Young Sommelier of Year awarded to Fat Duck sommelier

Loic Avril of Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck has been awarded Young Sommelier of the Year 2013 for the UK, writes Olivia Bodle.

pic5The sommeliers from the Fat Duck have dominated the competition for the past few years.

The competition, launched by Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in 2007, is divided into three parts; theory, service and blind tasting.The theory portion is written, testing deep knowledge in all areas of wine, wine production, laws, viticulture and vinification as well as spirits, beers, ales, ciders, ports and sherry.

The service section is designed to show professionalism, finesse and competence in bantering with the judge-as-diner throughout.

The blind tasting is based on the Master Sommelier Advanced Examination and requires assessment by sight, nose and palate of colour, age, alcohol content, country of origin and appellation of six wines.

Competitors for the UK prize, all below the age of 27, were praised for their “exceptional skill and knowledge” by the judges.

Chairman of judges Gerard Basset MS MW said: “This year we had a noticeable increase in the number of entrants for the competition. The quality of the contestants never ceases to impress the judges and this year was no exception.

“Each of the contestants demonstrated great passion for their craft and flair and we have high hopes for Avril in the International Finals later this year.’

Second place was awarded to Bouger Romain of the Vineyard at Stockcross and third place to Lukasz Jan Kolodziejczyk also of The Fat Duck.

Prizes include glasses from Schott Zwiesel, a Champagne sabre from Gaggenau, and a trip to Turkey for both winner and runner up. Avril will proceed to the international competition later this year in Washington DC.

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