The 22nd edition of this search for the best student sommelier in Loire Valley wines will be held at the fair venue on Monday 1 February. The contest has been organised since 1989 by the Loire wine-trade bodies and in conjunction with the Union de la Sommellerie Française. It aims to pick tomorrow’s great sommeliers and raise awareness of Loire Valley wines – the restaurant-sector – among these future specifiers. More than 90 students from the top 30 hotel schools in France and Belgium will compete. The first stage is a written examination behind closed doors, testing the candidates’ general knowledge of Loire Valley wines. The best-ranked schools (in three categories: “Loire Valley”, “non-Loire Valley” and “International”) are announced, and the best six students from these schools advance to the final. The final, featuring a quiz and blind tastings, is a fun affair, held in public so that the valiant finalists can be encouraged by their supporters! To win the competition, they must show unrivalled skill, accuracy and knowledge… and enjoy a little bit of luck.

Competition final – Monday 1 February from 2.30pm – Salon Loire

Awards ceremony – Monday 1 February at 4.30pm – Salon Loire