The UK's leading hospitality media group, The Caterer, has joined forces with the Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS) to grow and enhance the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition.
The competition, which is open to professional sommeliers and waiting staff working in the UK, is widely regarded as the premier accolade in UK wine service and will award its 36th recipient this year. Past winners include Gerard Basset, Ronan Sayburn and Xavier Rousset.
Duncan Horton, chief executive of Travel Weekly Group, which owns The Caterer, said: "We are delighted and excited to be working in partnership with the AFWS on this prestigious event. The Caterer's unrivalled multimedia reach, the respect in which it is held by the industry it serves, and its long history of delivering events such as the Cateys, the Acorns and the Hotelier of the Year, will help take this important awards system from strength to strength.
"At The Caterer, we are committed to recognising, rewarding and promoting success and best practice. Our involvement with the UK Sommelier of the Year competition now enables us to extend this commitment into another part of the hospitality industry."
Nick Scade, chairman of the AFWS, said: "The Moët UK Sommelier of the Year Competition is the jewel in the academy's crown. We are thrilled that The Caterer has joined us in a strategic partnership to help develop the competition's status, and ensure that it remains relevant, inspires youngsters to learn about wine and wine service, and reaches an even wider audience."
Tim Hulme, chief executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping, which merged with the AFWS in 2011, praised the Academy for establishing and evolving the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition.
"Its ability to organise the technical aspect of the competition, coupled with The Caterer‘s expertise in organising and running flagship events, will take the competition from strength to strength," he said.
The Moët Sommelier of the Year award has been supported by headline sponsors Moët & Chandon since 2012.
Its marketing director Elsa Corbineau said: "Educating sommeliers - and rewarding them for their hard work - is something that we are dedicated to at Moët & Chandon. We are thrilled to be entering the fourth year of our partnership with the Academy of Food & Wine Service and very much look forward to working with The Caterer to further raise the profile of sommellerie throughout the hospitality industry."
This year's search for the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year will launch next week, and will culminate in a finals day and gala awards dinner in central London on 8 June.