Young sommeliers compete for the chance to go global
They dream of becoming the world's best, but first? They have to win a major local competition.
They're all hoping to be named the Chaine des Rotisseurs' top regional young sommelier.
More than 120 Calgarians are part of the global gourmet club, which has more than 24,000 members in more than 70 countries. As part of its mandate, it organizes both young chef and young sommelier competitions.
This year's Alberta competitors will include Samantha Nelmes (from Willow Park Wine & Spirits in Calgary); Devin McKay (also from Willow Park), Adam Perry from Run Pig Run in Calgary; Danielle Neufeld from The Deane House in Calgary; Taylor Simpson from The Teatro Group in Calgary; and last but not least, Evan Watson from Bar Clementine in Edmonton (pictured here.)
Each sommelier must be between the ages of 21 and 31.
And, as part of this year's competition, each young sommelier must serve Champagne, decant a red wine, taste four wines blind and complete a menu pairing, with food by Calgary chef Jan Hansen.
As if that wasn't enough stress, last weekend, each competitor had to complete a written exam, too.
One Canadian competitor will go on to compete in Mexico City in September. (The international portion of the competition takes place in a different city each year; previous locations have included Adelaide, Australia and Budapest, Hungary.)
Many past competitors have gone on to become Master Sommeliers.