Jitka Auermüllerová from 67 Pall Mall in London was named winner of the UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge 2019, beating runners-up Christopher Parker, of Lime Wood Hotel in Hampshire, and Vincenzo Arnese, from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Auermüllerová won through after a 40-minute blind tasting challenge involving four Chardonnay-based wines: two blanc de blancs champagnes, plus still wines from Margaret River and Côtes du Jura.
Entrants were tasked with writing detailed tasting notes, as well as attempting to identify them and providing notes on ageing potential, serving temperature and food matches.
The judging panel included Ruinart chef de caves Frédéric Panaïotis, Ronan Sayburn MS and Tony Lecuroux, last year’s winner.
Auermüllerová wins a trip to Champagne with Ruinart in July, where she will join other winners of the competition, which takes place in 16 cities around the world.
The challenge, held at The Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square in London last Monday 25 February, also included a seminar given by Panaïotis on oxidation and reduction in champagne.