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Sara Bachiorri wins Sommelier Competition

The winner of the 2010 Sud de France UK Sommelier Competition is Sara Bachiorri, assistant head sommelier at London's The Glasshouse.

Italian-born Bachiorri saw off fierce competition from her fellow finalists Arnaud Goubet (head sommelier, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons) et Alexandre Ceret (head sommelier, The Greenhouse). She passed her Professional Sommelier Diploma in 2007 and in 2009 started working at London's Maze Grill, which focuses on Languedoc wines.

This is the second year that Sud de France has held this competition, designed to promote knowledge and understanding of Languedoc-Roussillon’s extensive wine offer. The finals were held at the Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon, in central London (6, Cavendish Square, London W1), where forty-five entrants competed for the title.

The three finalists' tasks included blind tasting, a food and wine matching exercise to test their commercial and technicial skills, and a service skill task which consisted of pouring a magnum of Blanquette de Limoux equally into 16 flutes, without returning to top each up.

The judging panel was chaired by Richard Bampfield MW and included last year’s winner Romain Henry (formerly of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, now at O Bontemps restaurant in Languedoc-Roussillon), Frédéric Grappe of independent natural wines merchant Dynamic Vines, and Tamlyn Currin of Jancis Robinson's team.

The Sud de France Sommelier Competition is part of the Sud de France Festival, an annual worldwide trade and consumer promotion of food and wine products from the southern French region of Languedoc-Roussillon, which is being held in six countries in 2010.

There will be four Sud de France Sommelier Competitions held this year, in the UK (London), USA (New York City), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and Mexico (Mexico City).  Yannick Benjamin of Le Dû’s Wines won the Sud de France Sommelier Competition held in New York on July 19, 2010.

1 September 2010 - Felicity Murray