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We are looking for the best of the best.

If you are a sommelier, or know one who is worth their salt, let us know.

The Top100Sommeliers is the definitive list of talented wine professionals in the on-trade. You need to be a part of if you are working in or connected to this vibrant and ever-changing industry.

The 2024 Top100Sommeliers is open for applications.

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How have we done this?

The team at Top 100 Sommeliers has over 40 years wine and restaurant industry experience and have learnt a thing or two about what makes a top sommelier. We have collated our knowledge, industry contacts and experience to discover the best sommeliers working in UK restaurants today.

Our database of working sommeliers*, is constantly being updated and we will continue to hone the list to find the best 100.

And, we have developed a comprehensive and meritocratic criteria for selecting the Top 100 Sommeliers, based on a unique points system.

Experience & Seniority

Candidates will be interviewed about their level of experience and their current seniority in the team.

Responsibility & Management

All applicants will be asked about their current responsibility and management experience.

Qualifications & Achievements

Achieving professional qualifications in service, tasting skills and wine knowledge will be reviewed.

Sommelier decanting wine

Awards & Accolades

Taking part in sommelier competitions and winning wine list awards will also be accounted for and considered.

An additional review by all the judges will further assess:

Expert wine knowledge – achieved through qualifications and/or experience
Level of responsibility – cellar mastery, wine buying, list curation and staff management
Working experience – length of time working in restaurants as a sommelier
Professionalism – proven excellence in customer service/experience
Industry endorsements – support quotes from peers
Competition success – achievements over others

Judges

For the innaugural Top 100 in 2023 we assembled an illustrious panel of experts to judge the line up of outstanding sommeliers from around the UK.

Each judge brought different expertise and views to scrutinise the entrants in order to establish the highest standards.

Svetoslav Manolev MS

Svetoslav Manolev MS

Wine consultant, educator and wine judge

Giovanni Ferlito, Top 100 Sommeliers judge

Giovanni Ferlito MCA

Head of Beverages, The Ritz, London

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Top 100 Sommeliers judge 2023

Sarah Jane Evans MW

Author, journalist and broadcaster

Thierry Tomasin, Top 100 Sommeliers judge

Thierry Tomasin MCA

Restaurant Director, The Grill at The Savoy, London

Queena Wong, Founder and wine collector, Curious Vines and Top 100 Sommeliers judge

Queena Wong

Collector and Founder, Curious Vines

The sign of a great restaurant is not just the food, the experience, the ambience, it also rests with the calibre of the person who serves your wine.

The job of a sommelier is not just about knowledge, it’s about the wine expert’s ability to gauge how much the customer wants to pay, getting the tone right, perhaps moving them away from staff choice to something more exciting, challenging but just right at the same time.

A sommelier is the person who uses their expertise to enable you to choose a wine to go with the food you are soon going to eat.

We have surveyed industry experts from around the UK and the general consensus is that what makes a good sommelier is the ability to distil all their knowledge into accessible, bite-sized chunks of information to sell, entice and engage all at the same time.

It takes skill, knowledge, and tenacity to pitch it just right. In just 30 seconds professionals need to be able to measure the level of spend and style of wine without intruding or overcompensating. A juggling act, a talent, a professionalism that can make or break the whole dining experience.

The Top100Sommeliers is a countdown of the very best sommeliers from around the UK’s best restaurants, the people who bring wine alive and excel at every level of service and knowledge. Over the past months we have called for nominations, gathering together a list of the best to be assessed and evaluated by our panel of judges to find the Top100Sommeliers.

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