Blessing of the Wine and Awarding of the Bacchus Pirze 2012 in Poysdorf: Willi Klinger (Austrian Wine Marketing Board) Josef Pleil (President of the Austrian Viticultural Association), Karl Stoss (Bacchus Prize Winner), National Wine Queen Elisabeth II. (Hirschbüchler), Karl Neustifter (winery Neustifter), Erwin Pröll (Govenor Lower Austria), Birgit Perl-Pauwels (Moderator), Iosif Aenasoaei (Priest), Aldo Sohm (Bacchus Prize Winner), © AWMB

November 6, 2012 – Aldo Sohm, the Tyrolean chief sommelier in New York, is honoured with the highly distinguished Austrian wine award – the Bacchus Prize 2012.

Every year in Austria, the wine of the brand new vintage is blessed according to an old tradition at the official Weintaufe Österreich. Great wines and personalities assembled at this year’s blessing, which took place on November 5th, 2012, in the town of Poysdorf in the Weinviertel. Also there, Aldo Sohm, the Austrian chief sommelier in New York, was awarded the Bacchus Prize 2012 for his outstanding contribution to Austrian wine. Sohm, together with the national prize recipient, Karl Stoss – the general director of Casinos Austria AG – gave the newly blessed wine, a Grüner Veltliner from the Weinviertel, the name of “Jackpot”. Willi Klinger, general manager of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, and Josef Pleil, president of the Austrian Winegrowers’ Association, paid tribute to the winners with congratulatory praise.

Aldo Sohm, chief sommelier of the 3-star restaurant Le Bernardin in New York

A visit to an Italian winery sparked Sohm’s passion for wine when he was just 19 years old. From this moment on, the young man from Austria’s Tyrol knew that the world of wine and food would be the right track for him to follow. After several periods spent in renowned dining establishments at home and abroad, he reached the peak of his career when, following a tough, rigorous effort, he became the first Austrian to be awarded the title of “Best Sommelier of the World”.

Since 2007, Sohm has been the chief sommelier of the Michelin 3-star restaurant “Le Bernardin” in New York where, in 2009, he was awarded with the highly prestigious James Beard Award in the category of “Outstanding Wine Service”. He has devoted himself to the art of adventure in the creative matching of dishes with just the right accompanying beverages – a talent for which he is a master in his field. Presently, he oversees a magnificent wine cellar with more than 900 labels and 15,000 bottles from 12 countries and vintages dating back to 1875. Together with Gerhard Kracher, he currently works on an Austrian wine project.

“Needless to say, Austrian wine holds a very special place in my passion for wine,” said the elated Sohm, who contributes at the highest level to the success of Austrian wine in the US metropolis. “I’m extremely happy about this award from my home country.”