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Jess at UK sommelier of the year


CroppedImage500300 uk sommelier of year comp ronan sayburn

We are overjoyed to announce that our head sommelier, Jess Kildetoft, was named runner up in yesterday’s UK Sommelier of the Year Final.

Hosted at the Mandarin Oriental, the final brought together 12 contestants, including regional finalists and the next 5 highest scorers from the regional finals. Jess faced stiff competition from sommeliers from restaurants such as The Kitchin, Northcote, and Restaurant Sat Bains.

Following a gruelling day of wine testing, Jess was named to the final three alongside 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis and Olivier Marie, head sommelier at Coq D’Argent. The finalists then faced a three-hour on-stage competition. In front of an invited audience and a judging panel chaired by Gerard Basset OBE, they undertook such challenges as a blind tasting; inspecting a wine list for errors; a spirit identification; and a restaurant “role play” scenario in which previous winners acted as guests. Finally, they were asked to perform a champagne pour from a magnum.

It was a close call and all the finalists performed extremely well with each having individual strengths, but at the end of the day Jess Kildetoft was named runner up to Kandylis’ win. Jess was commended by members of the audience for his professional and friendly demeanour, and we are extremely proud of his performance!

All congratulations go to all other competitors and, of course, the ultimate winner. It was a great day for the UK wine scene and we were so happy to be a part of it.  

(Picture credit: Ronan Sayburn MS)