Gheorghinete from the Annabelle wins B&G sommelier competition
Elena Gheorghinete, sommelier at the Annabelle Hotel in Paphos was the winner of the first B&G Cyprus Sommelier Contest organised by Photos Photiades Distributors, Barton & Guestier and the Cyprus Sommelier Association.
The event was held at the Karatello Restaurant Carob Mill in Limassol where eight sommeliers from all over Cyprus took part in the closed contest.
George Loukakis from the Columbia Steak House Restaurant in Limassol was second with Marios Constantinides of the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol third.
The competition started with a written test on questions about France and B&G. A blind tasting of two wines was followed by an identification of five spirits from France.
Then the eight finalists had to face two practical tests in front of an audience of 60 people: 1. to serve champagne promptly to the three guests; and, 2. to decant and serve a bottle of B&G Châteauneuf du Pape to three guests.
The contestants were also judged on their attitude, commercial skills and the use of foreign language as the competition was conducted in English. The equipment used was sponsored by Virardi Enterprises.
Along with the trophy confirming the winner, Elena joined a group from Photos Photiades Distributors for a five day trip to Bordeaux to visit the famous B&G Château Magnol.
The judges included members of the Cyprus Sommelier association: oenologists Marcos Zambartas and Sophocles Vlassides, Iraklis Christophorou (ex-President), Argyris Kontos (Alexander the Great Beach Hotel), Andreas Kyprianou (Vinocultura), Alissa Gorchinskaya (Champion), George Zacharoglou (ex-Champion and of Le Meridien), Costas Pishias (President of the Cyprus Bartenders Association), Nicos Charalambous (Colosseum Restaurant), Dr Andreas Emmanouel (ex-President) and Yiannoula Vassiliadou (Cyprus Friends of Wine).
Vasos Manoli (Risto La Piazza), chairman of the Technical Committee said: “This year we had some very good papers, of much higher standard than before and especially at the practical service, the results of which impressed the judges. We have set out to educate our members and the results from this competition are encouraging. This makes our task harder for the next two years in preparing sommeliers for the Kyperounda Winery Best Young Sommelier that will be held on December 11.”
Elena Gheorghinete, the winner said, “This is only my first goal, but I will aim at a top winning the Best Young and the National, dreaming also of a ten spot at the European contest in Vienna 2017.”
Elena, who was born in Romania and has worked for the last four years in Cyprus, added, “I felt this is the payoff for all the hard work, all the sleepless nights I chose to stay in and study.”
At the lunch that followed, about 40 guests enjoyed a glass of B&G wines and the culinary team of the Karatello Restaurant prepared a meze menu.
In his concluding speech George Kassianos, President of the Association, said:
“There are many winners tonight not just Elena. It is a victory for wine, and particular French wine, the profession of Sommeliers and especially the eight professional candidates have benefited from the experience.”