Following Elyse Lambert in 2009 and Véronique Rivest in 2012,both from Canada, as the first winner of this contest, Ghislain Caron, once again a girl wins the title of Best Sommelier of the Americas!
Paz Levinson, 36 year-old, Argentinian, sommelier at restaurant Epicure (3* Michelin) of Hotel Bristol in Paris, did a brilliant job during the tests of the final of the Contest of the Americas 2015, on April 24th in Santiago de Chile, beating the Chilean Marcelo Pino, Casa Silva, Colchagua, and the Mexican Luis Morones, Palm Restaurant in Mexico.
A Première for Argentina and a confirmation for Paz Levinson already qualified to represent her country in the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World in Mendoza next year.
The countries of Latin America did show that sommelier has a bright future on this continent. There have been real improvements during the recent past years and all the candidates were very motivated. They could beat the very good candidates from Canada for the first time!
“It is difficult to find the words and express what I am feeling. I am just happy! But I need to go on and improve my skills and knowledge in order to go to the world championship at my peak. I will have to fight for Argentina, my country in my own country! It is a fantastic motivation, but at the same time, it is a big responsibility
…” Paz said after her victory, with the gold medal around her neck, presented by Shinya Tasaki, the president of A.S.I.
All of the tests had been prepared by the Sommeliers Contests Committee headed by Gerard Basset, Best Sommelier of the World 2010, and gathering Best Sommeliers of the World as Serge Dubs (1989), Shinya Tasaki (1995) and Andreas Larsson (2007). For the Americas, a special technical committee comprised, together with the SCC, Andrés Rosberg, president of APAS and vice president of A.S.I. for the Americas, as well as Marcos Flores, president of the Association of Mexican Sommeliers.
For the logistics, the Contest A.S.I. & APAS of the Best Sommelier of the Americas 2015, was organized by the Association of Sommeliers of Chile, presided by Hector Vergara, with the support of the A.S.I. international partners and local sponsors of the ASCL. And the total input of Ricardo Grellet, vice president of ASCL.
A big Thank You to Moët &Chandon, Chef&Sommelier, Nespresso, Vinexpo, SommelierS International, Austrian Wines, SanPellegrino&AcquaPanna, Suntory, AlsaceWines and ViniPortugal. And for Chile,Wines of Chile, prestigious Bodegas as Montes Alpha, CousinoMacul, Casa Silva, ViuManent, Altair, Concha y Toro, Casa Lapostolle, Cono Sur, Valle Secreto… Also INACAP and Les Toques Blanches. Also to be mentioned the hotels Santa Cruz Plaza, Colchagua, and NH in Santiago and the Chilean Pisco.