|Eric Zwiebel MS to represent UK in world sommelier competition|
|Written by Carol Emmas|
|Monday, 18 February 2013 14:23|
Eric Zwiebel MS, cellar master at Summer Lodge in Dorset, has been chosen to represent the UK in 14th Best Sommelier of the World competition in Tokyo next month.
He was selected by the Academy of Food & Wine Service in a contest between Matthieu Longuere MS of La Trompette (UK Sommelier of the Year 2000), Nicolas Clerc MS of Le Pont de la Tour (UK Sommelier of the Year 2007) and Jan Konetzki of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (UK Sommelier of the Year 2012).
Zwiebel was born in Alsace, France, but is eligible to represent the UK having lived and worked here for over three years, and having held the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year title (2004).
He said: "This is a great honour. In the past I have competed as the French candidate, but it's fantastic to be picked as the English candidate. The support I get from this country is very important to me."
Eric was placed equal second in the Best Sommelier of the World in Rhodes in 2007. He is currently spending four hours a day studying in the run-up to Tokyo, focusing on viticulture, winemaking and his knowledge of a range of beverages. He has also spent time in other restaurants to experience different setups.
The Best Sommelier of the World competition, organised by the Association de la
Basset, who as technical director of AFWS headed the UK's selection panel, will be going to Tokyo as part of the judging panel for the world competition, where 50 entrants are expected to compete for the title in front of an audience of 5,000 people.
Among Zwiebel's opposition in Tokyo will be AFWS member Isa Bal MS of the Fat Duck in Bray, who is representing his native Turkey. Isa was a runner-up in the Moët UK Sommelier of the Year in 2008 and in the same year won the Best Sommelier of Europe title.
The competition will begin with the quarter-finals on March 27, followed by the semi-finals on March 28 and the final on March 29, between the top three candidates.