Champagne Ruinart and Sommeliers Australia are delighted to announce the 25 selected finalists to take part in the 2019 Ruinart Sommelier Challenge, to be held in Sydney on Monday, 18 March. The finalists represent Australia’s top sommelier talent, who will go in the running for chance to win a once in a lifetime business class trip to France for exclusive training at Maison Ruinart.

The Sommelier Challenge reflects Champagne Ruinart’s commitment to the development of the global Sommelier community, where finalists will be competing in a blind tasting exam of four wines before enjoying a technical lecture and lunch with Ruinart Winemaker Caroline Fiot, who is visiting Australia for the second time in 2019.

The judging panel will select one sommelier from the group – based upon their blind tasting responses – to be the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge 2019 winner. The winner will be announced on 18 March 2019 at the conclusion of the training day.

The 2019 Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge will be held at the newly opened Flying Fish restaurant at The Star.


Congratulations to the Top 25 finalists, and best of luck on Challenge Day!

Jarrett Buffington Merivale – Felix
Bridget Raffal Sixpenny
Fabio Pallottini Merivale – Mr Wong
Gerard Bellis Nomad Wine
Manuel Conti Black Bar & Grill
Paolo Saccone Merivale
Max Gurtler Momofuku Seiobo
Yuki Hirose Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
Stacey Paris Mr Wong
Jean-Charles Mahe Merivale
Isaac Coleman Kiyomi Restaurant at The Star Gold Coast
Morgan Golledge Hellenika at the Calile
Aleks Balodis` Stokehouse Q
Geoffrey Hunt Matthews Hospitality Group
Roberto Lombardo Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Susei Ko Doot Doot Doot – Jackalope Hotel
Jeffrey Thaow Supernormal
Alexandre Roger Vue de Monde
Wiremu Andrews Messer/Copper Pot & Pt. Leo Estate/Laura
Ellis Nuttall Movida
Bryce Faiella ARIA Sydney
Andres Aragon Merivale
Liam O’Brien Cutler & Co
Justin Biskup Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne
Foni Pollitt Mayfair Lane Pub & Dining Room