Entries open for Ruinart Sommelier Challenge UK

Champagne Ruinart has opened entries for its annual Sommelier Challenge, offering 30 sommeliers the opportunity to compete for the chance to win a four-day educational trip to Champagne hosted by the house’s chef de caves Frédéric Panaïotis.

The Ruinart Sommelier Challenge (previously known as Ateliers Ruinart) is an international training and mentoring programme committed to supporting Sommelier wine education.

Just 30 sommeliers, selected by a judging panel made up of Ruinart’s chef de caves Frédéric Panaïotis, Ronan Sayburn MS and Xavier Rousset MS, will be chosen to take part in the competition, which will comprise a seminar and blind tasting competition on 9 April at 67 Pall Mall. 

Hosted by the judging panel, the event’s aim will be to explore some of the more technical aspects of winemaking, while also pitting the somms against each other in a blind tasting competition in order to pick this year’s UK winner.

The winner will attend an all-expenses paid trip to Champagne at the end of June 2018, along with the winning sommeliers from 11 other countries.

Attendees will be given a rare opportunity to fully experience the region, benefitting from an in-depth study of the Champagne terroir, including a visit to the Comité Champagne’s experimental vineyards, to Blanc de Blancs blind tastings and visits to Grandes Marques and small growers.

Last year’s UK winner was Julia Sewell from Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Bray.

“The Ruinart Sommelier Challenge seminar was reason enough to enter the competition – insightful, informative and engaging,” she said of the experience.

“The prize visit to Champagne was the most rewarding experience in so many ways. Unexpectedly, the friendships made were perhaps the most valuable part of the adventure. I cannot recommend it highly enough!”

Registration is now open and the deadline for receiving entries for the seminar and competition is 26 March. To enter, click here.

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