Balkan Sommelier Challenge 2018

The first Balkan Sommelier Challenge took place from 9th until 11th of November in Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency hotel. At the finals of this international competition, Serbian sommelier Vuk Vuletić, last year’s best Serbian sommelier, won this competition. The second place went to Julija Scavo from Romania and the third place to Norbert Kovacs from Hungary

Sommeliers from Albania, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey took part in this first Balkan competition. Besides them, sommeliers from Sweden and Norway joined as guest competitors.

The international jury was the following:

Soren Polonius – President of the jury – Director of the Didactic Committee of ASI

Michel Chantome – General Secretary and Director of the Marketing Board of ASI, President of the Moroccan Sommelier Association

Andres Rosberg – President of ASI

Liora Levi – President of the Norway Sommelier Association, ASI Marketing Board

Per Holm – President of the German Sommelier Associaton, member of the ASI Board

Samuil Angelov – President of the Finish Sommelier Association, member of the ASI Board

The test exams and the assignments were prepared by the Finish Sommelier Association. The qualifications and the semifinals took place on November 10th, when 12 competitors made to the semifinals: Siniša Lasan, Marko Šram, Fredrik Lindfors, Julia Scavo, Norbert Kovacs, Bujar Yuri Tukuli, Vuk Vuletić, Alexandros Bouzikas, Aristotelis-Iosif Sklavenitis, George Loukakis, Sotiris Neophytidis and Simon Zimmermann.

In the semifinals, they have shown their skills in serving sparking wine and cocktails and Balkan wines blind tasting.

The finals of the first Balkan Sommelier Challenge took place on November 11th. Three finalists competed for the title of best Balkan sommelier: Julia Scavo, best Romanian sommelier, Norbert Kovacs from Hungary and Vuk Vuletić from Serbia. The finalists competed in recognizing and describing wines, matching wine and food, decanting wine bottles, beer identifications, serving cigars and port, answering short quiz questions of general wine knowledge and serving champagne out of magnum bottles. After winning the Balkan Sommelier Challenge, Vuk Vuletić will represent Serbia at the upcoming ASI Best Sommelier of the World Competition that will take place in March next year in Belgium.