Get ready for it... the finalists for the 2017 Moët UK Sommelier of the Year Competition have been announced.
Organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS), the coveted awards put UK sommeliers to the test regionally, inviting only a dozen of the top candidates to the competition final.
Taking place in Bristol, London and Manchester, 10 sommeliers progressed to the final, taking place in front of a live audience on 17 July at the glamorous Savoy.
Last year’s winner was 67 Pall Mall head sommelier Terry Kandylis.
The finalists are:
• Serdar Balkaya, head sommelier, the Royal Automobile Club, London
• Romain Bourger, head sommelier, the Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire
• Mathias Camilleri, head sommelier, Five Fields, Chelsea, London
• Tamas Czinki, head sommelier, Northcote, Langho, Lancashire
• Gareth Ferreira, assistant head sommelier, 67 Pall Mall, London
• Olivier Frayssinet, assistant head sommelier, La Trompette, London
• Alexandre Freguin, head sommelier, Moor Hall, Aughton, Lancashire
• Zigmars Grinbergs, head sommelier, Cabotte, London
• Rudy Le Metayer, sommelier, Summer Lodge, Evershot, Dorset
• Piotr Pietras, head sommelier, Launceston Place, London
• Julia Sewell, sommelier, the Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire
• Jess Kildetoft Sørensen, head sommelier, Mash London
All 12 finalists will attend an educational trip to Maison Moët & Chandon in Épernay for an in-depth tour and technical tasting with the Moët & Chandon winemaking team.
The ultimate victor will win a money-can’t-buy mentoring programme and an all-expenses-paid study visit to a wine region, courtesy of Matthew Clark.
'This competition tests all areas of sommellerie and the vast knowledge they must possess,' said chief judge Gerard Basset, OBE, MW. 'Its winners go on to become role models for young people in the food and beverage industry.'
We'll see you in the final...