Calling All Sommeliers! The 2023 UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge Is Open For Entries


Calling All Sommeliers! The 2023 UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge Is Open For Entries

The 2023 UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge Is Open For Entries

Entry Deadline – 5th February 2023

  • 25 places available at a Seminar and Tasting Competition in London hosted by Ruinart’s Chef de Caves Frédéric Panaïotis
  • 1 winner will be awarded a place on a 4-day educational trip to the Champagne region hosted by Frédéric Panaïotis

Ruinart is delighted to announce the 2023 UK edition of the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge is open for entries.

This year’s UK seminar and blind tasting competition will take place on 20th February at The Conduit, in central London. The aim of the day is twofold: to explore some of the more technical aspects of the art of winemaking and to choose the winning Sommelier who will attend the all-expenses paid trip to Champagne later this year. 

The top 25 candidates, as selected by judges Ruinart Chef de Caves Frédéric Panaïotis, CEO of the Court of Master Sommeliers Ronan Sayburn MS, and 2022 Challenge winner Mark Ron Patana, Assistant Head Sommelier at Medlar, will compete in a blind tasting. The winner of the tasting will be awarded a place on what Frédéric Panaïotis, who devised the concept and designs the itinerary, describes as a “once in a lifetime” comprehensive four-day educational trip to the Champagne region, which he will personally host. The 2023 edition will focus on “Climate Change and Grape Ripening Dynamics”. The trip will include a deep dive into the Champagne region and participation in a series of technical tastings, culminating in an afternoon in Paris.  

The concept for The Ruinart Sommelier Challenge was created by the Ruinart winemaking team with the ambition to develop an international training and mentoring programme committed to supporting Sommelier wine education. “We are delighted that over the years we have been running this event we have built an incredible community of Sommeliers. Our ambition has always been to bring to Sommeliers the kind of technical knowledge which can’t be easily found in books, on the internet or at classic wine tastings. Although this Challenge has been able to select the greatest talents, we aim to help educate, develop and promote the wine community through the Challenge masterclass and tasting on the day.”

Commenting on his experience, 2022 winner Mark Ron Patana adds, “I truly enjoyed participating in the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge! Forty minutes, just you, four amazing wines, and a tasting paper. You could have felt the intensity, the race against time, the adrenaline and passion of the people competing in that room. I decided to put everything I am, as a sommelier and as a person, the encounters I have experienced and the memories I have shared into those words, and felt extremely satisfied, knowing I had given everything I could! Thank you for making this event possible!”

The winning UK representative will join the trip alongside winners from each edition, which is being run across 15 countries worldwide. As the deadline is fast approaching, entrants are encouraged to sign up today.

Applications are via the UK Ruinart Sommelier Challenge website link with the deadline for receiving entries for the seminar and competition in London, the 5th February 2023.  To enter The Ruinart Sommelier Challenge, please visit