After an intense, wine-soaked two-day competition, Aymeric Pollenne of Hide in Piccadilly took home the title of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Young Sommelier 2018 at the competition’s final in Mexico City.
To claim victory, French-born Pollenne competed against top somms from the US, Canada, Australia, Denmark and more in a series of tasks designed to challenge the participants’ knowledge and skill. The young sommeliers took written tests and completed practical tasks including decanting and pouring champagne and Mediterranean wines, blind tasting, and food and wine matching.
Aged 24, Pollenne boasts an impressive CV. Before moving to Hide earlier this year, he worked at the Lanesborough Hotel. Prior to that, he held a position at the three Michelin starred-restaurant Le Pré Catelan in Paris.
He drew on these experiences to win the title of GB Young Sommelier of the Year last March, which landed him a place in the final.
‘I was nervous going into the finals and thought I had made some disappointing mistakes,’ said Pollene. ‘So I was doubly surprised when my name was called as the winner. I could not have managed this success without the training and support of Piotr Pietras MS and the team at Hide.’
Pietras, the wine director at Hide, scooped Chaîne des Rôtisseurs International Best Young Sommelier title last year. However, the two champions will not remain at the same restaurant for long, as Pollene has announced that he is leaving Hide and will be moving to Australia next year to continue his career.