A Habanos Sommelier from Cuba, invited by Kaliman Caribe, visited Bulgaria for the first time.
Ms Danays Sanchez, a professional Habanos Sommelier from Cuba, made an exclusive trip to Bulgaria to introduce some Habanos culture at the highest professional level. Her one-month schedule featured master classes, tastings and trainings meant to shed more light on the art and craft of blending and tasting. For the first time, the Bulgarian audience had the chance—and honour—to experience the finesse of a seasoned cigar sommelier.
The Habanos Sommelier Craft

‘To be a Habanos sommelier is like having a wealth of knowledge of senses and experiences,’ said Danais. The professional sommelier leads the taster on a unique journey, mapping each taste, each nuance. The Habanos sommelerie worships the cigar, always focusing on the Habano.

It All Starts in Cuba

In Cuba, good service and etiquette constitute an integral part of the profession of Habanos Sommelier. In 2019, the 7th special two-year training course, which is part of the educational system of the Cuban Ministry of Tourism, will be held. The Habanos sommelier is considered to be the highest level of cigar sommelier. It allows the sommelier to take a broader view, enhancing and expanding the knowledge of all types of drinks and possible combinations with Habanos’ wide-ranging portfolio. The craft teaches the way to fully experience the Habanos, including all steps from the choice of cigar, through the lighting, serving and tasting rituals.

The Competition

A special place within the world’s greatest cigar event, the Habanos Festival, is reserved for the Habanos Sommelier competition. It is held since 2002 and includes written tests, ‘blind tastings’, questions and answers before a panel, as well as real-life situations with customers to assist in their choice of cigar and drink based on the taster’s experience, personal preferences, available time and other specifics.