So Portugal has just won the Eurovision Song Contest! With a simple but authentic song.
Without any fuss, fanfare or affectation. Salvador Sobral called it ‘real music’, and one has the feeling that he meant exactly that. His lyrics were Portuguese and so was his melody; nevertheless, millions of Europeans voted for him.

We in the wine sector also see this quest for authenticity. And it has nothing to do with the nascent trend toward nationalism that one is aware of nowadays. On the contrary: the wish to experience ‘genuine’ wine is most noticeable in those individuals who are the most widely travelled, who have become familiar with many regions and who have tasted an extraordinary number of wines.

And above all, these are the sommeliers.

Last week, the best sommeliers in Europe met for a competition in Vienna. All throughout the day they underwent truly demanding and difficult testings. But whenever they had the chance, they tasted all the wines that were offered.

They sampled and analysed the wines, meticulously, respectfully and professionally, rejoicing with heart and soul whenever they encountered one that transmitted the genuine and unmistakeable expression of its origins.

Sommeliers are among the most important ambassadors for the wine sector. They are the Geiger counters for future trends, translators into the language of the consumer, the spokespersons and the psychotherapists.

Anticipating the wishes of the guests, capably resolving difficult situations, resilience, strength of nerve and perfect manners – a good sommelier is an accomplished all-rounder.

 

At the wine summit MUST – Fermenting Ideas, held in the homeland of the Eurovision champion, Paz Levinson from Argentina (4th place winner in the 2016 World’s Best Sommelier competition), Michelle Bouffard (sommeliere from Canada), and the president of GuildSomm Geoff Kruth will be presenting the most widely varied perspectives on this marvellous profession.