matteo montone chein des rotisseurs

I was very pleased a few weeks ago to be sat next to sommelier Matteo Montone and to learn of his recent competition triumph in South Korea. It was only back in March of this year when Matteo took the UK’s Young Sommelier of the Year prize offered by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

Matteo, who is the Wine Director at the London EDITION, took the top honours in a tense and close-run final in South Korea, after two days of competition against sommelier representatives from countries including Russia, Canada and Germany. 

Milan-born Matteo won Gold, and the World Champion title, beating Jonathan Eichholz from the USA by just a few marks, and Australia’s Andres Aragon into third place.

This is a great accolade for Matteo who said:

This is probably the greatest achievement of my life’, commented Matteo on his title win. ‘I've worked very hard to prepare for this, and to win was a dream come true!  

It was indeed a triumph for Great Britain, having produced the top sommelier in the world for the third year running, and taking first or second place in the last nine out of ten years. 

With Matteo’s superb effort, we have kept up our outstanding track record in the event’ said Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs GB . ‘My sincere thanks to those who encouraged him in our national competition  – judges Steven Spurrier, Christelle Guibert, Dimitri Mesnard, Isa Bal and Nicholas Clerc and our partners with whose help we are able to run this event.’

The London Edition Hotel

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Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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