Nina Højgaard Jensen

2nd at the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest 2019 and has also victories like winning the Danish Sommelier Championship, the Nordic Sommelier Championship, the Castel young sommelier championship and 3rd Place in Danish Young Cup


I believe that finding meaning in life can take many forms and it is up to ourselves to create it. To me it creates meaning to have a positive influence on others hence I strive to be one that can transmit knowledge and open up new ways for guests and colleagues alike to think and talk about wine. What you teach others live on and sometimes takes a form of its own when they then start using it to teach others. That is fascinating and in a way also a sort of silent, useful is formed legacy. My great ambition is that I never stop learning and can continue to share that.

Photo: World Championship Finale 2019



2nd World Championship for Sommeliers

2019 AND 2017

1st Danish Sommelier Championship


1st Castell Young Cup


1st Nordic Sommelier Championship


3rd Danish Sommelier Young Cup


Growing up, flavours and smells always made a deep impact on me. It often takes for my family to mention “that place with the outstanding peaches” or “where we had that onion soup” to really know, which place or event they are speaking about.

I am grateful to my parents for the upbringing my siblings and I have had for many reasons, one of them being their attitude towards what a meal is. Not in the sense of the atmosphere surrounding it – no, in the sense of what it is constituted of. In our home it was all about the raw ingredients. My parents, especially my dad, liked cooking, but, as in many modern families, taking the time for it could be a challenge. Their approach then became: If we make sure to buy proper ingredients and cook simple meals from the bottom, it will always lead to good results – our job is then to not mess up the produce we have bought! As a family we dined out fairly frequently, both in Denmark and when travelling. My parents were never shy of bringing us to some of the best restaurants and would only rarely go without us. They brought with them the quality-oriented mindset when we would dine out: We could choose absolutely anything from the menu at a restaurant, but the kid’s menu. Placing little trust in the simplified versions of food presented on kid’s menus, that was simply a no-go! When I look back at some of the marvelous restaurant experiences, I have had from a young age, they are among my happiest and clearest memories, and I have come to realise, that I more remember all the places we have been by where and what we have eaten than anything else! The excitement and expectations of the food, the thrill of the good service, the ambience. I just loved it all, and that was well before I even discovered wine!

Marvelous restaurant experiences




Sommelier of the Year

Den Danske Spiseguide

Sommest Award


World Championship for Sommeliers (ASI)

“Årets udskænkning” | Beverage service of the year


Association of Danish Food critics

Winelist of the year | For restaurant Kong Hans


White Guide Nordic

Wine experience of the year


White Guide Nordic

Another important thing in the household was to make space for the hobbies. Music came to be of great importance to all three of us children, and it would also be in this context I learned the adventure it is to perform: You have just one shot at showcasing something you have spent endless hours perfecting. My instruments became the piano but even more importantly so the flute. My teacher organized some of her students into groups that would frequently perform concerts and on occasions even make tours abroad. It made a little money, and each time gave a sense of needing to deliver on the spot. I guess you never really get used to nerves, but to learn what it means to be under the pressure connected with a performance from early on has come in handy, when I started competing as a sommelier. I still consider learning the discipline connected with practicing something at a high level as defining to how I have approached my journey into the world of wine and competitions.

My journey into the world of wine and competitions



2014 2015

2012 2015

Level 1 and 2 at

Vinakademiet | The Wine Academy, Denmark

Waiter Education at Copenhagen Hospitality College, Denmark

Pass as top of the class

Pass with special honors and gold

Fast forward a few years I could not really let go of the drawing I had always experienced towards restaurants. I started to consider a career in the restaurant industry more seriously and decided on becoming a waiter: To me the thought of being a part of creating similar, joyful memories for others as I treasured so highly myself made great sense and value. At the time, I did not really enjoy wine, had maybe only tasted it a couple of times if I am honest. But still I had a feeling of it being interesting and important. Therefore, I decided to try and get my 3-year internship at the restaurant that not only had given me some truly superb experiences, but also was widely regarded as one of the best places for wine in Denmark. So it became, that Restaurant Le Sommelier took me in as an intern (I don’t know if they ever noticed I didn’t even know how to open a bottle of wine when I started, but just relied on my great observational- and copying skills). My time there was crucial. I was surrounded by the most kindhearted, competent, and inspiring people, who acted as the entire foundation upon which I have built my way of thinking a service, but also understanding wine. Many of them have remained my role models to this day, and from that I have developed one of my strongest working principles: To always surround yourself with people who – be it one way or another – are better than you.

Understanding wine


Editor in Chief of “Sommelier” for Danish Sommelier Association

2020 — now

Restaurant Alchemist, Copenhagen

2012 — NOW

Restaurant Lyst, Vejle

2019 — 2020

2018 — NOW

Educator Danish Sommelier Education (DSU)

2016 — 2019

Restaurant Kong Hans, Copenhagen

2015 — 2016

Restaurant Anarki, Copenhagen

2012 — 2015

Restaurant Le Sommelier, Copenhagen

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