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‘The new sommeliers are selectors and tastemakers’. Photo: YakobchukOlena

Obsessive about their subject, the talent of the new breed of master sommeliers lies in shaping the mood and lining up seamless food and wine matches.

Not so long ago, the phrase “star sommelier” would have been considered an oxymoron in the English-speaking world. Wine waiting was not seen as a career for the ambitious. It was reserved for the kind of man (and it was almost always a man) who takes pleasure in making sarcastic remarks while quizzing timid customers about the contents of his big, leather-bound book of potential faux pas, or shaming them into spending more money than they want on something they’ve never heard of.

Hello Vino 5.0 Wine Assistant (for iOS and Android).

Maybe one day wine retail shops will offer "Alexa" to provide shoppers with fast and pretty good answers to specific wine questions. Until that day, however, there will be smartphones and the apps that make them brainy, like Vivino and Hello Vino.

Winemaking in Sicily has some seriously deep-running roots, with production on the island remaining steady for over 3,000 years.

What’s large, in-charge, and home to some of the greatest wines in southern Europe? Welcome to Sicily, home of orange trees, olive groves, and more vineyards than you could possibly imagine. While we might think of Sicily as being small, it’s actually the largest island in the entire Mediterranean Sea, giving way to a serious array of grape-growing opportunities. With various terrains, topographical diversity, and that little old volcano on the eastern end of the island, there’s really no doubt about it; when it comes to wine, Sicily can do it all.

The focus for year one will be home grown sparkling, as well as natural organic and bio-dynamic wines.

ENGLISH sparkling, Organic and Bio-Dynamic wines will take centre stage at the first ever Dorset Wine Festival.

The event is to be hosted at the prestigious 10 Castle Street in Cranborne from 11am to 5pm Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24.

Stephen Wong MW, one of the local hosts for the two ‘Sommits’.

New Zealand Winegrowers has launched the 2018 New Zealand Wine Sommelier Scholarship, welcoming sommeliers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and Singapore to a series of ‘Sommits’.

First launched in association with Sommeliers Australia in 2015, the scholarship is now a global initiative with sommeliers from Asia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe set to compete for the prize in 2018.