Norwegian sommelier Francesco Marzola is the new Nordic sommelier champion. He won a tight final before Swedish Ellen Franzén and Dane Rasmus Marquart.
Marzola is the wine director at Park Hotel Vossevangen.
The final at Edderkoppen scene in Oslo was led by the Swedish 2007 World Champion Andreas Larsson along with Norwegian sommelier association president Liora Levi, both former Nordic sommelier champions.
Candidates from all Nordic countries started the day in quarterfinals with theoretical tests which included naming all 29 Portuguese wine regions and a blind tasting which included an Armenian wine (which nobody got right). Six semifinalists were then allowed to go on to both theory and practical tests, including a blind tasting of sparkling water.
“That part was mean,” Andreas Larsson commented from the stage.
After the semifinal, three sommeliers reached the final: Francesco Marzola from Norway, Rasmus Lunkow Marquart from Denmark and Ellen Franzén from Sweden.
The final started on stage with a blind tasting of six sparkling wines, where the finalists had to name production method, grape(s) and origin in six minutes. After that, they had to serve a magnum champagne to a table of four while fielding questions about the producer. Theory ensued with a faulty wine list that had to be corrected in five minutes, before the final solo step: Choosing and serving a wine to go with the dish Surf and turf, by Christopher W Davidsen, Bocuse d’Argent 2017.
The last round saw all finalists on stage, where they had to recognise faces from figures in the Wine world that had been pasted together. The task got a lot of laughs from the audience, not least when John Kapon and Rudy Kurniawan shared a picture.
“I think that was one of the meanest and funniest moments I have seen,” Andreas Larsson said.
The very last moment on stage together was to mix the drink Moscow Mule in three minutes.
Facts: The semifinalists were Henrik Dahl Jahnsen (Norway) Francesco Marzola (Norway) Taneli Lethonen (Finland) Rasmus Lunkow Marquart (Denmark) Ellen Franzén (Sweden) Emma Ziemann(Sweden)