Lukas Wiegman is best sommelier in the Netherlands

Lukas Wiegman is best sommelier in the Netherlands

Amid a jubilant audience, Lukas Wiegman of Restaurant NOTK in Rotterdam won the Dutch Sommeliers' Championship, the Trophée Henriot. During a grand gala dinner at Sofitel Hotel The Grand in Amsterdam, which featured cooking by several star chefs, this was announced by jury president Magda van der Rijst.
Image: Milton Verseput

Sommeliers Marvin Walraven and Martien Marcelissen came second and third, respectively. Lukas Wiegman may now hold the title 'Best Sommelier of the Netherlands' for two years. For the third time, the René van Heusden prize was awarded, the prize for the candidate who did the blind tasting section best. This prize was also won by Lukas Wiegman.
The Dutch Championship is organised once every two years by the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers. In addition to the coveted trophée and accompanying silver brooch, Lukas was awarded a double magnum 1989 Henriot Champagne and a 4.5-litre bottle of 10-year-old tawny port from Grahams port and was offered wine tours to the Loire, Germany and the Douro (port region).

On Monday 15 April, 15 candidates from all ranks of gastronomy, from starred restaurants to bistros and wine bars, began the Dutch Championships. The preliminary round consisted of a theoretical exam and three practical parts such as blind tasting a wine, explaining a wine-food combination and decanting a wine. Besides president Magda Van der Rijst, the jury consisted of culinary critic Joël Broekaert, Cyrille Harmell of Champagne Henriot, Belgian president Kris Lismont, president of the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers Heleen Boom and sommelier Peter Bruins. After the preliminary round, three candidates remained to enter the finals. This again involved a number of practical elements. The announcement took place during a grand gala dinner where chefs from Bridges, Vigor*, Zarzo*, Central Park* and De Bokkedoorns** provided a room of 150 guests with a fantastic meal.

On behalf of the Nederlands Gilde van Sommeliers, the organisation was in the hands of chairman Heleen Boom and board member Marco Westra. The Nederlands Gilde van Sommeliers (NGS), founded in 1986, is an association to which some 250 Dutch sommeliers belong. Through tastings, meetings, training courses and online information, the NGS provides a platform
for sommeliers to come together and develop themselves. In addition, in this way the NGS also tries to raise the level of wine service and thus the overall level of the Dutch catering industry and specifically gastronomy. The NGS is not an exclusive club. Anyone working as a sommelier in the Netherlands can join the Guild of Sommeliers. The NGS is affiliated to the international Association de la Sommelerie Interationale (ASI) and is thus the only organisation in the Netherlands that officially organises the Dutch Championship for Sommeliers, called the Trophée Henriot in the Netherlands. The NGS also sends a delegation on behalf of the Netherlands to the European and World Championships for Sommeliers.

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