Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts goes to great lengths to train its sommeliers on how to be the best of breed. Indeed, in July, the Asian-based hotel group will host its second Wine Summit led by its newly appointed Wine Ambassador Gerard Basset OBE (see photo above) and Shangri-La’s Corporate Wine Director Yang Lu at the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.
The Summit will cultivate the internal wine talents with customized training over a series of events, including tutorials, the Best Sommelier Competition and a prestigious wine dinner. By raising the sommeliers’ expertise, they will in turn redefine service levels to enrich guest experience encompassing wine selection and best value.
One of the conference highlights is the sommelier competition based on the Silver Service Standard developed by the Court of Master Sommeliers. The high standards will see a dozen different sommeliers—representing Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts properties in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Maldives, Paris, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto and Tokyo—challenged by theory and oral tests, beverage and wine service, food and wine pairing, and blind tasting to attain the coveted title of Best Sommelier. Last year the competition was won by Mark Moffatt, Sommelier at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto.
A panel of judges will appraise the competitors, including Gerard Basset, the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and Wine MBA honors; Yohann Jousselin, hotel sommelier at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong (and winner of Best Sommelier U.K. 2011 and the only Master Sommelier in Asia); as well as various leading wine personalities and media in China.
While the group’s Best Sommelier will be announced on July 10, Gerard Basset and Yang Lu will share enhanced developments and initiatives since Shangri-La’s Wine Program was launched in 2013. From its initiation and objective to focus on enhancing wine offerings in hotels in China and Hong Kong, the program has since heightened wine consistency, diversity and quality across the properties.
The event is open to the public and intends to immerse wine aficionados and world-renowned producers, including Pierre Montegut from AXA who will present Château Suduiraut, Château Pichon-Longueville and Château Petit-Village, in a special evening of fine food and prized pours.
For inquiries or reservations, visit the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing website or call (86 10) 6841 2211.
Images Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts