By Flavien Becq In Oenology 2 March 2023 Duration ~ 3 min Success Story : Interview with Raimonds Tomsons, Best Sommelier of the World 2023 Raimonds Tomsons, elected new best sommelier of the world 2023 On Sunday, February 12, 2023, the final of the election of the best sommelier of the world 2023 took place in Paris, France. During an exceptional final, Raimonds Tomsons, the Latvian candidate won the title of Best Sommelier of the World 2023 against Reeze Choi and Nina Jensen. Chef&Sommelier, glass partner of the ASI (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale), had the chance to ask questions to the new world champion, Raimond Tomsons through Mark Dewolf : ASI : When you are competing on a stage like the Best Sommelier of the World, having to identify individual wines and spirits to their exact origins, you must want the best glassware. Raimonds Tomsons : I always paid attention to glassware. At our restaurant it’s crucial. It’s not only about the shape and the physics and size of the glasses, but I think it is also very important, the touch and the feeling. I think if you are drinking wine from a glass, which is attractive to your eye, I think emotionally that gives much more pleasure. You know, can drink high quality wine from a thick kind of glass, but I’m sure it’ll not give you the same pleasure, the same aromas, and the same kind of emotions if you would be drinking it from a very elegant glass. From experience working in our restaurant, I always tend to ask the guest, because they are the most important person at that moment, what glass he or she is interested in. I can also give my opinion. I find this especially to be true with sparkling wines. There are still conservative guests who would like to have a narrow flute shape of glass. Why not? But if guests are open-minded and ready to trust the sommelier, why not to give a wider, sleeker glass? ASI : Is glassware important to you as a restaurateur? Raimonds Tomsons : Absolutely! I think nowadays we see a lot of restaurants gravitating to minimalistic design. Our restaurant for example, is also quite minimalist. So obviously ever detail matters to the owners, investors, and designers. If you have a very minimalist-style restaurant, everything else should be similar in style. The cutlery, the plates, and of course the glassware as well. ASI : At the recent competition you had a number of Chef & Sommelier glasses to use during the contest. Was there one of the lines that most resonated with you? Raimonds Tomsons : Absolutely. And I can be honest with you one of my tactics before the competition, was to check the ASI Guidelines with respect to glassware. I also specifically studied the webpage of Chef&Sommelier. I can be honest with that because I was especially wanted to refresh my memory about the decanters. I checked what kind of decanters they produced. Perhaps it was a coincidence when I researched to see if they make a magnum decanter. Finally, I discovered their Macaron decanter can handle a magnum of wine. To my good fortune, here I was on the stage during the finale, and I am instructed to decant a magnum bottle. Then I saw the wonderful Macaron sitting there, ready for me to use. In terms of the glasses, my personal favourites are from the Reveal’up series. I really like the design, how they look and of course how wine tastes in them.