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Kathrine Larsen becomes UK Sommelier of the Year 2014

13 June 2014 by
Kathrine Larsen becomes UK Sommelier of the Year 2014

Kathrine Larsen has been named the UK Sommelier of the Year 2014.

Her victory came after a tough final at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London, where she competed against Loic Avril of the Fat Duck, and Tanguy Martin from Hotel Terravina.

Avril was placed second, while Martin was third in the competition, organised by the Academy of Food and Wine Service, and sponsored by Moet & Chandon Champagne. Avril was also named 2014 Young Sommelier of the Year.

All three finalists were submitted to a gruelling three-hour competition in front of an audience made up of judges, former winners, their peers from the industry, sponsors and journalists.

As part of the competition they were required to: inspect a wine list and identify 11 errors (that were not to do with spelling or pricing); undergo a blind taste test of two wines, one red and one white as well as describing and identifying them; identify five spirits served in black glasses; serve two tables of former winners in a role play situation; and finally to pour a magnum of Moet & Chandon Rose Champagne into 16 glasses.

Each of the finalists showed different strengths but the judges, including head judges Ronan Sayburn and Stanislas Rocoffort de Viniere (international wine ambassador for Moet) chose Larsen - a finalist in last year's competition - as the overall winner.

Meanwhile head judge Gerard Basset, who was instrumental in the staging of the competition, stepped aside as a head judge after his employee Tanguy Martin made it into the final.

Among Larsen's prizes for winning the competition was an engraved jeraboam of Moet & Chandon Champagne, and a chance to visit Maison Moet & Chandon for a unique cellar tasting.

The day's competition started with the quarter finalists of the 2014 competition being whittled down to six semi-finalists, and then three finalists.

The six semi-finalists were:

Loic Avril (the Fat Duck)
Tobias Brauweiler (the Ritz)
Lukasz Kolodziejckyk (Pollen Street Social)
Kathrine Larsen (formerly Zuma)
Olivier Marie (Coq d'Argent)
Tanguy Martin (Hotel Terravina)

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