Wine brand Sud de France has announced the 10 sommeliers through to the semi-finals of its annual competition.
The competition, which tests sommeliers’ knowledge of wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, is now in its second year, having seen Romain Henry, sommelier at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant collect the title last year.
The 10 sommeliers were picked from 45 paper entries, and will now compete in a semi-final held at La Maison de la Region Languedoc Roussillon in London on 13 September, for one of three places in the final to be held in the same day.
The semi-finals will comprise of three parts: a questionnaire, errors to correct on a wine list and a blind tasting, while the final will see the three sommeliers undergo a blind tasting, a food and wine matching exercise to test their commercial and technical skills, and then a service skill task, in which they will need to pour a magnum of champagne equally into 10 flutes without returning to top each up.
Judging the competition this year will be Richard Bampfield MW, last year’s winner Henry, who is now at O Bontemps restaurant in Languedoc-Roussillon, Frédéric Grappe of independent natural wines merchant Dynamic Vines, Tamlyn Currin of Jancis Robinson, and Sud de France ambassador-chef Bjorn Van der Horst of London’s East Side Inn.
The Sud de France Sommelier of the Year competition is part of the Sud de France Festival, a worldwide event promoting the food and wines of the southern French region.
Four Sud de France Sommelier Competitions will be held this year, in London, New York City, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. Yannick Benjamin of Le Dû’s Wines won the competition held in New York in July.
The semi-finalists for the London leg of the competition are:
- Sarah Guinard, manager, The French Table Restaurant
- Alexandre Ceret, sommelier, The Greenhouse
- Charlotte Edgecombe, sommelier, Bibendum Restaurant
- Sara Bachiorri, sommelier, The Glasshouse Restaurant
- Arnaud Goubet, head sommelier, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
- Kumiko Tamba, head sommelier, Umu Restaurant
- Christophe Richelet, sommelier, La Petite Maison
- Bastien Ferreri, assistant head sommelier, Murano
- Holly Imbush, Assistant sommelier, Green blue wines
- Michael Thurston, assistant sommelier, Murano