Lieke Wijga and Tim van der Vegt, both working at Aruba Wine and Dine (AWD), have successfully attended a Sommelier course called WSET level 2 (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). The two now know a lot more about grapes, wines, regions, flavors, flavors and characteristics after having sipped fifty different wines in three days.
Their expert teacher was Christian Esser from Austria – he is living in the Cayman Islands. The WSET is an internationally recognized sommelier course with its headquarters in London.
Lieke (26) is the F&B Manager of MooMba, Hadicurari and Nos Clubhuis. Although she has studied intervention criminology, she has worked in the restaurant business in Holland and on Aruba before she decided to come and live here. Aruba always drew her, as she lived here with her parents and brother from 1991 – 1996. Already having worked at MooMba in 2013 and 2014 as a waitress, she came back in 2016.
Tim (28) is the manager of Tango Argentine Grill. After his studies in Zwolle (Middelbare Hotelschool) and Leeuwarden (Hogere Hotelschool), he flew to Aruba for an internship. The island kept beckoning after he finished his education in the Netherlands, so he came back 7 years ago. He has worked at Salt & Pepper in the Arawak Garden for 4 years before going next-door to Tango. Tim is very happy with his girlfriend and his 2 naughty dogs.
The wine course, held in November at Pepia Est, consisted of a lot of theory, general and specific information, tasting, smelling and studying. Teacher Christian outlined the various wine regions in the world and talked about why certain grape varieties flourished in certain conditions. Food & wine pairing formed also part of the course. Together with the other six participants, Lieke and Tim had to answer 50 multiple choice questions on the final day before they could heave a sigh of relief when they were finished. Last week the results came in: both received their certificates!
The two junior sommeliers will be able to use their new-found knowledge in their jobs: ``We now have a much better insight in what would go well with which dish.’’ To illustrate this, they added: ``A Riesling, for instance, will go well with Asian food, while skirt steak (lean, with much taste) is complemented by a smooth and soft Malbec.’’ Very impressive indeed.
Congratulations to Lieke and Tim; we hope they will continue their in-depth study in the intricate world of wines. There is a really difficult Level 3 course coming up shortly…