Over the weekend I managed to track down a list of who has made it through to the Sommelier of the Year semi's being held on the 2nd April. Whats hardly surprising is the number of Hotel du Vin guys, past and present, that have qualified. The list reads like a who's who of British Sommelierie, and Im kind of humbled that my name is on it.
Benjamin Wolf - Summerlodge - Regional Winner
Yohann Jousselin - Hotel du Vin Winchester - Regional Winner
Andrew Connor - Lanesborough - Regional Winner
David Borwick - Jesmond Dene - Regional Winner
Garry Clark (me!!) - The Chester Grosvenor and Spa - Regional Winner
Then the highest qualifying runners up -
Isa Bal - The Fat Duck
Remi Cousin - HdV York
Laura Rhys - Hotel Terravina (Gerrard Basset's new hotel)
Franck Gerome - Sharrow Bay
Ian McEvoy - Bishopstrow House
Francois Bourde - HdV Birmingham
Nicolas Charriere - HdV Tunbridge Wells
Jan Konetzi - Maze, London
And of course last years runners up who gain automatic qualification -
Gearoid Devanay - Tom Aikins
Cyril Thevenet - HdV group sommelier
Some pretty hardcore guys and girls to go up against. Training is going reasonably well at the moment, there has been some improvement in my blind tasting, but still I must learn to trust my instincts and not try and make the rest of the assesments "fit" a conclusion. Just trying to brush up on my knowledge by taking as many past papers as possible in the remaining week before the competition.
Wish me luck!