The German wine industry witnessed a significant event this past weekend, with Katharina Iglesias, representing wineBank in Hamburg, securing the top spot at the DWI Sommelier-Cup 2024. Hosted by the Deutsches Weininstitut (DWI), this esteemed competition was held on January 21-22 at the Atrium Hotel in Mainz.
The Sommelier-Cup attracted a diverse array of 28 participants, encompassing experts from fine-dining establishments, wine industry professionals, and students specializing in hotel and wine studies. This broad participation underlines the event’s status as a key fixture in the professional wine calendar.
Competitors faced a rigorous assessment of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The tasting rounds involved 45 domestic wines spanning various categories, including red, white, aged, sweet wines, as well as PIWIs and climate exotics. Participants were tested on their ability to accurately identify the origin, vinification style, and vintages, some dating back to 1992.
In the theoretical segment, comprehensive knowledge in grape varieties, wine-growing regions, winemaking processes, market dynamics, and wine law was essential.
The final round, moderated by Master of Wine Romana Echensperger, required the top five finalists, selected by an expert jury, to accurately characterize and identify two concealed wines. Additionally, they demonstrated a perfect decanting service for a Spätburgunder and suggested appropriate food pairings, showcasing their professional demeanor and spontaneity in an open quiz about German wine.
The panel, comprising industry experts like Jasmin Priller (German Wine Professional), Dominik Trick (Hotelfachschule Heidelberg), Shahzad Talukder (Sommelier Union), Diana Maisenhölder (Vinophilium Wine Academy Stuttgart), Christina Fischer (Genusswerkstatt), and the previous year’s winner Julien Alsoufi, had the challenging task of adjudicating the competition.
The winners were honored with significant cash prizes, presented by the Deutsche Weinkönigin Eva Brockmann, amounting to €1,500, €1,000, and €750 for the first, second, and third places, respectively.
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Photo Credit. DallE