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Young Sommelier of the Year Competition - national final

Next month sees the national final of the Chaîne International Young Sommelier Competition held at the Gaggenau showroom in Central London.

Now in its second year, this prestigious competition, organised by the International gastronomic society Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in association with Gaggenau and Pernod Ricard UK, will see the country’s leading young sommeliers competing for the title of Great Britain’s Young Sommelier of the Year 2009 under the scrutiny of a high-profile panel of judges.

The Chaîne International Young Sommelier of the Year Competition is open to those aged from 21 to 35 years with the knowledge and tasting skills to excel in this highly skilled area and, above all, passion for wine. Says Philips Evins, Head of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Great Britain explains: “The steady composure that comes with self-confidence in the face of competitive situations can only happen when specialized knowledge is buttressed by passion and a love for the subject.”

The young sommeliers face a series of rigorous tests in three sections: a written theory test; blind tastings with points being awarded on description of appearance, nose, palate and accuracy of vintage, variety, country and appellation; and, a service test including decanting, champagne service and food and wine pairing.

One of the goals of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is to provide encouragement and support for these young professionals and this year’s partners Gaggenau and Pernod Ricard UK share the Chaîne’s commitment to nurturing young talent and leading excellence.

“We are continuing our partnership of the Young Sommelier Competition this year as part of our ongoing support of the future faces of this highly-skilled and demanding arena and to share in and learn from their mastery and uncompromising commitment,” says Helen Shaw, Marketing Manager of Gaggenau.

”We are delighted to be involved with this competition for the first time. Developing and fostering young talent and expertise is fundamental to the continued success and quality reputation of our industry”, says Adrian Atkinson, Pernod Ricard UK’s Wine Development Director. “This important initiative will encourage increased knowledge, innovation and exceptional customer service standards.”

Headed by Gerard Basset, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier and founder of the Hotel du Vin chain and Hotel Terra Vina, the panel of judges includes leading International wine consultant and judge, Stephen Spurrier and Xavier Rousset, who in 2002 became the youngest ever sommelier to pass the Master Sommelier exam. They will assess the competitors based on the format of the Master Sommelier Advanced Examination with scoring based on its deductive method.

Role-playing is introduced to show poise, competence and professionalism. Contestants are asked leading questions during the service portion on grape varietals, vintages, appellations and characteristics to test how well they cope under the demands concurrent with fine dining establishments.

All competitors taking part in the final will be awarded the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (GB) Young Sommelier Competition Medal. The national winner will go forward to represent Great Britain at the international heat of the Chaîne International Young Sommelier of the Year Competition 2009 held in Stratford-upon-Avon on September 25th 2009. The British contestant will battle it out against other winners of national finals in countries across the globe for the title of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier 2009.

For further details please visit the Young Sommeliers Competition section of our website, or download the full press release:

Download the Young Sommelier of the Year Competition 2009 – Press Release (.PDF 880KB)

Date postedMay 28, 2009
Author Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué

This news item is from the Grande Bretagne Bailliage, see more Grande Bretagne News.