With a dynamic programme of events including free-to-attend seminars, accredited courses and tastings, Imbibe Live is the only event of its kind to focus on the entire on-trade drinks offering across wine, beer, cider, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks, mixers, tea, coffee and water.
Smack bang in the middle of the show, the Centre Stage will feature some of the biggest – and noisiest – events on the programme including the finals of Imbibe Live’s Sommelier £5K Challenge – which will see the sommelier with the keenest nose, sharpest palate and deepest wine knowledge be crowned as Imbibe Live’s 2014 champion, taking home a cool £5,000 prize money.
Other highlights on the Centre Stage include The Secrets of Showmanship – a masterclass on adding a touch of theatricality to your service from Bompas and Parr’s Sam Bompas and friends
The mighty Bartenders v Sommeliers competition will also return for its sixth year, with the sommeliers battling it out to beat last year’s winners the bartenders.
There’s plenty to get excited about on the wine front at Imbibe Live, with Ronan Sayburn MS on board as wine ambassador for Imbibe Live.
Those looking to improve their wine tasting skills should head down to the Science of Wine Tasting, which is run in association with the Aroma Academy, while By the Glass: A Masterclass by Xavier Rousset MS will explain how a good by the glass offering can make all the difference to a bar or restaurant.
Meanwhile, the gloves will be coming off for Flight Club, with Wine Car Boot’s Ruth Spivey and consultant Zeren Wilson hunting for the best house wines that money can buy.
Back for a second year, the Sommelier Hub offers sommeliers a comprehensive programme of tastings and workshops.
Renowned international winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt will be looking at The Meaning of Terroir, drawing on his experience working with everyone from La Gaffelière in Bordeaux to Rubicon Estate in California, and Nigel Greening will conduct a vertical tasting of his iconic brand Felton Road.
Ronan Sayburn MS and Gearoid Devaney MS will carry out a blind tasting duel in Palate Training with the Masters, offering their secrets along the way.
Wine faults are a part of every sommelier’s job, and Wine Faults and How to Spot Them is the perfect arena to provide top tips on how to identify them and to communicate to your customer about them effectively.
In the Taste Zone, top trends such as Cocktail Maturation and Vermouth are set to be studied in depth, while cognac fans will be able to Explore the Art of Blending with Hine cellarmaster Eric Forget.
Back by popular demand, Ben McFarland will present Beer Trends for 2014. Wines of Rioja will host a Wine & Food Pairing seminar, presented by renowned Spanish wine specialist and ex-El Bulli sommelier Ferran Centelles.
Meanwhile, a Cider & Food Pairing seminar will help attendees to explore the versatility of this category when it comes to the dinner table.
Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, will be spirits ambassador at the show, and there is a buzzing roster of seminars planned in the Shake It! zone.
Heading over from the US, The Dead Rabbit’s Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon will be sharing tips on Breaking America, while regular Imbibe contributor Naren Young will be taking a closer look at Cocktail Anatomy, incorporating the five senses.
Chetiyawardana will be leading a session with the White Lyan team looking at The Art of Hosting, while Sager +Wilde’s Michael Sager-Wilde and Stuart McCluskey of Edinburgh’s The Bon Vivant and Devil’s Advocate will be asking Is Wine the Future of Bartending?
The Liquid Profits section of the show will cover everything from marketing to training tips.
Ruth Spivey will be on hand to show how to Train Your Staff and Sell More Wine, with plenty of ideas on how to pour more wine, more often.
Mark Dorber of Boudica Inns and Draft House’s Charlie McVeigh give their insight on how to improve your Beer List and increase sales in a restaurant, bar or gastropub.
Soulshaker and resident Imbibe guru Michael Butt will also be giving advice on How to Open Your Own Bar.
Imbibe Live 2014 will take place at Olympia Grand London 1- 2 July 2014.
Visit imbibe.com/live for more information, to pre-register for exclusive sessions in the Sommelier Hub and Training Zone and to enter Imbibe Live’s Sommelier £5K Challenge.