Meeting the World’s Best Sommelier

16 Jun 2015 | by Giovanni Odaglia


Les Roches makes your wildest dreams come true! Well, this is certainly the case for hospitality bachelor student blogger Giovanni Odaglia, who got to meet Best Sommelier of the World 2013, Mr. Paolo Basso.

It was the 12th of May 2015 when one of my dreams came true.

Mr. Paolo Basso – Best Sommelier of the World 2013 – arrived in Bluche and delivered two spectacular hours of degustation of Swiss Wine.

Paolo BassoFor Mr. Basso, it was not the first time at Les Roches, as he had already delivered some training here in 2010-11. However, since I was not a student at that time I did not have the opportunity to meet him. In addition, it was Mr. Basso’s first time back in our classrooms after he got the title of Best Sommelier of the World.

Mr. Basso, together with the Swiss Wine Association allowed us to taste some “special” bottles. Special because what we tried is not in the market anymore and it would have been impossible to taste them without him.

Ladies and Gentleman, you may not be a sommelier, nor a wine lover, but you all must know that Switzerland has some incredible wines – in limited quantity, but definitely of high quality.

Paolo Basso 1Chasselas, Muller-Thurgau, Viognier, Pinot Noir & Syrah are just some of the incredible grapes type we had the opportunity to explore further with the knowledge of Mr. Basso.

For me the day was something magical. There are thousands of sommeliers around the world who would love to have had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Basso for a minute.

Les Roches students and I had the unique opportunity to follow him in a private workshop for 120 minutes. As an aspirant sommelier, this was an experience that will never be forgotten, most likely a “once in a lifetime” chance. It was like listening to your favourite singer at their most important concert.

Friends, colleagues, staff, sommeliers, and wine lovers that night had the chance to develop and further their knowledge of wine or have the pleasure to simply approach it for the first time in the most incredible way.

This is education; this is Les Roches – breaking its boundaries for sixty years. The 13th of May 2015, our university did it again, and the most beautiful thing is that all of this happened because of a teacher – Mr. Aiosi – who wanted to help a student – myself – in making this happen. It was not in his job description but this did not stop him.

Paolo Basso 2

I will be eternally grateful to Les Roches and teachers like Mr. Aiosi and many others in our beautiful establishment who support students in going the “extra mile”.

We are not here only to follow a syllabus but to constantly grow, adding knowledge and discovering the world from different points of view.

That night we showed it again and I can only hope that students will not stop to pursue their dreams. We have the facilities and staff to make those dreams come true!

Giovanni Odaglia


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