The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) has announced the 12 sommeliers who have made it through to this year's final of the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition.
Sommeliers from The Fat Duck and restaurants operated by Sat Bains and Gordon Ramsay are among the finalists who have made it through a round of regional finals featuring a series of tasks including a questionnaire, a service skills test, a blind tasting and the all-important champagne pour.
AFWS executive director Sophie Roberts Brown said: "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 winner, to be revealed on the night of the final of the annual competition at the London International Wine Fair at the ExCel centre on 23 May, will qualify for the European Sommelier of the Year competition, organised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. He or she will also receive a number of experiences hosted by Moët & Chandon.
The full list of finalists for the AFWS Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition are:
- Loic Avril, The Fat Duck
- Arnaud Bardary, Maze Gordon Ramsay
- Tobias Brauweiler, Ellenborough Park
- Remi Cousin, The Fat Duck
- Sergio Dos Santos, Atlantic Hotel
- Bavand Foroughi, Savoy Grill
- Lukasz Kolodziejczyk, The Fat Duck
- Jan Konetzki, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
- Katherine Larsen, Orrery
- Stephen Raducki, Hotel du Vin
- Laurent Richet, Restaurant Sat Bains
- Clement Robert, Medlar Restaurant