Antwerp wine expert wins Sommelier of the Year


Restaurant ’t Zilte’s resident wine expert, Sepideh Sedaghatnia, has won Gault&Millau’s Sommelier of the Year for Belgium

Sepideh Sedaghatnia works at ’t Zilte in MAS museum

Sepideh Sedaghatnia of restaurant ’t Zilte, which is located in Antwerp’s Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) has won the 2014 Gault&Millau guide’s Sommelier of the Year for Belgium. The influential guide noted the 30-year-old’s solid knowledge and unique choices that fall outside the mainstream.

Sedaghatnia moved to Flanders with her family from Iran 13 years ago. Her parents encouraged her to study chemistry at university, but after a holiday job in a restaurant, her tastes turned to wine.

“Sometimes when I hand them the wine list, they ask to talk to the sommelier, and I say ‘that’s me’,” Sedaghatnia told ATV news. “They are surprised – I see it in their faces – but then once we talk, it’s all OK.”

’t Zilte restaurant, meanwhile, received 18 out of 20 points from the guide, an extremely high score. Not quite as high as Peter Goossens’ Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem, East Flanders, however, which again pulled down 19.5 points, making it the guide’s top-rated restaurant in Belgium. Brussels’ bon-bon, Comme Chez Soi and Sea Grill tied for second place with 19 points each. Three restaurants – one from each region – were named Discovery of the Year. In Flanders, the honour went to Maison D in Ronse, East Flanders, for its creative take on local cuisine and beautiful, light-infused interior, created in what was formally the large home of a doctor.

And the winner is... Sepideh Sedaghatnia ('t Zilte, Antwerp), Belgium's number one wine sommelier

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