Now in its fifth year, the competition will be held at London’s Hotel Le Meridien in Piccadilly on 3 June. It will be judged by masters of wine, wine writers and UK Sommelier Association board members, and Imbibe will be joining the jury too. The whole event will be hosted by Joe Fattorini, presenter of ITV’s The Wine Show and head of London sales at merchant Field Morris & Verdin.
The participants will be tasked with a written exam, a blind tasting and a wine pairing, after which only three semi-finalists will be selected to move on to the following stage.
The final stage will entail a service test. An audience of pretend restaurant guests, made of senior wine professionals, buyers, journalists and importers, will challenge the finalists with questions and classic service-related tasks such as decanting and champagne pouring.
In addition to the competition, a walkaround tasting and a masterclass on the wines of north eastern Italy will take place on the day.