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Sud de France: UK Sommelier of the Year winner announced

The Sud de France UK Sommelier of the Year competition has been won by 26 year-old Frenchman Romain Henry of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant.
 
Launched in 2009 by the southern French region of Languedoc-Roussillon - the world’s largest vineyard - this brand-new competition aims to find the UK sommelier with the best knowledge of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and its wines. It gives entrants the opportunity to raise their profile and that of their employer and profession, while deepening their knowledge of one of the world’s most diverse and exciting wine-producing regions. Sud de France spokesperson Elodie Le Dréan said: “The judging panel was particularly impressed by Romain’s ability to engage with his audience, his confidence, and his in-depth knowledge of the wines of the south of France.”
 
The winner’s prize is a three-day luxury trip for two to Languedoc-Roussillon, including 4-star hotel accommodation, a tailor-made tasting tour of selected premium vineyards within the region, and a gourmet dinner at London’s prestigious Hibiscus restaurant with specially-selected wines. Henry was presented with the Sud de France UK Sommelier of the Year trophy, designed and created from recycled vineyard wire by Languedoc-Roussillon artist Alexia Carmona. The Sud de France UK Sommelier of the Year award is supported by the regional council of Languedoc-Roussillon, plus members of the UK wine and restaurant trade, and press.
 
The judging panel included Tamlyn Currin (journalist and contributor to www.jancisrobinson.com, Frédéric Grappe (owner of wine importer Dynamic Vines), Anthony Moss (Research and Development Director, Wine and Spirits Education Trust), Guillaume Siard (owner of London wine bar and restaurant La Trouvaille) and Stefan Gorda (head sommelier, Hotel du Vin, Bristol).
 
Entrants had to complete a preliminary questionnaire about the regional characteristics of Languedoc-Roussillon wines, and those selected to go through to the semi-finals then took part in an event on September 7th, held at central London’s Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon, testing competitors’ practical skills and knowledge.
 
Semi-finals candidates took part in a blind tasting and had to make food and wine matching recommendations; the top three candidates (Romain Henry, Rebecca Skinner of Green & Blue Wines and Marc-Andrea Levy of Gordon Ramsay’s Murano restaurant) went through to the final, compèred by UK wine writer Charles Metcalfe, where they were tested on correcting errors on a wine list, service, and recommending wine for a specific audience/occasion.
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steve williams
London
1
another great news article. really interesting. you shine!

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8 September 2009
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