After an intensive competition with 16 local sommeliers, Shane Taylor, wine director at CinCin Ristorante, took home the 2017 Best Sommelier of BC
championship. The third annual competition, hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter,
took place in the Captain’s Lounge in Rogers Arena. Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant and Mathew Landry of The Stable House Bistro finished as runner-up winners.
The contest, which lasted a day, included both a written and practical exam, judged by an esteemed panel of judges comprised of Barbara Philip, Michelle Bouffard, and Véronique Rivest; all led by technical judge DJ Kearney.
Taylor and his top two cohorts were selected as finalists after taking top marks in the written exam. For the practical portion of the exam, the three each took a turn in front of an audience of approximately 100 people, made up of members of the wine trade. The practical exam included the following:
- Sparkling wine service
- Red wine decanting
- Food and wine pairing exercise
- Menu correction exercise
- Blind-tasting of cocktails, red and white wines
While it was a vigorous competition, Taylor demonstrated exceptional theoretical knowledge and wine service, which placed him first in the competition. This win comes to Taylor after achieving runner-up status for the past two years. “It feels good,” he says “I’m very happy to win, and yet it’s humbling.”
As the 2017 Best Sommelier of BC, in addition to holding the title, Taylor takes home a handful of other prizes including two tickets to an upcoming game from the Vancouver Canucks, a travel voucher for two from Delta Air Lines from the Vancouver International Wine Festival, dinner for two at any Toptable Group restaurant (Araxi, Blue Water Café, West or CinCin), and a magnum of Moet et Chandon champagne from Moet-Hennessy.
As an additional form of recognition, all three finalists were given personalized jerseys from the Vancouver Canucks.
Next up: Taylor will not be able to relax with his win for long: this new title earns him a place in the National Sommelier Competition, set to take place in Vancouver in September 2017.
*Press Release from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers