Moët UK hosted another fantastic UK Sommelier of the Year competition day before yesterday at the Mandarin Oriental. With 12 finalists pitted against each other for the top 3 spots it was a tough competition. The 3 finalists competed in front of the audience and judges in a series of different events testing their knowledge, tasting skills and service. Each of the three excelled at different aspects of the challenge making it a very tough call.
During service exam all candidates were requested to decant a bottle of Gaja “Darmagi” and then questioned on the history and grapes used in its production. All three finalists knew that it was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Piedmont, a ground breaking wine that isn’t a traditional Piedmont grape.
Kathrine Larsen of Zuma finished in third but gained the title of best young sommelier UK. Tobias Brauweiler of the Ritz, a very strong second, was the only one to correctly identify all three wines in the blind tasting and Clement Robert of Medlar took home the title with a strong showing in all aspects of the competition. It is worth noting that Clement paired a Sassicaia 1996 with the Beef Wellington in the food pairings round.
It's been a long journey for Clement. This was his 5th year entering the competition and it just goes to show the competition and dedication it takes to win such an accolade. A truly deserved winner, congratulations!
By Shana Dilworth-Thomas