as runner-up in 2004 and 2007, Basset has a few credentials to his name. Coming from the UK, he is the only person in the world to be Master Sommelier, Master of Wine and Wine MBA. As well as gaining huge business success through the Hotel Du Vin Group, Gerard is responsible for mentoring and inspiring young, up and coming sommeliers.
You don’t have to be an expert sommelier to enjoy a good wine. At Grand Cru Wine Fridges, we’re passionate about wine too. Browse our range of wine fridges and find one that suits you, so you can serve your wine in top form.