Italian Luca Gardini Named World’s Best Sommelier

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Luca Gardini of Milan’s Ristorante Cracco has been voted the Best Sommelier in the World in the latest competition sponsored by the Worldwide Sommelier Association in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Originally from Cervia (Emilia-Romagna) but Milanese “by adoption”, Luca says he has “wine in his veins” and always wanted to work in the wine trade.

Prior to his current role, he trained under Giorgio Pinchiorri of the Enoteca Pinchiorri, the three-Michelin star restaurant in Florence.  Currently, Gardini covers the same role at the two-Michelin star Ristorantre Cracco in Milan which is one of the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

His ambition is to promote the “Made in Italy” brand worldwide, as he believes this is something that he can do for his country, which, he says, has given him so much.  He wants to disprove the myth that red wine cannot be drunk with fish and advises wine lovers to keep all white wine in the refrigerator at home.

Gardini won out over 14 other wine experts from as many countries in a competition that included a rigorous written exam, wine tasting, and wine serving.

“This was a great success for me but I would like to commend the magnificent spirit with which all the contestants competed in an atmosphere of true friendship and mutual esteem,” Gardini said in a statement issued by the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS).

Milan Krejci of the Czech Republic finished runner-up while local hero Hector Garcia placed third.

The next world championship will take place in London in 2012.

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