On Sunday, Antoine Lehebel of “La Villa Lorraine” in Uccle competed against Benedict Couderé of “De Karmeliet” in Bruges and Jasper Van Papeghem the “Hostellerie L’Esco” in Watteren, in the Best Sommelier of Belgium competition reported Belga, the news agency. During the final, which took place at the Radisson Blu in Brussels, the three contestants competed in seven challenges.
The challenges were: the art of serving champagne to four guests, the sensory analysis of three different wines (red, white and sweet), decanting red wine “in the state of the art”, a blind taste test of six different alcohols, correcting a wine list containing ten errors, proposed food and wine for a preset menu, and answer questions by a South African wine specialist.
The competition was organized by the Belgium Sommeliers, Gourmet Guild, the Prosper Montagne Food Club, the VVS (Vereniging Vlaamse Sommeliers) and Gault & Millau who agreed not to create more than one national sommelier competition in Belgium. So far, three “best” sommeliers have been appointed each year, according to various competitions
When the competition was launched, organizers received 14 entries but only 11 were selected to compete in the semi-finals which were held in Bruges on September 22nd.
The jury, composed of personalities from the world of sommeliers, restaurants, hotels, viticulture, education and food press, granted the 32-year old sommelier, Antoine Lehebel , the title of Best Sommelier of Belgium from 2014 to 2015.
In 2013, Yanick Dehandschutter of “Sir Kwinten” in Lennik (Flemish Brabant), won the competition for the Best Sommelier of Belgium which was organized by the Belgium Sommeliers Guild and Gregory Van Acker, of “De Lijsterbes” in Berlare, was appointed First Sommelier of Belgium by the Prosper Montagne Food Club.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)