SWA veteran Olivier Marie bows out

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

27 September 2017

We’re very strict about our judges in the Sommelier Wine Awards. No divas, no nutters… and most definitely no merchants allowed. So when Olivier Marie – long-time sommelier at Le Coq d’Argent, and a SWA regular for 10 years – moved to join Genesis Wine, we had to bid him a tearful farewell.

But before he left, we caught up with him to find out what he thought of his time on the Tasting Floor.

When did you start judging at SWA?
'It was in the first year in 2007. Then it was so small it was held in two rooms above a pub – the Atlas in Fulham. I’ve judged every year since.'

You made the step up to being a team leader, too, didn’t you?
'Yes – two or three years ago. I can't remember  – I’m getting old!'

What do you like about SWA?
'Obviously, tasting 70 wines a day, I liked the diversity of wines on offer, but I will also miss the nice camaraderie and atmosphere during tasting. There was a high level of professionalism amongst my fellow judges.'

Any stand-out flights?
'Fortified in general, and sherries in particular, were always amazing. Every year.'

What would you say to someone who is thinking about judging at SWA?
'Go for it! You will gain a massive wealth of experience!'

Related articles

Wine

Q&A: Imbibe Live £5,000 Challenge winner Olivier Marie

It was a strong year for cardboard checks at Imbibe Live, but none quite as big as Olivier Marie's winning prize in the second annual £5,000 Sommelier

Wine

‘Best Six Wines out of 3000 entries’ – SWA 2018 Trophies revealed

The final act of the Sommelier Wine Awards 2018 has taken place, with the crowning of this year’s Trophy winners at Imbibe Live.From extraordinarily c

Wine

Olivier Krug on the house's latest release and the importance of the on-trade

Earlier this month Krug announced the launch of its 2004 vintage champagne, we sat down with Olivier Krug to discuss the latest release and why the on

Wine

'SWA medals make you money' finds research

Using Sommelier Wine Awards medals on your wine list can help you to sell better wines – and earn your business more money.