Last night, we were joined by special guest Emily Pearce-Bibona who has just been named Ontario’s Best Sommelier in a gruelling day-long competition.
Click on the arrow above to watch the video.
We went behind the scenes with Emily to chat about what it was like to compete (and win) in this competition hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
Plus, she shared her expert tips on tasting and enjoying wine, including how to choose a great bottle from a restaurant list, with the help of your sommelier, of course ;)
You can read 69 comments here and make your own comment or ask her question, even after the video chat has ended.
Watch previous episodes of the Wednesday Wining Show (WWS) and find out who’s coming up next.
Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting …
Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvée Anna Maria Clementi Franciacorta
Delouvin-Bagnost Brut Champagne
Vandières, Champagne A.C., France
Flat Rock Cellars Riddled Sparkling 2009
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Emily is the sommelier at Barberian’s Steak House in Toronto and part of the group Femmes du Vins. After a day-long series of competitive challenges in front of a panel of expert judges, peers and the public, Emily triumphed to win the competition at the Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts at George Brown College on March 5, 2017.
The two runners-up in a tight race of 24 participants were José Luis Fernandez, sommelier at Quatrefoil restaurant in Dundas, followed by Nathan Morrell, sommelier at Bar Isabel in Toronto.
The top three participants qualified for the final competition after earning highest marks in a preliminary written exam and grueling competitive tasting. Each finalist then took their turn in the spotlight to face a further round of challenges in sommelier knowledge, tasting and theory, culminating in a live service demonstration before an audience of their peers and the public.
Emily began her wine journey in Toronto and is now a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She has worked in top hospitality positions throughout the city.
Her passion for learning continues as she pursues the Master of Wine program, offered in the UK. As a contributing writer for Decanter Magazine, Emily writes about the Canadian wine scene.
Emily has had the opportunity to participate in the exciting Toronto sommelier community and feels grateful to share her knowledge and passion with others.
As more background, here is a previous article on Bruce Wallner (one of the 2017 judges) when he successully won the competition back in 2012.
We continue our video chat below with Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner about Canada’s Best Sommelier Competition in Halifax this month. We find out why the Quebec sommeliers are such fierce competitors (think Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid) and the next competitions for the successful candidate.
You can also watch part one of our video wine chat.
You may also enjoy these video interviews:
Master Sommelier: What does it take to become one with Scott Carney, MS
Restaurant Wine Service: The good, the bad and the ugly with Scott Carney, MS
See all wine video chats here