The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom has given honorary membership to restaurateur Anton Mosimann, sommeliers Loic Avril and Tanguy Martin, and bar manager Myles Donneky.
Avril, sommelier at the Fat Duck restaurant, was presented with an engraved decanter for his win of this year’s Young Sommelier of the Year award, which is given to the youngest, highest achiever in each year’s Academy of Food and Wine Service Moët Sommelier of the Year contest.
Martin, sommelier at the TerraVina hotel, was also highlighted for his achievement in the same overall competition.
The Guild also gave honorary membership to Myles Donneky, bar manager at Aqua Shard, as the winner of the 2014 Rothschild Rising Star Award, and three existing members – Jenny Yeo, Adam Hogg, and Henry Meakin ‒ were made Companions of the Wine Guild in recognition of their contribution to the organisation.
The formal membership ceremony took place at London’s Vintners Hall on 26 November, and presented all four new honorary members with the insignia of the Guild.
Mike Hildesley, chairman of the Guild, called Mosimann “legendary” and said: “We are delighted to honour and recognise the achievements of [Avril, Martin, Donneky] and of course, Mosimann, and welcome them to the Wine Guild. [They] all show incredible commitment and dedication to their profession.”
He added that Avril, Martin and Donneky had “achieved a great deal already in their careers and will no doubt go on to become leading lights in hospitality”.
Avril and Martin came second and third place respectively in the 2014 AFWS Moët Sommelier of the Year contest, which was won overall by Kathrine Larsen. Larsen herself was given honorary membership of the Guild at the 2013 ceremony.
Established in 1983, the Wine Guild of the United Kingdom helps to encourage understanding and enjoyment of wine and to support UK wine producers. Members are able to attend social events and wine tastings, study for wine scholarships and join tours of wine growing areas around the world.
The Guild’s historical, robed ceremonies reflect the traditions of the Craft Guilds of medieval Europe, although the organisation purports to have modern aims and attract a diverse variety of members.