Red Carnation hotel group's Nicolas Clerc has been named the winner of the Champagne Ruinart UK Sommelier of the year competition.
Clerc, who is the sommelier at the group's Milestone Hotel in Kensington, was awarded first place, due to his consistent excellence throughout the five finalist exercises at the awards last Wednesday.
The three finalists' tasks included a restaurant role play, a blind tasting, a theory test, recommending wines to serve with three different foie gras dishes and finally pouring a magnum of champagne into 16 flutes equally without returning to any glasses.
Clerc, who came second last year and third the previous year, said his win was down to "constant practising and the fine tuning of his skills".
He now plans to enter the 2008 European Sommelier of the Year competition.
Gearoid Devaney of Tom Aikens Restaurant was awarded second place, while Cyril Thevenot of Hotel du Vin Henley came in third.
By Emily Manson
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