This year’s sommelier team took top spot in the Bartenders v Sommeliers final at Imbibe Live this afternoon.
The Cocktail Ninjas, aka the bartender team, entered today’s final trailing behind with 161 points, versus the sommelier team (The New Ultimate Terrific Sommeliers) with 180.5.
The captain’s Magnum Pour round gave the bartenders the opportunity they needed to narrow that margin, with Michele Mariotti’s pour earning him 37 points versus Seamus Sharkey’s 24. But an impressive speed round from sommelier Sarah Riddle put the sommeliers back into a comfortable lead.
Two perfectly capable Champagne Cascades from Alix Nardella and Lukas Nikanorovas, of the bartender and sommelier team, respectively, left the sommeliers in the lead, taking the trophy for the fourth time since the competition started, and putting the somms in the lead overall for the first time in the comp’s history.
The winning sommelier team consisted of captain Seamus Sharkey of Restaurant Story, Ram Chhetri of Bread Street Kitchen, Sarah Riddle of Sketch, Lukas Nikanorovas from New Street Grill, and Debbie Smith of 21212. They were coached by Loves Company’s Russell Burgess.