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Top UK sommeliers gain Wine Guild membership

Six of the UK’s top sommeliers were awarded membership of The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom at the organisation’s 2013 Winter Banquet.

Finalists and previous winners of the Academy of Food & Wine Service’s Moët UK Sommelier of the Year were ceremonially intronised into the Guild and presented with their Wine Guild insignia by chairman Roy Ackerman and Chancellor Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

These were: 2013 Moët Sommelier of the Year finalist Kathrine Larsen MS of Zuma, winner of the Young Sommelier of the Year Award, sponsored by The Wine Guild; Olivier Marie, Coq d'Argent, London; Laurent Richet MS, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham; Clement Robert, Medlar Restaurant, London; Gearoid Devaney MS, Flint Wines (winner 2008); and Nicolas Clerc MS, D&D London (winner 2007).

The evening also saw the installation of member Roger Delaney as the Companion of The Wine Guild, the introduction of two new members and the succession of chairman Roy Ackerman by Michael Hildesley, and AFWS director Paul Breach as deputy chairman.

Said Hildesley: “It is important that The Guild has its base firmly in the wine industry, which is why we are particularly pleased to welcome these young, talented sommeliers. Over the forthcoming months we intend to build on the education work undertaken by The Guild, as well as our popular social events, wine tours and tastings. We need to make people aware of the benefits of membership, and encourage more wine producers and young wine enthusiasts to join us.”

The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom was established in 1983 to encourage the understanding and enjoyment of wine and to support UK wine producers. Members of The Guild are eligible to attend social events, study for wine scholarships and join tours of wine growing areas around the world, as well as attend tastings carried out by Masters of Wine.

The Guild’s historical, robed ceremonies reflect the traditions of the Craft Guilds of Medieval Europe, although the organisation has modern aims and attracts members from a broad range of backgrounds and ages.

Membership is accepted following a proposal, and second, by an existing member. A subscription to the organisation costs from £40.

Pictured: Sommelier Kathrine Larsen MS is presented with an engraved decanter by The Wine Guild's incoming chairman Michael Hildesley in recognition of her being this year's Young Sommelier of the Year, sponsored by The Wine Guild.

30 December 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor