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Nominations close as Top 25 Sommelier shortlist preparations begin

Published:  26 May, 2022

With the on-trade bouncing back there’s little doubt about the enthusiasm for and calibre of the UK’s sommelier fraternity if the ample nominations for Harpers Top 25 Sommeliers are anything to go by.

With nominations now closed and the judging round soon to begin, our panel of experienced industry heads will be tasked with sizing up submissions from those hopeful drinks professionals that have made the long list.

Run in partnership with Wines of Roussillon (CIVR) and Fells; our Top 25 Sommeliers was created around a simple idea – a listing singling out those at the very top of their profession, with judging focused on commercial acumen and professionalism rather than straight wine knowledge.

There are further incentives, too, with Fells to offer the sommeliers that make our top three spots a trip to visit Torres in Catalonia. All the 25 will also receive a commemorative plaque to mark the Top 25 Sommelier distinction.

Stefan Neumann, MS, ex-head sommelier at Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner and consultant to Fells, who will also be joining our judging panel, summed up the importance of the sommelier’s position in the modern restaurant.

“The role of the sommelier in any restaurant is vital to its success. Like bees to mother nature, the fruits of their labour are intrinsic to the growth and health of any establishment. If you look after your sommeliers – your customers will keep coming back for the honey.”

Eric Aracil, fellow judge and co-director of exports at the CIVR, added another great reason why sommeliers are critical to the health of the wine world.

“Sommeliers are the driving force behind the adoption of so many wines that otherwise would never have been discovered by consumers. Their passion for wine is often contagious, and the very best have the rare ability to surprise, enthuse, and share their encyclopaedic knowledge without intimidating their audience,” he said.

Harpers inaugural Top 25 Sommelier list will be published both online and in print with our July issue.