Young Sommelier

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The Young Sommelier Competition promotes the expertise of the young wine and spirit professional and encourages mastery of wine and spirit knowledge. The Young Sommelier Competition is conducted and administered by the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Eligibilty

The competition is open to any Sommelier from one of the Chapters of the Chaine of the United States if they meet the following criteria: who:

  • Must be United States citizen by birth or naturalization.
  • Must be at least 21 (twenty-one) and not more than 32 (thirty-two) years of age on December 31, 2006.
  • Must be sponsored by a member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

To attain the distinction of being selected as the Best Young Sommelier of the year at the National Finals, the candidate must successfully progress through tests conducted at the Local Level and Super Regional Level. The winner of the National Young Sommelier Competition is not eligible to compete a second time in the Super Regional Level or National Finals. An individual may compete only three times at the National Finals and must complete the entire qualification and eligibility process each time.

Format

The format of the competition will be based on the Advanced Sommelier Exam conducted by the Court of Master Sommeliers. The format will feature three areas of examination. These areas are Theory, Practical and Blind Tasting. The exam format may be modified as deemed necessary by the Judges.

The Theory Section

The Theory section will consist of a written theory exam that may include short answer, multiple choice or essay questions. Knowledge in all areas of wine and wine production, laws, viticulture and vinification, as well as spirits, beers, ales, ciders, sherry and cigars may be tested. The Theory section will have a ONE hour time limit.

The Practical Skills Section

The Practical Skills section is a station based service performance exam that may include Decanting, Champagne Service, appropriate glassware choices, blind Spirit Identification of crafted beverages (by nose) and other real world tasks. The Judges will provide the spirits. The Practical Skills section is characterized by a reasonable time limit at each task station. It is a role-playing exercise requiring full restaurant service skills, composure, dress and personal equipment.

The Blind Tasting Section

The Blind Tasting section is a timed (twenty-five minutes) double blind tasting of six wines. The Judges shall provide the wines. Scoring will be done on the Master Sommelier deductive tasting method. Scores will be assigned for assessment by sight, nose, and palate and by initial and final conclusions of each wine. In order to protect the integrity of the Blind Tasting section, the identity of the wines will not be revealed after the exam.

Prizes

All Local Level competitors shall be awarded a Bronze Medal. The first place winners of the Super Regional Level Young Sommelier Competitions are entitled to take part in the National Young Sommelier Competition National Finals. The Super Regional Level winners will receive a silver medal during the announcement ceremonies, and all participants will receive a diploma and a bronze medal. The medals are to be engraved with the competition date, region and sponsor. The name of the first place winner in the National Finals of the Young Sommelier Competition shall be engraved on the perpetual Young Sommeliers Competition Champagne Mumm Trophy. This trophy will be kept by the national office for display purposes. Engraved medals are to be awarded as follows:

  1. Gold Medal and Champagne Mumm Trophy to First Place
  2. Silver Medal to Second Place
  3. Bronze Medal to Third Place

Additionally, $1000 Educational Scholarship to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. For more information on the program or to request an application form, please contact Christopher Chan at Christopherchan@comcast.net