The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS), jointly managed by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the Institute of Hospitality (IOH), announced the news yesterday (8 September)
The announcement followed yesterday's selection process at Trivet in Bermondsey, where Zwiebel was tested on knowledge, blind tasting and practical skills against his shortlisted opponent Romain Bourger.
The candidates were assessed by judges Katherine Larsen MS; Rachel Webster DipWSET, WSET EMEA business development director; Matthieu Longuere MS; and Trivet co-founder Isa Bal MS.
Zwiebel, who was crowned UK Sommelier of the Year in 2004 and currently works as cellar master at Dorset's Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, will be competing against up to 40 candidates from as many as 40 countries for the title Best Sommelier of Europe & Africa at the finals in Cyprus, in March 2021.
'Both candidates performed strongly but Eric’s experience put him firmly in the winner’s seat,' commented Larsen. 'He will be a great representative for the UK at the Best Sommelier of Europe and Africa competition next year in Cyprus.'