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Dartmouth, N.S., hosts Sommelier University

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The Nova Scotia Community College Akerley Campus in Dartmouth, N.S., is hosting Sommelier-University, or Somm-U, a gathering of wine stewards and experts.

“I taught for 17 years,” said event organizer Mark DeWolf, who noted that nearly 100 sommeliers have come together in a think tank, interactive setting to learn more about what they do. “Which is the understanding of wine, regions, and wine service.”

According to DeWolf, the scope of the overall knowledge required to be a sommelier may surprise people.

“A sommelier has to know not just about wine but also beer, spirits, tea, coffee, and water,” said DeWolf.

The focus of Somm-U on Tuesday was mostly on wine, with hundreds of glasses passed around.

The Nova Scotia Community College Akerley Campus in Dartmouth, N.S., is hosting Sommelier-University. (Paul Hollingsworth/CTV Atlantic)

DeWolf said a skilled sommelier should understand each drink, the subtle differences, and the sub-variance. “And basically how to relate that information to customers.”

Sommelier Jose-Luis Fernandez lives in Caledonia, Ontario, and is originally from Columbia.

“We get to hang out with friends and other sommeliers from all over the province and country,” said Fernandez, who came here to learn and work alongside the best of the best and those who all bring a proven passion for their craft. “With the education program, it’s great to be here.”

Beyond the learning opportunity, this is also a contest.

“We are having the best sommelier competition in Canada,” said DeWolf. “Some of them are competing to be Canada’s best.”

Judges from around the world will decide the winner on Wednesday.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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