Staged in the cultural capital of Vienna, the second Gaggenau Sommelier Awards brings wine and coffee culture to life. In an inspiring final round, all five young sommeliersshowcase their abilitiesin front of an expert judging panel and international media, giving an insight into their approach towards the duties and responsibilities of a sommelier while demonstrating their professional skills.

​At the end of two full days, Marc Almertis elected the 2016 winner and international Gaggenau cultural ambassador, followed by Tansy Zhaoand Norbert Dudzińskiin second and third place respectively.

In line with the 333rdanniversary celebrations, Gaggenau is reinforcing its commitment to culture. Sven Schnee, Head of Global Brand Gaggenau, points out: “As an element of Gaggenau’s brand and culture philosophy, we are combining theconscious enjoyment and appreciation of excellent wines, coffee and food ontheoccasion of the Sommelier Awards ceremony, with the gaining and sharing ofknowledge in a setting that epitomises arts and culture. Congratulations to Marc Almert, theGaggenau Sommelier awards winner 2016. He will be our international cultural ambassador and support Gaggenau in promoting exclusive wine culture as part ofasophisticated lifestyle.”

The Gaggenau showroom in Vienna, where a substantial part of the 2016 competition takes place, offers the appropriate framework. Its wine culture area, which symbolises the increasingly popular and famous Austrian wine region, is equipped with theVariowine climate cabinets 400 series, and is perfectly suited to accommodate thecomprehensive wine tests that include a blind tasting on the first competition day. With coffee being a typical institution of Vienna, the showroom design includes adistinct coffee culture area equipped with the fully automatic espresso machine 400series. This is where the second day’s coffee tests and subsequent tastings areheld.

Culminating in the finalists’ presentation of the wines chosen as a pairing to HaraldIrka’s five-course menu, the evening event takes place in the historic venue ofPalais Liechtenstein. As an opening, jury member and award-winning pianist Zhao Yinyin gives a private piano recital, followed by Harald Irka’s menu. The young Austrian chef and rising star, renowned for his contemporary and forward-thinking cuisine, surprises the guests with his balanced compositions of genuine ingredients.