The annual Ruinart Sommelier Challenge is once again open for entries. The competition will be held in London on the 25 February 2019 and hosted by Ruinart chef de caves Frédéric Panaïotis, Ronan Sayburn MS and last year’s winner Tony Lecuroux of Moor Hall.
The competition will consist of a 40-minute written blind tasting of four wines, still or sparkling and selected from any region in the world, and questions will include pairing suggestions and serving temperature. The test will be followed by a masterclass and guided tasting by Panaïotis, and finish with an informal lunch paired with Ruinart champagnes. The winner will be selected on the day and will be offered an all-expenses paid four-day educational trip to Champagne, tutored by Panaïotis himself.
Panaïotis, who designed the itinerary, described it as a 'once-in-a-lifetime experience'. It will include an in-depth guided tasting of Dom Ruinart, a comprehensive tasting of Blanc de Blancs NV champagnes, a visit to the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne, a city tour of Reims, a day in Paris, and other activities.
‘It was time spent with amazing, talented people – from our hosts, to all the members of our group,' Lecuroux said, commenting on last year's trip. 'I learnt so much from everyone I met.’
Applications for the the UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge close on the 14 February 2019.