Toni Albiol, manager of the specialist store Enoteca Divins in Martorell, has been proclaimed champion of Catalonia for sommeliers in a final competition with Anna Casabona (Juvé
Toni Albiol assures that the day of the contest "was the happiest of my professional career, which began in the 90s." He reveals that he has spent three months without leaving home preparing for the contest. The winner affirms that his rivals are "major" but that the contest, which has various questions and tests, was "fun". He considers that there were very difficult questions, such as one referring to a cocktail recipe, describing the grape varieties and the composition of the soils of ten world wine-growing regions or detailing which are the sub-zones of Japan, of which he only knew how to answer a couple. He succeeded in a blind tasting, yes, a Venezuelan rum and even an umeshu, a Japanese plum liqueur.
At the time of receiving the award from the Minister of Climate Action of the Generalitat, Teresa Jordà, Albiol wanted to thank his family "for the patience and support they have given me during so many years of training and profession". The new champion of Catalonia, who last year qualified in third position, also wanted to encourage the new generations of professional sommeliers to continue "in this line of continuous training" and to "keep the bar so high that the company currently has Catalan sommelier”.
For her part, Minister Teresa Jordà highlighted the work that is being carried out in the world of wine at the promotional level, as well as that carried out by sommeliers "to prescribe the magnificent wines that are made in Catalonia". At the same time, she has recalled the importance that viticulturists suppose "in this whole process and in the preservation of the territory that is carried out from this sector". The mayor of Salou, Pedro Granados, has highlighted the importance that the world of wine and vineyards has had in the history of this municipality on the Costa Dorada.
The president of the Catalan Association of Sommeliers (ACS), Anna Vicens, has also highlighted the "high level" of the contestants in the championship organized by the coordinator of the sommeliers of Tarragona, Joan Carrion. Likewise, the ACS has awarded, in the framework of a gala held in the restaurant of the Club Nàutic de Salou, the career award to sommelier Toni Bru, the award for best communicator to Margalida Ripoll (journalist from Arrels magazine), the award to the best charity initiative at the Mas Albornà Foundation in Vilafranca del Penedès, the best winery with wine tourism offer at Vinyes Domènech de Capçanes and the best room at the Celler de l'Aspic restaurant in Falset. The actor Fermí Fernández has been proclaimed an honorary partner.
The Sommelier's Night dinner was organized by brothers David and Antonio Manuel Cortés, with the collaboration of Jeroni Castell from Les Moles restaurant in Ulldecona, Arnau Bosch from Can Bosch de Cambrils, Pep Moreno from Deliranto of Salou and Rafa Múria of Quatre Molins de Cornudella de Montsant. Previously, the different denominations of origin with vineyards in the regions of Tarragona have offered a tasting of their wines.