Russia, UK and Chile Choose Their Representatives for the Int’l Habanosommelier Contest


Preparations for the Big Final of the 2012 International Habano Sommelier Contest, to take place within the 14th Habano Festival in February, continue to capture the attention of experts worldwide, who are choosing those that will represent their geographic regions or countries in the event.

Cuban cigars Exclusive Distributors in Russia, United Kingdom and Chile organized their respective national finals from where the Habano Sommelier who will travel to Havana for the International Contest came out.

The International Habano Sommelier Contest is one of the most attractive events within the Habano Festival. During the competition participants must pass hard tests about the world of the Cuban cigar and pairings with different spirits, in addition to demonstrating in public their skills in the service to customers.

Habanosommelier en Reino UnidoHabanosommelier en Reino UnidoHABANO SOMMELIER IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

On October 18, the final of the annual Habano Sommelier Contest was disputed at the head offices of Hunters & Frankau’s, Habanos S.A. Exclusive Distributor in the United Kingdom.

The three finalists, from cigar-friendly restaurants and hotels, competed  for an all-expenses-paid trip to Cuba to represent the UK, and in particular the Exclusive Distributor in the market, at the International Habano Sommelier Contest to take place during the 14th Habano Festival, scheduled for February 27 to March 2 of 2012 in Havana.

Although the competition was tough and every participant had their own merits, at the end of a hard day of tests, the Jury made up of Sean Croley (Sales & Marketing General Director), Simon Chase (Hunter & Frankau’s former- Marketing Director) and Ignacio Balmaseda (Habanos S.A. Corporate Director in Hunters & Frankau’s) unanimously selected Olivier Marie (Coq d’Argent) as the winner.

French Olivier Marie, 41, has worked for 10 years at the Coq d’Argent restaurant and is currently its head sommelier and wine buyer.


Andres Arteaga Saint-Lawrence, Manager of Santiago de Chile’s La Casa del Habano –opened in November 2009- was the winner of the Chile Habano Sommelier Contest held in October jointly with the Chilean Sommeliers Association.

The seasoned sommelier and connoisseur of Cuban cigars holds certificates as Tequilier and expert in spirits.

This is the second time Arteaga Saint-Lawrence will participate at the International Habano Sommelier Contest in Cuba with the hope to take home the title since the winner of the competition in 2010 was Sommelier Philip Ili, also from Chile.


Habanosommelier en Rusia

During the Third Habanos Day celebrated recently in Russia, the national Habano Sommelier’s final, organized by Top Cigars Corporation, took place with the participation of three finalists: Andrey Guzenko, Dmitry Drutsa and Julia Solovyanova.

This year’s winner was Solovyanova, who will represent Russia at the International Habano Sommelier Contest slated for February in Cuba within the framework of the 14th Habano Festival.

Solovyanova defeated her rivals after demonstrating great mastership and knowledge about the Cuban cigar, its service and combinations with different spirits.

The awards ceremony for the Russia Habano Sommelier was held during the Gala Dinner of the Third Habanos Day, where the winner was presented with a box of Bolivar Emperador cigars, a courtesy by Top Cigars Corporation, and a voucher for an individual tailored-made outfit by Uomo Collezioni, sponsor of the event.