The nation's top sommeliers will compete for the title of UK Sommelier of the Year on 29 April, at the Tate Modern in London.
Competition heats to date have yielded 15 contenders – including Joris Beijn from Andaz Hotel, Remi Cousin from the Fat Duck in Bray; Laura Rhys from Hotel TerraVina in Southampton, and two each from the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin mini-chains.
Sponsored by Champagnes Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck and organised by Academy of Food & Wine, the next part of the competition will feature a written test, a wine tasting, and a marketing question that contestants must answer in front a panel.
The three finalists will then compete in a simulated restaurant situation in front of an audience of 150. The ultimate test will require them to pour a whole magnum of Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut, in equal amounts, into 16 flutes without returning to any of the glasses.
Judges include Gerard Basset MW, the Academy’s Technical Director and owner of Hotel TerraVina, Master Sommelier Matt Wilkin, and Tom Parker-Bowles. Last year’s UK Sommelier of the Year was Gearoid Devaney, head sommelier at Tom Aikens in London.
For further information and tickets to attending the finals on 29 April, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look out for the ‘Be your own sommelier with our online sommelier test’ section on decanter.com.
Written by Maggie Rosen