First time in history – the title of Best Sommelier in the Baltics goes to a Lithuanian Martynas Pravilonis
On November 4, at the prestigious Vana Tallinn Baltic Sommelier Grand Prix 2016, held in Riga, Martynas reached victory against 11 other competitors from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. After a successful performance in the semi-finals, Martynas at the finals met with another representative of Lithuania, Mr Narimantas Miežys, who won second place; a third-place winner from Latvia, Ms Agnese Meiesone; and the best young sommelier, Ms Marika Tikas, from Estonia.
During the theoretical part of the finals, the participants’ knowledge of the famous wineries, vineyards and wine production process were tested, whereas during practical tasks, they had to demonstrate skills in wine decanting, Coravin System use, blind tasting and wine pairing with food. The organisers had some surprises up their sleeves: “When asked to prepare an aperitif with Vana Tallinn liqueur, I had to improvise” – Martynas reveals. “The biggest challenge at the finals, after all,” he admits, “is the ability to control yourself and interact with the audience as well as the jury – it has a significant impact on the result,” says the Baltic sommelier champion.
Martynas Pravilonis runs Atelier Wine Boutique & Tasting Bar, situated at Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square, for which he has carefully selected an assortment of the best wines. This passionate wine expert deepens his knowledge daily by studying at the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust School on its Diploma programme. When asked about plans for the near future, Martynas mentions the European Sommelier Championship in May, where he will represent Lithuania.
The hotel is extremely proud of Martynas’ achievement and the possibility of having such a high-level professional among the team.