Sommelier competition showcases cigar pairings

Burj Al Arab's Sky View Bar manager scoops first place prize at a first-of-its-kind cigar pairing competition.
Sommelier competition showcases cigar pairings
By Sarah Gain
Wed 23 Jan 2008 02:39 PM

Eight professional sommeliers from hotels around the UAE competed in a first-of-its-kind cigar pairing competition held at the Fairmont Dubai.

The competition, sponsored by Baqer Mohebi Establishment, distributor of Habanos in the region, consisted of theoretical and practical tests involving wide range of questions about the industry. Competitors were quizzed on everything from the tobacco growing process to the production and final marketing of various cigar brands, as well as having to demonstrate their cutting, lighting and pairing skills in the practical element of the test.

Participants were provided a humidor of eight different Habanos vitolas, and list of beverages sponsored by MMI and featuring Pernod Ricard brands, from which to provide recommendations to the judges.

Two co-vice presidents of Habanos, Manuel Garcia and Javier Terres judged the competition and unanimously voted Felix Hartmann, the manager of the Burj Al Arab's Sky View Bar the winner.

Hartmann will travel to Havana in late February to participate in the Habanos International Sommelier Competition, which forms part of the 2008 Habanos Festival.

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