Young Sommelier Competition

The Chaîne des Rôtisseur’s Best Young Sommeliers Competition is  the oldest such national competition in America. Each year the competitors and the quality of the competition have improved. The knowledge and service skills available to American restaurant patrons in selecting the perfect wine to pair with their meal have never been greater.


About the Competition


The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest wine and food society, welcomes all sommeliers under the age of 31 to participate in our annual national sommelier competition, now entering its 16th year in the United States. There is no cost to compete. The process consists of an initial qualifying test administered entirely online on December 3, 2016, followed by in-person regional tests in nine Chaine regions across the country, and culminating in a national final to be held in Portland, Oregon May 18-20, 2017. We pay travel expenses to the regionals and finals for those who qualify. All judging panels are led by Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine.


We encourage all eligible sommeliers to participate! Our goal is to enhance your wine skills and knowledge, in a challenging but fun environment.


Past Winners


2016 Martin Sheehan-Stross – 1st place in the 2016 International Competition
2015 Andrey Ivanov
2014 Jane Lopes – 2nd place in the 2014 International Competition
2013 Bobby Conroy – 2nd place in the 2013 International Competition
2012 Christopher Bates (now a Master Sommelier) – 1st place in the 2012 International Competition
2011 Ian Cauble (now a Master Sommelier) – 1st place in the 2011 International Competition
2010 Michael Meagher (now a Master Sommelier) – 2nd place in the 2010 International Competition
2009** Jason Heller (now a Master Sommelier)
2008 Arthur Black
2007* Christopher Miller (now a Master Sommelier) – 1st place in the 2008 International Competition
2006 Jake Kosseff
2006 Drew Hendricks (2nd place in U.S. and now a Master Sommelier) 1st place in first-ever 2007 International Competition
2005 Jason Smith (now a Master Sommelier)
2004 Desmond Echavarrie (now a Master Sommelier)
2003 Andre Mack
2002 Keith Fergel

* The International Chaîne Young Sommeliers Competition began in 2007
** The U.S. did not field an international competitor in 2009


Young Sommeliers


The Chaîne’s international competition will be held September 28-29, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary!


The first-round test of the 2017 Chaîne Young Sommeliers Competition was held on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Round One was a one-hour online written test that could be taken from anywhere with access to a computer. The top performers on this test in each of the U.S. Chaîne’s regions then competed in person in the regional competitions between January and April, 2017. The nine regional winners will journey to Portland, Oregon May 17-19, 2017 (at our expense) for the national finals. The winner there will be invited to Budapest for the international finals this fall.


If you are interested in competing in 2018 (and you meet the eligibility requirements – see the rules at the link above), please contact David Merrill at [email protected]. You may also contact the head of your local chapter (the “Bailli”).