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Regional winners and finalists announced for 2017.

The finalists going through for the 2017 Moet UK Sommelier of the year are…….

Gareth Ferreira – 67 Pall Mall

Mathias Camilleri – The Five Fields Restaurant

Zigmars Grinbergs – Restaurant Cabotte

Serdar Balkaya – Royal AutoMobile Club

Julia Sewell – The Fat Duck

Olivier Frayssinet – La Trompette

Rudy Le Metayer – Summerlodge

Romain Bourger – The Vineyard, Stockross

Tamas Czinki – Northcote Manor

Alexandre Freguin – Moor Hall Restaurant with rooms

Jess Sørensen  –  2016 SOTY Runner up – Mash Steak House

Piotr Pietras –  Chaîne des Rôtisseurs   Young Sommelier 2017 –  Launceston Place restaurant

Congratulations to you all. We look forward with great anticipation to the finals on the 17th July at The Savoy Hotel, London.


The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition is the premier accolade in UK wine service. Each year, this prestigious award marks one person out as the UK’s most skilful, knowledgeable and gifted sommelier. The competition is open to professional sommeliers and waiting staff working in the UK. Past winners include luminaries such as Gerard Basset, Ronan Sayburn and Xavier Rousset.

The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition has been organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) since1980, and is internationally recognised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI). This year, the Academy will partner for the fifth time with Champagne Moët & Chandon, and for the third time organise the competition in partnership with the UK’s leading hospitality media group, The Caterer.

The search for the 2017 Moët UK Sommelier of the Year will culminate in a finals day and drinks reception at the Savoy on the 17th July 2017.


Headline partner

“Our five years of working with AFWS for this competition has shown us that the UK has some of the highest standards of sommellerie of anywhere in the world. Our mission is to enhance the

learnings and experience that every entrant no matter which stage of the competition they reach

takes away with them, and we’re very pleased to be able to do this again for the fifth year.”

Julie Nollet,   Marketing and Communication Director,  Moët Hennessy UK

Terry Kandylis, 2016’s winner

The prizes

All national finalists in the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2017 will win a trip to Maison Moët & Chandon in Épernay for an in-depth tour and technical tasting with the Moët & Chandon winemaking team.


  • The winner will benefit from a “money can’t buy” mentoring programme with the UK’s top sommeliers and managers. The AFWS and The Caterer will facilitate a series of educational sessions featuring the UK’s top sommeliers.


  • The Matthew Clark bursary for this year’s winner will include an all-expenses-paid study visit to a wine region.


  • The six finalists will be given a year’s complimentary membership of the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom and will be invited to attend its annual winter banquet at Vintners’ Hall, the historic home of the UK wine trade, as guests of the guild.


How to enter

Please note: you need to be nominated by your employer or manager to enter the competition.

The first round

You will need to send in your current CV and answer in no more than 200 words why you are a Sommelier, what your greatest wine experience has been to date and what winning would mean to you. You will need to submit your CV and nomination from your current employer by midnight on the 13th March2017.

The regional finals

Monday 3rd April 2017

Successful candidates will be invited to attend one of the regional finals on Monday 3rd April 2017. Candidates must complete a written paper, a blind tasting and practical service tasks.

The regional finals will take place in Manchester, Bristol and London.

Épernay trip

10th & 11th May 2017

Moët & Chandon is pleased to offer the opportunity for an overnight visit to the Moët & Chandon cellars and vineyards, a unique experience which will give sommeliers the chance to learn more about the Champagne region and Moët & Chandon Champagnes through a series of tastings. Please consult with your manager and book the time off from work as soon as possible.

The semi-final and the final

Monday 17th July 2017

The 12 successful candidates from the regional finals will be invited to attend the semi-finals and finals day in London on Monday 17th July 2017. Candidates will be judged on a written questionnaire, a blind tasting and a practical skill. The top six will be asked to compete on stage for a place in the final. The top three will then compete in the final in the afternoon where, in front of a live audience, candidates will be tested both practically and orally on errors on a wine list, food and wine matching, service skills and a blind tasting.


Suzanne Weekes, Academy of Food & Wine Service, Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6XP

Telephone 07771 998112                           email:   

Please note that all information on tasks, venues and dates may be subject to change. Please check with the AFWS office or website for any updates.

The rules

1 The competition is open to anybody in the United Kingdom who is involved in service of wine and spirits within the United Kingdom. On the date of the final the winner must hold evidence of a contract of employment that clearly demonstrates that they are employed in a full-time capacity in the hotel, restaurant or catering on-trade, and they must be able to demonstrate that they hold that position. Those sommeliers employed in the off-trade or wine trade may still enter the competition, but will not be eligible to win the competition. Should they reach the final, they will be relegated to a runner-up award, regardless of their score in the final. For example, the role would include: choosing and buying wines, setting up a cellar, stock maintenance, categorisation of a wine list, advising customers, and decanting and serving wines, liqueurs and spirits.

Winners of the title “UK Sommelier of the Year” will not be allowed to re-enter. Winners and candidates of any other national ASI-accredited competitions held in the same calendar year will be excluded from participating to the semi-final and final of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition.

3 Entry is by nomination only and each candidate may only be nominated by one sponsor, as stipulated on the previous page.

4 All entries must be registered before 14th March 2017. All legitimate entrants will be required to submit their CV and nomination from their employer, which must be returned by midnight on the 13th March2017.

5 Required knowledge: viticulture, vinification, grape varieties; compiling/categorising wine lists; English vineyards/wines; legislation relative to wines and spirits in UK; European wines and vineyards; well-known wines and vineyards worldwide; liqueurs and spirits; origin, methods of production; cellar organisation, management and stock rotation; wine vocabulary, description of basic sensations; organic and biodynamic wines.  

6 Candidates must wear their smartest work uniform at all stages of the competition.

7 Attendance by regional finalists to experience Moët & Chandon , Épernay  in May is compulsory. The visit will include a series of tastings, a tour of the cellars and vineyards, as well as a dinner and overnight accommodation and travel. Please consult with your manager and book the time off from work as soon as possible.

Throughout the finals, the judges will observe the appearance, performance, customer approach and commercial awareness of the candidates.

9 The finals will consist of the winners of the regional finals and six of the highest-scoring runners-up across all regional finals.

Automatic buys for:

  • The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2016 runner-up
  • 2016 Chaine de Rotisseurs winner

10 The judges for the regional finals, semi-final and final will be chosen by the Academy of Food & Wine Service, and will include people from the hotel/restaurant/wine trade, as well as food and wine writers.

11 In the event of a tie in the semi-final, the results of the tasting paper will decide the result.

12 The final ranking will be based solely on the final scores. In the case of a tie, the marks of the semi-final tests will be taken into consideration.

13 The decision of the panel is final.

14 Entrants agree that if they are the winner of the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition, they will act as an ambassador for the Academy of Food & Wine Service for the period they hold the title.

Entry form

To  enter,  Click here and complete the form.  The closing date for entries is  13th March 2017

Further information can be found at and