• Cyril McAree

The Best Sommelier in Ireland Competition 2020

A day of intense competition took place at Whelehans Wines The Silver Tassie, Bray Road, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin on Sunday 16th August 2020 when competitors from prestigious establishments battled it out for the title of Irish Guild of Sommeliers Best Sommelier in Ireland title 2020.

A wide ranging questionnaire and written analysis of two wines and three spirits were completed by all the candidates and from that emerged three finalists after a very close contest.

The three finalists were as follows: Anke Carmen Hartmann, Arch Guesthouse/Lamplight Wine Bar and Merchants, Market St, Clifden, Co. Galway, Daniel Stojcic, Noble, 27 Church Road, Hollywood, Co. Down and Andrzej Dasiak, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. All finalists displayed their skills and knowledge over a wide range of practical tasks judged by an expert panel of judges representing the hospitality industry, hospitality education and journalism. The entire competition was overseen and run in a professional manner by Julie Dupouy Young, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers ably assisted by the technical committee.

After an intense afternoon of competition Daniel Stojcic emerged as the eventual winner with first runner up Anke Carmen Hartmann and Andrzej Dasiak in third place. The judging panels were high in their praise of all three finalists and stated that Daniel was a worthy winner after a highly contested competition by the other candidates.

Julie Dupouy Young President thanked all the competitors for entering and hoped they enjoyed the experience and encouraged them to continue with their studies. She wished them all well for the future in their chosen profession.

The “sobering challenge” posed by Covid - 19 to the Irish and world Hospitality industry was highlighted. It took global lockdown to awaken our deep need for connection. The crisis has made us appreciate the luxury we lived in, the abundance of product, the freedom of movement and the health that we took for granted before COVID-19 came knocking. Looking to the future I urge all members to try and be cheerful. Do not be a slave to rumours of fear and panic as we struggle through the trials and tribulations of this virus. When this time of fear and uncertainty passes – and it will pass – let us be ready to Care and Connect with each other in a meaningful way to make this world a better place for mankind.

Whelehan Wines Competition Venue

David Whelehan took after his father and is today one of Ireland’s leading authorities on wine, often discussing wines in national press, radio and television. David’s father T.P. was one of Ireland’s greatest authorities of wines, especially wine from Burgundy. As a renowned oenophile, he wrote in many magazines and newspapers on the subject. He became Ireland’s first wine correspondent and critic.

Whelehan Wines offer a unique range of wine tasting experiences and wine appreciation courses in their ‘W’ Wine School. ‘W’ Wine School classes take place above the Wine Store in their ‘Tasting Rooms’, a beautiful, spacious and modern learning environment. At the ‘W’ Wine School they deliver passionate, enthusiastic, expert and most importantly, fun wine appreciation courses.


Thanks to the following sponsors

Whelehans Wines

Veuve Cliquot Champagne

Nomad Wines

Competition Judges

David Whelehan, Whelehans Wines

Niav McNamara Clontarf Wines

Declan Byrne former Secretary International Bartenders Association

John Wilson Irish Times wine correspondent

Andrew O’ Gorman, Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Paul Young

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