Gastronome is the official publication of the U.S. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The magazine provides coverage of local, regional, national and international Chaîne events as well as feature stories about members and member establishments.
Issue link: http://gastronome.epubxp.com/i/745503
The Best and Brightest: Regional Young Sommeliers BY DAVID MERRILL, Vice Echanson National des Jeunes Sommeliers THE U.S. CHAÎNE des Rôtisseurs Young Sommeliers Competition, presented by Moët & Chandon in 2016, was held in three stages: an initial online qualifying exam taken by dozens of age-30-and-under sommeliers across the United States, nine regional contests, and a national final at the annual National Société Mondiale du Vin Meeting in Sonoma. Following the initial online round, the three highest-scoring young sommeliers in nine U.S. Chaîne regions were invited to compete in a second-round regional com- petition with a panel of three to four judges chaired locally by at least one Master Sommelier or Master of Wine. This round tested the competitors' blind-tasting skills and included several tableside service tests, such as wine decanting, sparkling wine ser- vice, and pairing wines with food. In February, four regions held their contests. The Far West held the first contest of 2016 on February 1 at the impressive Southern Wine & Spirits headquarters in Las Vegas. The judges were Ira Harmon, MS, Las Vegas Professionnel du Vin Joseph Phillips, MS, Will Costello, MS, and Echanson Provincial Richard Wilson. The com- petitors were Juan Lizarraga, Molly Brooks-Thornton, and winner Jessica Waugh. Juan Gomez, MS, presided over the Southeast contest held at the beautiful Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. Closely matched contestants Sommelier Jill Davis, Adrian Lopez, and Micah Winecoff vied for the title. Sommelier Davis won for the sec- ond time. The South Central contest was held at the Four Seasons Atlanta. Esteemed judges were Chair Michael McNeill, MS, Echanson Provincial/Peachtree Bailli Richard Smith, and Peachtree Vice Echanson Honoraire Yves Durand. Sommeliers Christopher National Competition: Morgan Harris (second place), Martin Sheehan-Stross (winner), Steven Gullo (third place) and Vice Echanson National des Jeunes Sommeliers David Merrill. SW: Competitor Austin Heidt, Winner Lindsay Thomas and Competitor Nathan Fausti. The three highest-scoring young sommeliers in nine U.S. Chaîne regions were invited to compete in a second-round regional competition. NATIONAL 8 :: C H A I N E U S . O R G :: 2 0 1 6 v 2