The Atlantic Hotel’s Sergio dos Santos has been announced as one of just 12 finalists in this year’s Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition.
Sergio, the hotel’s Head Sommelier, is the only representative from the Channel Islands in the running for the prestigious title, which is organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS). The calibre of this year’s finalists is extremely high and the competition includes two sommeliers from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and another from Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, rated the thirteenth best restaurant in the world.
The announcement follows a particularly tough round of regional heats where 60 competitors were whittled down to 12 through a series of tasks including blind tasting, a knowledge-based questionnaire, a service skills test and a champagne pour.
It is the third year in a row that Sergio has reached the final and Patrick Burke, Owner and Managing Director of The Atlantic Hotel, believes this could be the year he takes the coveted title. Mr Burke said “Sergio is a fantastic sommelier with an incredible knowledge of wines at his fingertips. From his work at our Michelin-starred restaurant, Ocean, we know first-hand how much he deserves to be in the final of this prestigious competition and we are both delighted and proud of what he has already achieved. We hope that this is the year he takes the title and gains the additional recognition that he so richly deserves.”
The competition, now in its 33rd year, is the UK’s most testing and prestigious title in sommellerie. This year’s final will be held on 23rd May as part of the London International Wine Fair at ExCel. At stake for the winner is the opportunity to be immersed in the history of Maison Moet & Chandon, including a unique cellar tasting of the Grand Vintage collection and the opportunity to enjoy the renowned hospitality of the estates of the one of the world’s most famous champagnes. The winner will also qualify for the European Sommelier of the Year competition.
Sergio dos Santos trained as a sommelier at Le Thalassa, a traditional restaurant in his hometown of Lorient in Brittany. He joined the team at The Atlantic Hotel in 2007 and his previous experience includes working at the Hôtel Million in Albertville, the Hotel Majestic ”Villa des Lys” in Cannes and the five-star Chewton Glen Hotel in Hampshire where he worked alongside Master Sommelier Gérard Basset.