SA’s Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier 2019 crowned
Laurie Cooper, a winemaker and sommelier at Abingdon Wine Estate in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has claimed the title of the prestigious Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier of the year 2019.
By LUTHO PASIYA
This competition is held annually by the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), and is dedicated to the discipline, art and love of fine beverages, and to empower professional sommeliers.
Cooper was judged by an expert panel on her ability to taste and identify wines and spirits as well as social skills, the ability to interact with the patron, standard service tasks, such as decanting service or sparkling wine service.
Cooper’s wine journey began in London where she enrolled on the WSET wine courses and fell in love with the world of wine. She decided to move back to South Africa and make wine a full-time career.
Winning a scholarship for sparkling wine was a defining moment as it was the precise moment when one realises both passion and talent.
It cemented her love for the wine industry and more specifically for bubbles.
There are so many inspiring sommeliers in SA and the industry is incredibly supportive. She has been accepted into the Master of Wine programme this year. This will be the focus of her career in the coming years.
Her biggest passion is to get KZN on par with the rest of SA in terms of wine knowledge and service. She would love to train an army of certified sommeliers.
Founded in 2017 in collaboration with the South African Sommeliers Association, the Moët & Chandon Best Young Sommelier competition has become a prestigious appointment for the next generation of professional sommeliers, now held every two years.
Celebrating the winners in a true #moëtmoment
At the end of the challenging final day of the competition Laurie, Tayla and Le Roi were toasted in a true #moëtmoment of celebration with guests, media and their fellow quarter finalists.