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The Ruinart Challenge 2017
Art School's Jitka Auermüllerová comes runner up

We are delighted to announce that our Sommelier, Jitka Auermüllerová, came runner up in this year’s Ruinart Challenge.

The competition, which took place on Tuesday 30 May at Brown’s Hotel in London, saw 20 sommeliers from restaurants across the UK battle it out in a blind tasting to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Champagne.

This year’s topic was Rosé wine. The sommeliers had to correctly identify a line-up of four rosés: Champagne Bollinger Rosé Brut NV, Gusbourne Sparkling Rosé 2013, Château La Mascaronne Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015 and Château Giacours Bordeaux Rosé 2016. The judging panel was made up of Ronan Sayburn MS, Gerard Basset MW OBE and Ruinart’s chef de cave Frédéric Panaïotis.

The challenge commenced with a blind tasting session, four wines in forty minutes, two of which were sparkling.

This was followed by a masterclass on Rosé Champagne by Frederic Panaiotis, Chef de Cave of Ruinart. It also included a tasting of Champagne base wines, the red they use to make Rosé Champagne including a vintage rosé and non-vintage.

We are all extremely proud of Jitka’s achievement, especially Chef Patron Paul Askew who said:

This is fantastic news for Jitka, the Ruinart Challenge is overseen by the Court of Master Sommeliers, the drinks equivalent of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.”

It really does demonstrate what an exceptional palate Jitka has, as the majority of the tasks comprised of blind tasting and pairing sessions. This is great news not just for Jitka and the restaurant but also for the forthcoming Art School Cellars where Jitka will be overseeing the wine list. It is also going to be an amazing venue to run our WSET courses from with its private tutored tasting room, a walk-through temperature controlled cellar and arguably the finest wine list in the city.”


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