Recently Croatia received news of a great wine, or better said, sommelier success. After reconquering the title of sommelier champion of Croatia two months ago, Siniša Lasan continued his successes. On January 25 in London, Lasan mastered the exams for the Advanced Certificate of the Court of Master Sommeliers, the most influential global institution for the certification of sommeliers, also the last step towards the title of Master Sommelier, held by only 249 people in the world. His current title is thus often referred to as “little master sommelier.”
This exam is composed of three sections – theory, serving and tasting of wine, requiring a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of wine styles and regions. Exams take three days and the final is a blind tasting of six wines.
It is also important to show significant progress in knowledge and skill compared to the previous two levels. The difficulty of these exams is seen in the average completion rate of only 30 percent, with many attempting more than one, and the Forbes Magazine calling it one of the most difficult exams in the world. They are undertaken mostly by sommeliers with a long experience, after many years of preparations, often people working in some of the leading global restaurants where they have the opportunity to taste various wines and invest significant sums into their preparations.
The excellent results by Lasan come after several years of intensive preparations, and the road to this prestigious title was not easy at all. “This was one of the goals I chose for my career and I am extremely happy I reached it. It was an arduous, long and tiresome journey, but when you truly love and live something, as I do wine, then nothing is difficult or unreachable. It is easier with unlimited support of family, friends, business partners – and I had all of that and everyone around me reacted positively to all my undertakings and supported me. Preparations in the past year were the most intense. The biggest issue was the unavailability of wine, something we often encounter in Croatia. This is why at the beginning of summer we organized a successful crowdfunding for training wines. My study room in Dubrovnik where I work in the Proto restaurant was an old storage and I spent at least several hours here daily, after my working hours. There were days when I couldn’t think as it was extremely hot or cold in that space, even some flooding… Looking back, I am certain I would not change anything. In fact, the difficult conditions for preparations make this title even more dear to me,” said Siniša Lasan.