IWSC takes ownership of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition

IWSC news

Tue 2 Jul 2024

By Mila Gorchakova

The IWSC has a long-standing relationship with the UK’s wine hospitality professionals. Some of the country’s top sommeliers and Master Sommeliers are part of our judging team, strengthening our panels and bringing their invaluable knowledge and insights. We are delighted to take this connection even further as the IWSC takes ownership of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition.

The IWSC has acquired the competition from The Caterer parent company, Jacobs Media. It has been the custodian of the premier accolade in UK wine service since 2014, running the competition alongside the UK Sommelier Academy with the support of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale.

The IWSC will continue working with the UK Sommelier Academy to develop a new format for the celebrated competition, while staying true to its mission of recognising the UK’s finest sommeliers. Some of the changes planned by the IWSC include broadening the competition’s perspective to reflect drinks industry trends and consumer preferences. This involves a greater focus on spirits, as well as including questions and practical tasks centred around the Low & No alcohol category.

IWSC CEO Christelle Guibert said: “At the IWSC, we are proud of our continued commitment to fostering excellence and education within the wine, spirits, and hospitality industries. It is with great pleasure that we take ownership of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition. This prestigious event has long celebrated the talents and expertise of sommeliers across the UK, and we are excited to continue its legacy by supporting and promoting the sommelier profession.”

Jacobs Media chairman Clive Jacobs said: “It has been a pleasure to see the UK Sommelier of the Year competition grow and recognise so much talent over the past 10 years. The time has now come to pass on the privilege of driving forward such an important award scheme for the sommelier community and I’m delighted that in the IWSC it will be in the best possible hands.”

UK Sommelier Academy president Nicolas Clerc said the acquisition represented a new chapter in the history of the prestigious award. “The IWSC and Christelle Guibert have been a real supporter for the sommelier community in the UK for many years and have been the strongest supporters of the Academy to date.”

The UK Sommelier Of the Year competition will become part of the IWSC’s Talent Awards, designed to support fresh talent and to give back to the drinks industry community. Our other Talent Awards include Emerging Talent and Wine / Spirits Communicator of the Year. The IWSC will award the winner of the UK Sommelier of the Year with a bursary to further their education.

To find out more about the UK Sommelier of the Year 2024 and to enter the competition, click here.