Finalists ‘Lily Bollinger of the Year’ 2022

Picture of Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

Now the semifinals of this year’s Lily Bollinger Award have been decided. Those who advance to the final on September 19 and have the chance to win the prestigious title ‘Lily Bollinger of the Year 2022′.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In the starting field for the final, we now find three talented female sommelier who went through three different parts in an extremely exciting semi-final. It is now clear that it is Anette Andersson, Cathrine Almqvist & Ida Kilåker who will compete to become “Lily Bollinger of the Year” in September.

Seven female sommelier competed against each other during the semifinals of this year’s Lily Bollinger Award in the competition elements blind test, theory section and a practical element. Together with other participants, the finalists excelled with their skills at the Match Palace in Stockholm before a reputable jury consisting of competition leaders and winners of Sommelier-SM Emma Ziemann, Tina Johansson (2017) and Frida Winters (2021 and current Lily) who both previously won the competition.

For 20 years, the Lily Bollinger Award has worked to encourage female competitors and today the competition is an established part of the work of raising female sommelier and drawing attention to their expertise. The competition was founded by Arvid Nordquist and Champagne Bollinger and the name of the competition is a tribute to the colorful champagne widow Lily Bollinger who for almost 30 years competed with men to make the world’s best champagne.

The following finalists are now ready with the question: how does it feel to be in the final?

Anette Andersson34 years old from Umeå
Current workplace: Harlequin / Hunger & Thirst, Umeå
‘I participated last year and it was an incredible experience that meant both excitement and challenge for myself. I met many competent women and sommelier both inside and outside the competition context, which gave the whole competition experience a real golden edge. I wanted to experience that again, besides, I am seldom content with coming second, the competition person in me always wants to win.’

Cathrine Almqvist – 31 years old from Stockholm
Current workplace: Beach club by Pontus Frithiof
‘It’s like a roller coaster of emotions and at the same time a huge relief. You enter another world, a world of wine, where I feel I have found my place. It is not really possible to land together next year ‘, says Cathrine with a big smile.

Ida Kilåker – 21 years old from Lund
Current workplace: Lenoteket AB and newly graduated
‘It really feels completely crazy, never thought I would succeed in taking a place because this is my first competition. I was probably a little too hard on myself apparently,’ says a humble Ida.

The competition elements

  1. Participants were put to the test directly during the semi-finals with an extensive written blind test of three wines from Australia. They would describe in as much detail as possible the appearance, aroma and taste of the wines, after which they would draw conclusions about what was served in the glasses. In addition, they would provide suggestions for serving as well as food recommendations.
  2. In the theoretical part, the competition participants were given a written test which, among other things, included the task of identifying wine districts and production processes and correcting an extensive wine list full of errors.
  3. In the final stage of the competition, the participants had to carry out a classic dining step in the form of serving sparkling wine and recommend food for four iconic wines selected by the jury.

‘As always, it is fun to see how the participants meet the challenges we face them, they should all be proud of their efforts. If you want to go far in this competition, it is important to demonstrate theoretical knowledge, as well as structured blind tasting of wine and carry out dining steps under stress with charm and determination. The Lily Bollinger Award is a competition at an international level and today we can proudly state that the participants perform in line with high expectations,’

says Emma Ziemann, competition leader.

The final will be decided this autumn

On September 19, the Lily Bollinger final will take place in Stockholm. In addition to the glorious title “Lily Bollinger of the Year”, the winner will receive an educational trip to the historic champagne house Bollinger and a Steel Horse bike that symbolizes how Lily Bollinger constantly guarded the vineyard on two wheels.

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