Dmitrii Frolov wins Best Sommelier of Finland 2024

Dmitrii Frolov on stage at the Finnish Sommelier Championship 2024. Photo Star Wine List.
Krister Bengtsson
Published 16-April-2024
News / Finland

It was a small but strong field of contenders that started the competition of Best Sommelier of Finland for 2024. In the end, Dmitrii Frolov was named the winner at Glo Art hotel on the 15th of April.

"Luckily I won, it was a good event and also exciting as always!" said Frolov after the win.

Dmitrii Frolov (Restaurant Brasa), Natalie Hayashi (Muru), Demetrio Lombino (Muru), Huy Tran (Bronda) and Aino Tuomikoski (Baskeri & Basso) had entered the competition. In addition, the Estonian sommelier Mikk Parre was participating as a guest and the president of the Estonian sommelier association, Kristjan Markii, was part of the jury. And as part of the event day - Star Wine List was present to hand out the awards to the best wine lists in Finland.

The winner would get the chance to represent Finland in the upcoming Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa later this year, where as both the winner and the runner-up would represent Finland in the upcoming Nordic sommelier championship in Norway.

From the semifinalists, it was Dmitrii Frolov, Huy Tran and Aino Tuomikoski that moved forward to the final on the Monday. In front of a crowd of their peers they then had to perform service, theory and tasting tasks, with limited times to increase the pressure. Aino Tuomikoski placed second and Huy Tran came third.

Aino Tuomikoski. Photo Star Wine List.

It was the second time Frolov entered the Finnish competition, but he's not new to these types of events. Two years ago he moved to Finland from Russia, and he had a career as competitor there too.

"I have been in the wine business for many years, I studied as a sommelier in 2012. And I won the Best Sommelier of Russia in 2017. After the win I had a break because I was mainly judging. But after moving to another country I thought, why not have a challenge again."

What brought you to Finland?
"Basically I decided to move because I feel safer here. My family likes it and I have relatives here and I really like how everything is organised here. And I got a really lovely job offer."

And now you will represent Finland both in the Nordics and the ASI Best Sommelier of Europe event, how do you look forward to that
"That is another challenge, I have to prepare. I will have a conversation with our association president and perhaps organise a group for training and preparing. Maybe we will get together with the Estonian guys because they are really nice and also competitive."

Is there something you feel you need to train more on?
"Everything! Because the wine world is so big, you never get to the end. The best is to train together."

How is it to come to Finland as a foreigner and especially from Russia, how is it to live here and work here?
"For me it is fine. People are very friendly. There are still a lot of Russians living here in Helsinki, and everybody has reacted positively. My kids are happy in the kindergarten and school as well. It feels good."

Anything you'd like to add?
"I would like to thank you for your participation as well. Star Wine List is an amazing project. It's nice that it's growing and becoming world-wide, it's great."

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