Every Friday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This week Björnstierne got to talk to sommeliers finest Raimonds Tomsons !
BIO Raimonds Tomsons
Raimonds is recognized as The Best Sommelier of Europe 2017 and 3rd Best Sommelier of The World 2019 by the world’s leading wine organization – A. S. I. (International Sommelier Association)
He found his passion and love for wine and hospitality while working at the renowned restaurant Vincent’s for 20 years. After winning several times the Latvian and Baltic sommelier competitions his ambitions grew. He studied in the famous Austrian Wine academy in Rust where he passed the respectable WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits.
He also holds the World record of sabring 71 bottle of Champagne in just 60 seconds. He is the wine judge at the Decanter Wine World Awards and a jury member of Star Wine Lists – the guide to great wine lists of the World.
Raimonds is the Wine Director of Barents Wine Collectors (Barents.lv) and a co-founder of a subscription based online educational platform for wine lovers Wine-teach.com (IG @wine_teach) (IG @raimonds.tomsons)
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘For me great Champagne is not only about the style, flavour and taste, it is about the story, history, emotions and those special moments when you shared a bottle of champagne with other people. I have chosen different Champagnes which were not only great because of their flavour profile and quality but also because of that specific moment and also emotions they created and delivered to me and people around me.
My mother in-law really enjoys the classic and historic Grand Marque Champagnes. Few years back I organized a Birthday Champagne tasting for her & her friends and we opened a G.H. Mumm ‘Cuvée R. Lalou Préstige Brut Millésime’ 2002 which was in a perfect maturity showing great depth and complexity! This special moment for her was complemented with the amazing story of René Lalou – the person behind this cuvée. And, this combination of a great Champagne and story made this an unforgettable moment for all of us.’
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘Vilmart’s ‘Coeur de Cuvée’ 2004, which is a single vineyard prestige cuvée from old vines fermented and aged in small barrels. I opened this tremendous bottle on our anniversary. For my wife it was one of the greatest Champagne’s she ever tried! The fact that we enjoyed this bottle in a tree house overlooking a small lake in a sunset, probably enhanced her excitement…‘
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘Definitely ‘RARE’ Champagne from the dry and sunny 1976 vintage! A Champagne to impress someone with a great story and personality behind it! I had the honour to taste few older vintages (including the great 1976) in the company of the legendary Régis Camus. The overall impression of this Champagne, as Régis Camus explained, was like sitting in an old library, with plenty of old books covered in leather covers, on an old leather chair, smoking a Cuban cigar and sipping an old and spicy Caribbean rum next to a fireplace – all these flavours where present in this Champagne!‘
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘Bollinger’s ‘Vieilles Vignes Françaises’ 1999 was simply one of the greatest (if not the greatest) champagne I ever tried. I tried it only twice – first time during a sommelier competition in Oslo where it was served blind (lucky Norwegian somms) and second time during a Champagne dinner hosted in Riga where a friend was generous enough to share this bottle with others!
I would enjoy this Champagne only slightly chilled from a large Pinot shape glass, probably Zalto and preferably with a slice of Foie gras served on a honeyed brioche toast, with few walnuts.’
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
‘I truly love and admire the great history of Champagne, so I would love serve a bottle of Salon 1996 to a Champagne personality from the 19th century, let’s say Madame Clicquot Ponsardin. It would be fascinating to talk with her about the golden era of Champagne and all the aspects how Champagne was made in those times and additionally treat Madame Clicquot with a great Champagne bottle from our time, meanwhile asking her opinion! We would listen to Vivaldi Four Seasons!’