Coming back to the words in Whitney Houston’s hit song So Emotional from the 1980’s, they are really perfect to describe the feelings during this last weekend at the Fisar Annual Congress in Bologna.
Friday afternoon saw the final in the competition to nominate the Fisar Trofeo Rastal Best Sommelier of the Year. The emotions and nerve-shattering was on top among the finalists. The final round included a written exam and a practical, as well as, oral exam. In the practical exam they needed to show they were able to follow the right procedure, for example recommending a wine, opening the bottle, washing the glass with wine (avvinare), showing the bottle to the dinner companion from his/her correct side, pouring the wine to him/her from the correct side, and so forth.
The competition does not only stir a lot of emotions, but it also makes the finalists into stars within the sommelier world. The event was covered by a media team making photos, filming and doing interviews. Below you can see Livio Del Chiaro in action talking about his performance in the competition. He was coreographed by the ever present Laura Maggi.
Dinner, Friday evening
A Tuscany dominated group of us continued the Fisar weekend on Friday evening with dinner at the well known Osteria de’ Poeti in Bologna. The entertainement at the osteria by a sort of piano bar keyboard player and singer was quite funny, he was inviting the dinner guests to come up and sing with him. Most of the dinner guests were singing more gladly than well. But there was some random star among the audience… A surprise was a fellow sommelier next to me, who turned out to be somewhat of an expert on Italian songs and lyrics.
The Gala Dinner
On Saturday evening the annual gala dinner took place, and we had all dressed up afraid to not look elegant enough. Still I think Laura Maggi looked best of all. While eating and chatting, everybody were getting more and more excited about the moment when the winner of the Fisar Trofeo Rastal Best Sommelier of the Year would be revealed. The third and second place was announced, and everybody at our table were looking at each other, thinking, who could the winner be…? This as number three and two basically were the finalists that some had thought could win, apart from Livio Del Chiaro. So who could it be? Could it really be that Livio had won?
Me and Laura Maggi Lorenzo Sieni and Bianca Ciatti
The chairman of the board started announcing the winner of 1914, probably thinking we were still in another century. Then he took his time announcing that the winner was… Livio Del Chiaro! Again So Emotional can be used as a theme for the members of Fisar Firenze running towards the podium, screaming of joy. This was worse than at a football game when your team wins!
The gala dinner was only the beginning of the party, which lasted all night long to celebrate Livio Del Chiaro and the start of his year as a star within the sommelier world. The management team helping Livio to his victory, consisting of Laura Maggi, Bianca Ciatti, Andrea Micheli, and Giampaolo Ziuliani should really sell their concept. They are really a winning team! 🙂