The names of the 12 sommeliers who have made it through to the final of this year’s Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition, organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS), have been announced as:
Loic Avril, The Fat Duck, Bray
Arnaud Bardary, Maze Gordon Ramsay, London W1
Tobias Brauweiler, Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Remi Cousin, The Fat Duck, Bray
Sergio Dos Santos, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey
Bavand Foroughi, Savoy Grill, London WC2
Lukasz Kolodziejczyk, The Fat Duck, Bray
Jan Konetzki, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London SW3
Kathrine Larsen, Orrery, London W1
Stephen Raducki, Hotel du Vin, Winchester
Laurent Richet, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
Clement Robert, Medlar Restaurant, London SW1
This follows a particularly tough round of regional finals held this week in London, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol, and Manchester, where 60 competitors were whittled down to 12 through a series of tasks including a blind tasting, a knowledge questionnaire, a service skills test and a champagne pour.
Said AFWS executive director Sophie Roberts Brown: “This year the Academy’s technical director Gerard Basset and master sommelier Ronan Sayburn set very hard tasks for our regional finalists. But the judging panel were impressed with the high standard and particularly with the 12 that have made it through to the final. With this calibre of finalists it’s certain to be a closely fought and exciting event.”
The competition, now in its 33rd year, is the UK’s most testing and prestigious titles in sommellerie. This year the final will be held as part of the London International Wine Fair at ExCel on 23 May.
As part of their prize the winner will have the opportunity to be immersed in Maison Moët & Chandon. Hosted by Chef de Cave, Benoît Gouez, the winner will experience a unique cellar tasting of the Grand Vintage collection and the opportunity to enjoy the renowned hospitality of the estates of the world’s most loved champagne.
The winner will also qualify for the European Sommelier of the Year competition, organised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, which Moët & Chandon has partnered with since 1989.The longevity of this partnership characterises Moët’s attachment to the wine-waiter’s trade and is intended to encourage its development at world level.
For further information, please contact:
Linda Pettit, Academy of Food and Wine Service
T. 01737 823721, M. 07973 789853, Linda@tilburstowmedia.co.uk
About the 2012 Academy of Food and Wine Service UK Sommelier of the Year
The competition is open to professional sommeliers and waiting staff working in the UK. Entrants who achieve a 75% pass mark on an initial written questionnaire go through to the regional finals. From the regionals, 12 candidates are then chosen to compete in the national finals in the Waterfront Rooms at the London International Wine Fair on 23 May 2012. Attendance is by invitation only.
The winner will be announced the same day and will be awarded with a trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to South America’s leading organic and biodynamic wine producer, Emiliana. The Emiliana Bursary, in association with Boutinot Wines, will be a five-day tour of Chile’s vineyard regions.
About Moët & Chandon
Moët & Chandon has been the champagne of success and glamour since 1743. Renowned for its achievements, firsts and legendary pioneering spirit, Moët & Chandon is the Maison that introduced champagne to the world. Synonymous with the most venerable of traditions and the most modern of pleasures, Moët & Chandon has celebrated life’s most triumphant moments with grandeur for nearly 270 years.
Moët & Chandon Champagnes
Moët & Chandon shares the magic of champagne with the world, offering a range of unique wines for every occasion, mood and palate. From the iconic Moët Impérial to the Grand Vintage Collection, the extroverted Moët Rosé Impérial to the innovative Moët Ice Impérial, each champagne dazzles and delights with bright fruitiness, a seductive palate and an elegant maturity.