17.10. at the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix competition held for the 9th time Kaspars Reitups from restaurans Vincents was awarded the title of Best Baltic Sommelier. After a two-day competition second place was awarded to Kristjan Markii from Estonia, and third place went to Karel Veski from Estonia.

“Winning the title of the best sommelier in the Baltics is a great honor. Being first contestant out of four today I had a valuable chance to observe all other candidates and therefore I am sure it was very fierce competition and each of the candidates were very knowledgeable and experienced. Consequently, I feel particularly proud that I managed to keep the title of the best Baltic sommelier in Latvia for the third year in a row,“ said Kaspars Reitups, the winner of Vana Tallinn Grand Prix 2014.

This year’s Vana Tallinn Grand Prix was characterised by tough competition and all finalists, with no exception, deserved to win. During these 9 years in which the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix competition has been held, the level of drinking culture has improved considerably and the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix has become the most important competition for sommeliers in the Baltic States.

The competitors of the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix included the best three sommeliers from each of the Baltic States. The competitors were assessed by an international jury, chaired by the President of the Austrian Sommelier Association Annemarie Foidl.

The Vana Tallinn Grand Prix has considerably expanded the world of sommeliers in the Baltic States, providing enriching experiences both to the competitors as well as the members of the jury. It was, indeed, Vana Tallinn Grand Prix – the first competition for sommeliers in the Baltic States – that involved a professional international jury. This ensured the conformity of the competition to international standards from the start and widened the scope of knowledge of the participants.

The Best Baltic Sommelier Kaspars Reitups was awarded a wine trip to a destination of his choice worth of 1000 euros.

On the first day of the competition – October 16th – all 12 competitors had to complete a test on theoretical knowledge. Based on the test the best four sommeliers were selected who continued competing in the final round organised the next day. In the final the competitors had to fulfil the following tasks: to amend an incorrect wine list, serve sparkling wine from a magnum-size wine bottle, pair food and wine, pass a blind testing and serve an apéritif.