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On November 8 and 9, 2017 at Hotel Mondial, Tirana the championship “Albanian Best Sommelier 2017” was held. Nine Albanian sommeliers participated in this contest: Ersol Caco, Irdi Lushi, Aldiola Lama, Myzafer Provinaj, Bujar Tukuli, Saimir Ndreka, Evis Isufaj, Gevin Gjoka, Evald Domi. All participants demonstrated professional skills not only in tasting and describing wine, but also in tasting beer and coffee. A surprise for the semifinal: the tasting of Albanian wine, Kallmet Prestige 2015. The winner for the best description of this wine was Ersol Caco.

Bujar Tukuli

The next day was very important because the association announced the finalists of the competition. The Jury was formed by worldwide known professionals of enogastonomy: Prof. Celeste Di Lizio – head of Jury; Prof. Somm. Rudy Rinaldi; Prof. Somm. Peer F.Holm; Prof. Somm. Dashamir Elezi; other members: somm. Dritan Beqiri; somm. Silvana Hyseni and enologist Ernest Melani. They decided that the finalists were: Irdi Lushi, Bujar Tukuli and Ersol Caco.

The final competition was held in public after a random choice for the beginning of the competition. After evaluation of the tasting developed by all competitors, the jury decided that the first place and the winner of the competition “Best Albanian Sommelier 2017” would be Bujar Tukuli, second place for Irdi Lushi and third place for Ersol Caco. Ersol Caco was also the best wine taster of Kallmet Prestige 2015, a prize given by the producer of Kallmeti Winery in Lezha.

After the competition, the Technical Jury met for an open tasting of various Albanian wines offered by the Class Wine store. The wines of the reciprocal wineries were highly praised: winery Bardha - Sheshi I Zi and Mavrud 2014; Winery Kallmet – Kallmet Prestige 2012, Prestigj 2015; Winery Belba – Kavalion 2012; Winery Caco – Chardonnay 2016; Winery Menea – Merlot 2010; Winery Nurellari – Puls I Bardhe 2016; Winery Herta-Trebbiano 2016; Winery Balaj – Caberlot 2014.

The Albanian Sommelier Association thanks all its members who have contributed positively to the development of the activities for the benefit of the wine & gastronomy field and our nation. We thank the supporters of the Albanian sommelier association (OSHS): Winery Kallmet, Winery Caco, Winery Belba, Winery Balaj, Winery Korca 2000 Menea, Class Wine store, SEA Albania, Heritage Enoteca, Alehandro distribution group, Port Albania, who are permanent supporters of ASA.

Also special thanks to Hotel Mondial, Piazza Restaurant in Tirana and the Eurosig-Insig group who are supporters of the wine and gastronomic field for the quality of social life in the country. Year 2017 can be considered a very successful year for the Albanian Sommelier Association and we wish all OSHS members and sympathizers a happy, quality and prosperous New Year.