On 2 March Eger hosts the first round of the Hungarian Sommelier Championship. The event is organized by the Hungarian Sommelier Association and their strategic partner is the Egri Borműhely (Eger Wine Workshop), while the main sponsor is Törley Pezsgőmanufaktúra. The top 3 competitors will gain access to the final to be held in Budapest the next day.
According to the organizers the goal of the Championship is to provide a high level opportunity for domestic sommeliers to showcase their skills and expertise. This is the third year of a new way of running the competition. The finals are held in Budapest, while the first rounds are hosted by various Hungarian wine regions. The obvious advantage of this modus operandi is that winemakers have an easier access to the competition and can acquaint themselves with the strategically important work that sommeliers do but also employees whose job is to conduct tastings at the wineries and therefore are in immediate contact with customers.
Representing the Association Miklós Schneider said: „I’m looking forward to the first round in Eger. This is a wine region that embodies the reliance on tradition through Egri Bikavér but at the same time also the ability to reinvent itself through Egri Csillag. I also love kadarka from Eger, a most exciting speciality of the region.
There is a wide selection of wines made there: ranging from easy drinking, refreshing wines to top quality single vineyard bottlings with high levels of complexity.”
„We are happy to host the event. The quality of entertaining guests is of the utmost importance for tourism and specifically wine tourism; we hope that a competition like this provides inspiration to the local professionals working with wine in restaurants or wineries”, said Attila Petrény, owner of Petrény Winery and member of Eger Wine Workshop.
In the morning, behind closed doors competitors sit for a written test and then they have to pass a blind tasting test where the variety, origin etc. of the presented wines should be identified. In the afternoon the rest of the test is open to public and involves more spectacular tasks. The first is decanting and aerating wines which is a useful practice not just with older bottles where the wine may have thrown quite a bit of sediment but also with younger wines to enhance their aromatic complexity.
In the second round competitors have to match food and wine – there will be 2 unidentified wines and 5 unidentified dishes. This is a task that requires profound professional expertise.
On the face of it the task may seem simple, but the challenge is made the more difficult by the fact that competitors will not only have to take into consideration the character of the basic ingredients but in some cases the rather marked seasoning too which may upset the seemingly obvious pairings. For the first time in the history of the competition members of the public can taste the food and wine matches at the end of the event.
The first round will be held on 2 March 2019 starting at 13.30 in the Conference Hall of the Eger István Dobó Castle Museum. The final is held on 3 March at 11.00 in the Queen Elisabeth Ball Room of the Budapest Gundel Palace.
Source: Wineglass Communication