Following the success of Shangri-La's first Wine Summit in 2013, initiated as a series of professional programmes to nurture the group's gifted sommeliers, the Asian-based hotel group will organise its second Wine Summit led by newly appointed wine ambassador Gerard Basset OBE and Shangri-La's corporate wine director Yang Lu from 8 to 10 July 2014 at Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.
The entire summit is committed to advancing internal wine talents and providing them customised training over a series of events, including tutorials, the Best Sommelier Competition and a prestigious wine dinner. By raising the sommeliers' expertise, they will in turn redefine service levels to enrich guest experience encompassing wine selection and value for money.
One of the conference highlights is the sommelier competition based on the Silver Service Standard developed by the Court of Master Sommeliers. The high standards will see 12 sommeliers – representing Shangri-La properties in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Maldives, Paris, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto and Tokyo – challenged by theory and oral tests, beverage and wine service, food and wine pairing, and blind tasting to attain the coveted title of Best Sommelier (won last year by Mark Moffatt of Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto).
Appraising the competitors will be a panel of judges including Gerard Basset, the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and Wine MBA honours; Yohann Jousselin, hotel sommelier at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, winner of Best Sommelier U.K. 2011 and the only Master Sommelier in Asia; as well as various leading wine personalities and media in China.
While the group's Best Sommelier will be announced at a media reception on 10 July, Gerard Basset and Yang Lu will share enhanced developments and initiatives since Shangri-La's Wine Programme was launched in 2013. From its initiation and objective to focus on enhancing wine offerings in hotels in China and Hong Kong, the programme has since heightened wine consistency, diversity and quality across the properties.
To conclude the Wine Summit, a dinner at S.T.A.Y – the acclaimed restaurant by French Chef Yannick Alléno – will be held at Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.
Co-hosted by Gerard Basset and Yang Lu and supported by the top sommeliers, the event is open to the public and intends to immerse wine aficionados and world-renowned producers, namely Pierre Montegut from AXA to present Château Suduiraut, Château Pichon-Longueville and Château Petit-Village, in a special evening of fine food and prized pours. For enquiries or reservations, please contact Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (86 10) 6841 2211.
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, one of the world's premier hotel companies, currently owns and/or manages more than 80 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 34,000. Over four decades the group has established its brand hallmark of 'hospitality from the heart'. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.shangri-la.com