UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge 2018 - Winner Announced!

Press Release

UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge 2018 - Winner Announced!

Tony Lecuroux of Northcote Manor scooped top place at this year’s closely contested Ruinart Sommelier Challenge.

A total of 27 finalists competed in a blind tasting at 67 Pall Mall earlier this week.  The UK’s winning candidate is now set to join 14 other Sommeliers from the 11 worldwide Ruinart Sommelier Challenge final days (held in the US, Nordics, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia) for an all-expenses paid four-day educational trip to France in July, which will be hosted by Ruinart’s Chef de Cave Frédéric Panaïotis

Tony comments, “I was persuaded to enter the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge by my Head Sommelier.  I’ve only been working in the UK for a year, so I thought it would be good experience and also a way of improving my knowledge and contacts.  I found the format fun and enjoyable, and the masterclass was amazing!  It was such a different way of looking at sparkling wine, and Frédéric explained it very well.”

Runners-up Magnums of Ruinart Rosé NV were presented to 67 Pall Mall’s Ying Guo and Klearhos Kannellakis, and all 27 finalists participated in an in-depth seminar on ‘The Phys Behind The Fizz’ hosted by Frédéric Panaïotis alongside fellow jury members Ronan Sayburn MS and Xavier Rousset MS.   Panaïotis comments, “We had over 80 strong entries to this year’s Ruinart Sommelier Challenge, so struggled to select just 30 finalists.  The blind tasting challenge featured four sparkling wines - and not a single Champagne in the line-up!  This is where Tony excelled, as his careful methodology and accurate descriptions made him a unanimous winner with the jury.

“Education is the raison d’être for this initiative though, so for me the masterclass is my favourite part of the process.  This year’s theme was ‘The Phys Behind The Fizz’ and my inner geek enjoyed sharing this with an engaged, like-minded audience.”

The Ruinart Sommelier Challenge, previously known as Ateliers Ruinart, is an international training and mentoring programme committed to supporting Sommelier wine education.  As such, the winners’ trip to Champagne, hosted by Frédéric Panaïotis and his team of winemakers, will not be simply an exploration of Ruinart, but rather will cover many aspects of this fascinating wine producing region. 


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Date of issue:                    12th April 2018

Further information:       emma wellings pr    020 8996 5168    emma@ew-pr.co.uk