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Cuban sommelier Jesus Machin won the International Habanosommelier Contest, one of the main events during the closing day of the 13th Habano Festival.

This expert in the combination of habanos with drinks and food was followed by Spain’s Maria Teresa Perez and the representative from the United Arab Emirates, Rajan Rengasami.

In the competition, attended by the president of the International Sommelier Association, Antonello Mayeta, the finalists were bound to show their knowledge in the field of habanos by handpicking the best combinations for a menu previously cooked up by the jury. They also had to answer questions and made service demonstrations.

The Habanosommelier Contest has traditionally consisted of two stages: first a theoretical and written phase in which the best candidates are chosen; and a second stage in which the finalists expose their knowledge and make recommendations before the jurors in terms of habanos and their matching with spirits, and show their skills as far as selection, tip cutting and lighting of cigars are concerned.   

This year, the contest celebrated its tenth anniversary with competitors from Cuba, Spain, UAE, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Russia.

The contest is widely acclaimed in countries where the famous Cuban cigars are marketed, given the ever-growing number of aficionados that demand professional assistance from a sommelier when it comes to handpicking a habano.

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