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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Jonathan Eichholz Named 2019 Best Young Sommelier at Chaîne des Rôtisseurs USA National Finals

Eichholz Moves on to Compete in the 2019 Best Young Sommeliers International Competition in Seoul, Korea, on September 20, 2019.

Madison, New Jersey (April 29, 2019) – Jonathan Eichholz, representing the Northeast region, is named Best Young Sommelier in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Young Sommeliers Competition. The winner claims the title after competing against eigth other contestants, including Second Place Winner Tim Sorek of Napa and Third Place Winner Andrea Morris of New York, in the national finals held in Napa, California, April 25-28.

Hosted annually by the Société Mondiale du Vin, a part of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest food and wine society, the annual competition tests competitors on blind tasting ability, tableside wine service skills, and many areas of wine knowledge. Harold S. Small, Bailli Délégué des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, says that “the highly competitive program attracts the country’s most promising young talent.”

“Each year, the young sommeliers bring fresh perspective and talent,” continued Small. “We congratulate Jonathan on this momentous victory and are thrilled for him to showcase his abilities while representing the United States in the International Competition.”

The national competition included a one-hour written test, a blind tasting test, and multiple service tests. Competition judges included Master Sommeliers Robert Bath, Ira Harmon, Andre Ivanov (2015 National Winner), Andrea Immer Robinson and 2018 National Winner Jeremy Shanker as well as William Ridlehuber, Mon Roldan, George Staikos and Patricia Wamhoff. Geoff Labitzke, MW, ran and oversaw all regional competitions and that held in Napa, and also put together this highly impressive group of Judges.

The 2019 Young Sommeliers contestants who participated in the national competition finals included:

  • Northeast Region - Jonathan Eichholz
  • Northeast Region - Andrea Morris
  • Mid-Atlantic Region - Christopher Marcus
  • South Central Region - Jesse Smith
  • Southeast Region - Bradley McGury
  • Midwest Region - Juliette Dottle
  • Southwest Region - Patrick Olds
  • Pacific Northwest Region - Timothy Sorek
  • Hawaii / Pacific Region - Lynn Zhang

After these tests, the top three contestants who scored the highest were given an additional set of challenges including an oral knowledge quiz, a blind tasting test, and a service test, all in front of a live audience. The winner of this final set of challenges claimed the title as the 2019 Best Young Sommelier, which was announced during the awards ceremony and gala dinner at the CIA at Copia during the National Mondiale Weekend.

All three finalists won an educational trip to the Bordeaux wine region. Eichholz took home cash and prizes, including a scholarship to further his wine studies and an invitation to represent the United States and compete in the Chaîne’s International Young Sommeliers Competition to be held in Seoul, Korea in September 2019. Expenses for the U.S. national winner are paid by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

About the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs

The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the world’s oldest, largest and most prestigious food and wine society with more than 25,000 members worldwide. There are 130 chapters and about 6,000 members throughout the United States. Important programs include annual Young Sommeliers and Young Chefs competitions held both nationally and internationally. Founded in Paris in 1950, the Chaîne’s roots reach back to 1248 in France. It is dedicated to honoring the skills and practices of the masters of the culinary arts and those individuals who craft our libations. For additional information: www.chaineus.org.

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