Eric Zwiebel to represent UK at ASI World Sommelier Contest

  • Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Eric Zwiebel MS, sommelier at Summer Lodge Hotel and Spa in Evershot, Dorset, has been chosen to represent the UK at the prestigious ASI World Sommelier contest being held in Japan in 2013.

Eric contested his place at the world event against two former UK Sommeliers of the Year - Matthieu Longuere of La Trompette, London, and Nicolas Clerc MS from D&D London - and the current holder of the title Jan Konetzki of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

“It’s a true honour to be chosen to represent the UK in this important competition,” said Eric. “The selection contest was extremely tough as I was up against three fantastic sommeliers. I am delighted to have won.”

The competition, organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service, was held earlier this week at Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire. The four candidates were asked to complete a written paper, a blind tasting of two wines and five spirits, and a skills test involving a food and wine matching test and a decanting task. The four candidates then went on to identify 12 errors on a wine list and a wine tasting.

“We really put these four sommeliers through the mill and tested their skills to the limit,” commented chief judge Gerard Basset OBE, MW, MS and owner of Hotel TerraVina. “Each candidate was strong in a particular area and not so in others, but we chose Eric as the candidate with the best all round skills and the runner-up as Nicolas Clerc.”

Basset judged the competition alongside the AFWS executive director Sophie Roberts-Brown, AFWS event manager Sarah Peters, Hotel TerraVina’s head sommelier and former UK Sommelier of the Year Laura Rhys MS and 1998 winner Ronan Sayburn MS, director of wines at Hotel du Vin.

Summer Lodge Hotel and Spa is an award-winning five-star boutique property in the pretty village of Evershot, Dorset. Eric’s prestigious accolade is the most recent in a number of awards that the hotel has received. Highly acclaimed in particular for its food and beverage offering, the hotel currently holds Restaurant of the Year from the Taste of Dorset Awards, a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor and has been awarded 3 stars, the highest rating possible, from the Sustainable Restaurant Awards.

Charles Lotter, General Manager at Summer Lodge Hotel & Spa commented:

“Eric is an extremely talented sommelier and we are enormously proud that he will be representing the UK on a global platform. He is a tremendous asset to the food and beverage offering at Summer Lodge – his vast knowledge, skill and attention to detail makes every dining experience at hotel highly memorable and he is hugely respected and valued by guests and colleagues like”.

Eric Zwiebel - Sommelier at Summer Lodge