Bellavita hosts prestigious Best UK Sommelier - The Italian Wine Professional ISWA Award

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PRESS RELEASE
26 April 2018


Bellavita hosts prestigious Best UK Sommelier - The Italian Wine Professional ISWA Award
Top Michelin stars to take part in the most anticipated Italian wine competition

Le Gavroche, Aquavit, Roux at Parliament Square, Locanda Locatelli, The Five Fields, Murano, Galvin at Windows, Savoy Grill, 67 Pall Mall, Margot, M Restaurant, The Glasshouse and Outlaw's at the Capital are just some of the top restaurants in the country to take part in the fourth edition of Bellavita Best UK Sommelier – The Italian Wine Professional ISWA Award, a competition designed by Bellavita Expo London (17 -19 June 2018, Business Design Centre, London) to crown the Best Italian Wine Professional.

“Bellavita Expo has always focused on awarding excellence and wine is no exception” says Bellavita founder and CEO Aldo Mazzocco. “Italian wine is one of the most difficult to master because of the huge variety of grapes available, over 350. For that reason, sommeliers joining the competition will really need to up their game, demonstrate knowledge and the correct service skills.”

Participants will be tested through three different tasks: a written exam, a blind tasting and a wine service test . The blind tasting will take place against a tight timeframe, throwing in an extra obstacle for the sommeliers involved. Contestants will then be scored by renowned Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine from the best restaurants and wine outlets in the UK.
“Italian wine is one of the most difficult to master: the sheer number of indigenous grape varieties alone is no small challenge, plus the timing element makes for a really tough competition. I’m excited to see what these sommeliers have to bring to the table” says judge Alistair Cooper Master of Wine, BBC radio presenter, Consultant and Decanter judge.

The competition is open to all UK restaurants and their sommeliers and it is supported by WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), Harpers and The Buyer. This year ISWA (Italian Signature Wines Academy) will sponsor the competition for the first time.

“I am delighted to be part of such an important competition in the wine world. The competence level of the sommeliers involved is extremely high, Many Michelin star restaurants are taking part, so I think we can expect a really exciting competition ahead” comments judge Yves Desmaris MS, Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at Lutyens.

This year, Bellavita Expo London will have a unique focus on Italian wine and the trends that have taken the UK storm. At the Wine & Beer Academy Theatre WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) will offer guided tastings to members of the trade following their systematic approach to wine tasting.

In addition, the theatre will host five masterclasses with ISWA (Italian Signature Wines Academy) including the Italian wine producers that have made history in Italy and beyond: Villa Sandi, Frescobaldi, Allegrini, Fontanafredda and Feudi di San Gregorio. The founders of these five wine houses will explore how Italian wine has developed throughout the years and how it will continue to evolve in the future.
Harpers and The Buyer will also run insightful panel discussions, bringing together distributors, importers and retailers to unpack the latest trends in the UK and beyond.

SCHEDULE FOR THE FINALS
In order to be a part of the competition, sommeliers will be required to be at Bellavita Expo London on Monday 18 June from 11:00 am until 16:00 pm. They will also have the opportunity to be a judge of excellence at the Bellavita Awards.
11:00 am - Competition starts, written test
13:15 pm - Semi-finals
15:00 pm - Finals
15:30 pm - Awards competition - Winner announcement

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS AND SOMMELIERS SO FAR
• Le Gavroche ★★, Mayfair, Daniele Aresu, Sommelier
• Aquavit ★, St James’s, Victor Almeida, Head Sommelier
• The Five Fields ★, Chelsea , Gloria Marchesoni, Assistant Sommelier
• Locanda Locatelli ★, Marylebone, Tiziano Salerno, Sommelier
• Galvin At Windows ★, Mayfair, Rudina Arapi, Head Sommelier
• Murano ★, Mayfair, Marco Laccarino, Head Sommelier
• The Glasshouse ★, Kew, Adam Michoki, Head Sommelier
• Outlaw's at the Capital ★ Alessandro Pesarini, Sommelier
• M Restaurant, Lenart Cernelic, Sommelier
• Spring Somerset House, Xavier Sockeel, Sommelier
• 67 Pall Mall, Riccardo Mariotti, Comis Sommelier
• Roux At Parliament Square, Paolo Pellegrino, Head Sommelier
• Queens Hotel, Cheltenham, Olteanu Ovidiu, Head Sommelier
• Gola, Angelo Prezio, Sommelier
• Ipsum Vinoteca, Andrea D’Ercole, Head Sommelier
• Skylon, Southbank, Greta Ghiardello, Sommelier
• Roganic, Marylebone, Gaia Serafini, Assistant Head Sommelier
• Margaux,Chelsea, Giulio Di Stefano, Assistant Manager
• Bedales, City , Gaston Adolfo, Sommelier
• Bandol, Chelsea, Evan Collin, General Manager
• Margot, Covent Garden, Andre Cunha, Sommelier
• Corrigan, Mayfair, Jolanta Dinnadge, Head Sommelier
• Coq D'argent, Marius Oliver Kristiansen, Sommelier

CONFIRMED JUDGES

• Ana Sapungiu MW, Wine Buyer at Oddbins, Main Retailer in the UK
• Yves Desmaris MS, Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at Lutyens, top restaurant in the City
• Alistair Cooper MW, BBC radio presenter, Consultant and Decanter judge
• Bruno Besa, Managing Director and founder of Astrum wines
• Martin Lam, Chef, Restaurateur, Consultant and Wine Buyer for the Zetter Group, Brindisa and Grain Store

About Bellavita Expo
Bellavita Expo is a B2B platform dedicated to the promotion of Italian food and beverage through eight trade shows in London, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Chicago, Toronto, Mexico City, Bangkok and Moscow.

Press Contacts
Sara Poloni, Content Editor & PR - [email protected]

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