Martin Sheehan-Stross of the Pacific Northwest region was named Best Young Sommelier in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Young Sommeliers Competition presented by Moët & Chandon.
The winner claimed the title after competing against eight other contestants in the competition’s two-day national finals in Sonoma, CA.
Hosted annually by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, among the world’s oldest and largest food and wine societies, the annual competition tests competitors on blind-tasting ability, tableside wine service skills, and many other areas of wine knowledge. Every year, young sommeliers from around the world compete in this wine competition, says Charles Bennett, Grand Echanson of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
“Martin is an exceptionally talented young sommelier, and we look forward to him showcasing his capabilities when representing the United States in the International Competition,” said Bennett. “We are continually impressed with the increased quality and talent that these young sommeliers bring to the competition every year.”
The national competition finals took place on April 28 and 29, and included a one-hour written test, a blind tasting test, and multiple service tests. Judges for the national competition included former competition winners Desmond Echavarrie, MS and Andrey Ivanov, as well as professional judges David Glancy, MS, Robert Bath, MS, Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW, Geoff Labitzke, MW, and Virginia Philip.
Sheehan-Stross took home cash and prizes, including a scholarship to further his wine studies, Moët & Chandon Champagne, an educational trip to the Bordeaux wine region, and a five-year membership in both the U.S. Chaîne and the International Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Sheehan-Stross also receives an invitation to represent the United States and compete in the Chaîne’s International Young Sommeliers Competition to be held in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, August 25-26, 2016. Expenses for the U.S. National Winner are paid by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. A number of past U.S. national winners and contestants have become Master Sommeliers, including Desmond Echavarrie, who was a judge in this year’s competition.
The 2016 Young Sommeliers contestants who participated in the national competition finals included:
Morgan Harris, Aureole, NYC – Second Place
Steve Gullo, Paramour at the Wayne Hotel, PA – Third Place
South Central Region
Femi Oyediran, Charleston Place Hotel, SC
Jill Davis, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Orlando
Miranda Elliot, Maple & Ash, Chicago
Lindsay Thomas, Camerata at Paulie’s, Houson
Pacific Northwest Region
Martin Sheehan-Stross, Michael Mina, San Francisco, CA – First Place
Far West Region
Jessica Waugh, Gordon Ramsay Steak, Las Vegas
Hawaii / Pacific Region
Jordan Painter, Young’s Market, Hawaii
Pictured atop: Harold S. Small of the Chaine, Seth Box and Paige Pedersen of Moet & Chandon with Martin Sheehan-Stross, winner of The US Young Sommelier Competition presented by Moet & Chandon.