Alan Holmes, the wine and beverage manager for Chewton Glen Hotel in Hampshire has beaten off stiff competition to be named winner in the UK heat of the Wines of South Africa Sommelier World Cup. Holmes will go to South Africa in October to represent the UK in the final, competing against sommeliers from 12 other countries. The competition, which took place yesterday, saw nine top sommeliers battle it out through rounds of blind tasting, food and wine pairing and a written paper, before three semi-finalists were chosen. Holmes, along with Philippe Moranges, deputy head sommelier at London’s Hakkasan and Yohann Jousselin, chef sommelier at The Vineyard at Stockcross in Berkshire, then took part in a restaurant role play to decide the winner. Jo Wehring of Wines of South Africa commented: ‘The standard was surprisingly high, with competitors showing real knowledge of South Africa. It was difficult to choose between the three finalists, but Alan brought South Africa to life across all four elements of the competition.’
Since its launch in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has established itself as the UK’s leading publication for on-trade drinks professionals. Imbibe’s editorial coverage takes in all the main drinks categories, from wine to water, spirits to soft drinks.