Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Winner of the Best Sommelier of Australia competition

Presentation of the Marc and Eva Besen Perpetual Trophy to Franck Moreau

Recently crowned the winner of the inaugural three-year title of ‘Best Sommelier of Australia’, Franck Moreau will be officially presented with the Marc and Eva Besen Perpetual Trophy in Sydney on Monday 27 February, receiving an extraordinary piece of sculpture created by renowned silversmith Robert Baines.

In late 2011 Franck Moreau from the Merivale Group took out the title of ‘Best Sommelier of Australia’. He was joined by fellow finalists Mark Protheroe (Grossi Group VIC) and Daniel Wegener (Quay, NSW) in a gruelling on-stage examination. The finalist trio were tested on service, tasting, vineyard recognition and wine list correction, all demonstrating the key elements that make a brilliant sommelier. But there could only be one winner.

Marc and Eva Besen have had a long-standing commitment to the Australian wine industry and the arts via their acclaimed Yarra Valley based winery, TarraWarra Estate and the privately funded, public TarraWarra Museum of Art. They have kindly commissioned this handcrafted perpetual trophy in recognition and acknowledgement of the sommelier profession, aiming to inspire future talent to continue to reach for the best in food and wine service.

The trophy has been designed by Professor Robert Baines who has applied his trademark technique of delicately interlaced powder-coated silver in a stunning design that features wine bottles and glassware. Now completed, it is ready to be handed over to its worthy recipient.

The top 14 sommeliers that competed for this coveted award were:

· Matthew Brooke – Circa, VIC
· Joseph Burton – The Source Restaurant at MONA, TAS
· Jeannette Clarke – Ezard, VIC
· Banjo Harris Plane – Attica, VIC
· Yuki Hirose – Rockpool Bar & Grill, NSW
· Travis Howe – Coda, VIC
· Alan Hunter – E’cco, QLD
· Sally Humble – Kumo Izakaya, VIC
· Jarrod Mills – Merivale, NSW
· Franck Moreau - Merivale, NSW
· Emma Plumridge – Rockpool, NSW
· Mark Protheroe – Grossi Group. VIC
· Daniel Wegener – Quay, NSW
· Sanpellegrino ‘Young Gun Wild Card’ entrant, Sarah Ward – Circa, VIC

The competition was developed by the Sommeliers Australia Education Committee comprising Ben Edwards (Sommeliers Australia President; Director of The Wine Guide), David Lawler (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee Chair and Vice President; Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne), Dan Sims (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee member; Project Manager at The Wine Guide) and Chris Crawford (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee member).

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