Extensive wine knowledge and a creative approach to food and wine matching has won Stephen Raducki, head sommelier at the Hotel du Vin Winchester, the Moët UK Young Sommelier of the Year Award 2012.
Raducki, 28, received his award, along with a magnum of Moët & Chandon Impérial, from Nick Scade, chairman of the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS), at Hotel du Vin Winchester, yesterday.
The Academy's Moët UK Young Sommelier of the Year Award is made each year to a sommelier under the age of 30 who took part in the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition.
Scade said that Raducki represented a new generation of dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable sommeliers. "Stephen's knowledge of wines is far reaching and his food and wine matching is extremely creative. He also has a boundless enthusiasm for wine and sommellerie and is totally customer-focussed. He is certainly one to watch for the future."
Paris-born Raducki has worked as head sommelier at Hotel du Vin Winchester for a year, having previously been assistant head sommelier at Lime Wood in Lyndhurst, Hampshire. His CV includes training at La Tour d'Argent in Paris and a year as senior sommelier at London's Pont de La Tour.
Having been successful in the regional finals of this year's Moët UK Sommelier of the Year competition, Raducki went on to compete in the London finals of the competition for the third year running. He is determined to qualify again in 2013.
Accepting the award, he said: "I am delighted and honoured to accept this wonderful accolade. It's a great achievement - I am thrilled to have won.
"I moved to London from Paris primarily to improve my English and to get the opportunity to learn about wines from all over the world. What I most enjoy about this profession is the interaction with the guests and ensuring that they receive amazing service."
Raducki named 2011 UK Sommelier of the Year Yohann Jousselin of the Vineyard at Stockcross in Newbury as his most influential mentor in the profession, after working together for a stint at Hotel du Vin Winchester.
Scade (left) is seen here presenting the Moët UK Young Sommelier of the Year Award to Raducki (centre) with Hotel du Vin Winchester general manager, Julien Foussadier.
By Janet Harmer
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