UK Sommelier of the Year

The UK Sommelier of the Year competition has long been a prestigious event in the hospitality industry, celebrating the talents and expertise of sommeliers across the country.

At the IWSC, we are proud of our continued commitment to fostering excellence and education within the wine, spirits, and hospitality industries. It is with great pleasure that we take ownership of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition.

We will be working in partnership with the UK Sommelier Academy to host this annual event, celebrating and recognising the UK’s finest sommeliers.

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How does the UK Sommelier of the Year competition work?

Stage 1: Online Entrance Exam

The entrance exam consist of three parts: a theory exam, an opinion-based exam, and a tasting exam. These are designed to assess your wine knowledge, wine tasting skills, and your ability to demonstrate hospitality etiquette.

Applications will be reviewed by the Technical Committee, who will select the candidates invited to the next stage.

Candidates selected will be invited to join the UK Sommelier Academy. Membership in the academy provides several benefits and support to help them compete effectively, including:

      • Coaching Sessions: personalised training sessions with past winners to enhance their skills.
      • Mentorship Program: access to a network of experienced sommeliers for guidance and support.

Stage 2: Two-Day Event in London

Successful candidates will be invited to attend the two-day event in London on 14 - 15 October 2024.

Day 1: Quarter final

      • Candidates will be judged on a written questionnaire, a written blind tasting test, and a practical test.

Day 2: Semi-Final and Final

Morning: Semi-Final

      • The top 6 performers will compete in the semi-finals.
      • The semi-final tasks will include: A practical test, a wine tasting and a surprise task.

Afternoon: Final

      • The top three candidates will compete in the final in the afternoon.
      • In front of a live audience, candidates will be tested both practically and verbally on tasks such as identifying errors on a wine list, food and wine matching, service skills, and a blind tasting.

Selected candidates will receive a detailed program of the 2-day event in London.

Result announcement

We will invite all candidates to attend the announcement evening where we will celebrate the achievements of all the sommeliers at a networking event. During this event, we will award the following categories:

      • Diploma winners of the UK Sommelier Academy
      • Gérard Basset Award
      • Best performer in the practical exam
      • Best performer in the theory paper
      • Best performer in the tasting exam
      • Top 10 performers in the competition
      • The winner of the 2024 UK Sommelier of the Year competition

The winner will receive a bursary from the IWSC to use towards their training.

Key information

Terms & Conditions

Please download the Terms & Conditions here to ensure your application meets the criteria.

Timeline

      • Closing date for applications: 19  August 2024
      • Competition dates: 14 - 15  October 2024
      • Winner announcement: 15 October

Submission

Download the submission form here and send it to community@iwsc.net with your supporting documents.

Hall of Fame - previous winners

2023Agnieszka Swiecka
2022Vincenzo Arnese
2019Romain Bourger
2018Alex Fréguin
2017Mathias Camilleri MS
2016Terry Kandylis
2015Tanguy Martin
2014Kathrine Larsen-Robert MS
2013Clement Robert MS
2012Jan Konetzki
2011Yohann Jousselin MS
2010Christopher Delalonde MS
2009Laura Rhys MS
2008Gearoid Devaney MS
2007Nicolas Clerc MS
2006Claire Thevenot MS
2005Matthew Wilkin
2004Eric Zwiebel MS
2003Loic Maillet
2002Xavier Rousset MS
2001James Payne
2000Matthieu Longuère MS
1999Alan Holmes
1998Ronan Sayburn MS
1997Vincent Gasnier
1996Franck Massard
1995Henri Chapon MS
1994Mark Walter
1993Nicholas Mobbs
1992Gerard Basset OBE MW MS
1991Michael Simms
1990John Walker
1989Gerard Basset OBE MW MS
1988Stephen Wilcock MS
1987Simon Hopkinson
1986Michael Varney
1985David Hair
1984Michael Simms
1983Bryan Dawes MS
1982Charles Piggin MS
1981Claudia Harris MS
1980June Schmidt – Lowe