On the 16th of May, 20 of Hong Kong’s finest sommeliers put their palate to the test in the annual Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge.
The challenge requires participants to blind taste four of Ruinart’s premium wines in 40 minutes before a panel of expert judges.
This year’s judges consisted of Frédéric Panaïotis (Ruinart Chef de Cave), Claudio De Villemor Salgado (Ambassador of Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne), Sarah Heller (Master of Wine) and Han Yew Kong, winner of the Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge 2017.
Mr. Leo Au of Café Gray Deluxe, The Upper House was crowned winner on the day. He will now embark on the journey of a lifetime to Champagne in France where he will learn more about region’s rich winemaking history.
Alongside the winners of the other Ruinart challenges across the globe, he will taste some of Dom Ruinart’s oldest vintages and sample the best cuisine from the region.
Ruinart Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis, said of the Challenge:
“With each challenge garnering more and more attention, it has been my pleasure to see that the challenge not only attracts talented sommeliers of all levels from around Asia but also industry experts. This year we have also opened the challenge to non-sommeliers to discover the art of blind tasting in the afternoon. As the fifth challenge that I have hosted, I am immensely grateful for the positive response towards the challenge and hope to host an even bigger challenge with more wine sommeliers in 2019.”