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UK Sommelier of the Year finalists unveiled

The 12 finalists for this year’s Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition, organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service, have been announced.

Due to take place at this year’s London International Wine Fair on 23 May, the final represents the culmination of a series of regional rounds, which saw 60 competitors undertake tasks including blind tasting, a knowledge questionnaire, service skills test and a Champagne pour.

“This year the Academy’s technical director Gerard Basset and Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn set very hard tasks for our regional finalists,” remarked AFWS executive director Sophie Roberts Brown.

“But the judging panel were impressed with this high standard and particularly with the 12 that have made it through to the final. With this calibre of finalists it’s certain to be a closely fought and exciting event.”

The winner’s prize includes a trip to Moët & Chandon and, thanks to The Emiliana Bursary in association with Boutinot Wines, a five day tour of Chile’s vineyard regions. The winner will also qualify for the European Sommelier of the Year competition organised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale.

The full list of this year’s finalists is as follows:

Loic Avril, The Fat Duck, Bray

Arnaud Bardary, Maze Gordon Ramsay, London

Tobias Brauweiler, Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

Remi Cousin, The Fat Duck, Bray

Sergio Dos Santos, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey

Bavand Foroughi, Savoy Grill, London

Lukasz Kolodziejczyk, The Fat Duck, Bray

Jan Konetzki, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London

Kathrine Larsen, Orrery, London

Stephen Raducki, Hotel du Vin, Winchester

Laurent Richet, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Clement Robert, Medlar Restaurant, London.

This is the 33rd year in the competition’s history. Last year’s winner was Yohan Jousselin of The Vineyard at Stockcross.

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