A Tough Preliminary Round of the Habanosommelier Contest


A jury of top-class experts assessed each and every proposal individually, bearing in mind a simulated after-meal service in which habanosommeliers were bound to make pairing proposals between drinks and Habanos. 

Representing Cuba, Pedro Tejada, an habanosommelier at the celebrated Bodeguita del Medio, awed the jurors with a suggestion to pair Cuban sour chocolate, a 15-year aged Legendario rum and a Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills.

Spain’s Francisco Javier Marin, for his part, went for a gin tonic (Vulcan Gin) combined with a Cohiba Siglo VI, while Peter Dobrontei from the UK came up with a Royal Tokaji and an Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial.

From Latin America, Venezuela’s Jose Gregorio Pereira tossed in a well-acclaimed suggestion consisting of a Diplomático Single Vintage 1997 and a Vegas Robaina Unicos. From the Old World, Italy’s Marco Tonelli brought along a Grappa Segnana Solera Selezione tied up to a Cohiba Robustos, while France’s Fabrice Sommier made a bolder move with his Chateu D’Yquem 1998 wine matching a Cohiba Behike 56.

The list of competitors also included Dejan Gjorgjiev from the UAE, that proposed a Don Julio 1942 tequila and a Trinidad Short Robustos T E.L. 2010, and Russia’s Dmitry Drutsa who suggested a Frapin V.S. cognac to join a H. Upmann Half Corona.

Following all the proposals, now the jury will come up with a verdict to handpick the competitors for the grand finale on Saturday.