by BEVERAGE TRADE NETWORK

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The Judges

Eric Zwiebel MS

Executive Head Sommelier at Summer Lodge hotel and Red Carnation Group

My name is Eric Zwiebel and I have been the Executive Head Sommelier here at Summer Lodge since July 2004.

Born in Alsace, I began my wine career early on by helping my parents in their restaurant, before working as Sommelier for 5 years in Paris for many Stars Restaurant. Following this, he decided to move to England 1997 to broaden my knowledge of the many different wine regions and to take courses offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Two years later, in 2001, Zwiebel achieved his MS qualification.

After my two first years as training as a waiter my father sent me to a 3 stars Michelin Restaurant where Serge Buds was the Best Sommelier of the World 1989, my love wine was kindled. I was exposed to good food and wine. I was mentored by the great Gérard Basset MW MS OBE / Best Sommelier in the World 2010 to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude.” 

In 2004, I won the Best Sommelier of the UK, 3rd place at the Best Sommelier of Europe in 2006 and 2008. Finalist in the Best Sommelier of the World 2007 and placed 4th at the 2013 competition in Tokyo. In 2018 I pass The ASI Certificate Gold Diploma Major of Promotion World wide.

“As much as I love the old-world wines, I am passionate about new grape varietals, new wine regions and countries around the world where their wine industry is developing. The joy of discovery, for me, is something, which can never be replicated. What I love about wine is that it offers an experience, highlighting the emotional links between wine and food.  Great wine is like a piece of art, it is a magical thing which is almost impossible to define. I have found that wine allows me to build a strong relationship between myself and my guests while enjoying my passion. At Summer Lodge, we have around 1100 wines in our cellar, which I have chosen over time. Quality is the only important aspect in our selection." 

I and Chef Steven Titman host regular Wine Dinners featuring guest speakers. The wine dinners are held on a regular basis and feature wines from around the world.