Young Sommelier Competition

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 17th year in the United States. There is no cost to compete. The process consists of an initial qualifying test administered entirely online in January, 2019 followed by in-person provincial tests in nine Chaîne provinces across the country, and culminating in a national final to be held in Napa Valley, California in April, 2019. We pay travel expenses to the Provincials 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.

From left, Erik Elliott, Skyler Ring and Madeline Jimerson. Sommelier Skyler Ring of Mastro’s Steak House in Houston, Texas was the 2021 winner of the annual U.S. National Young Sommelier Competition of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Erik Elliott, estate director at Heitz Cellars in Napa, California, was awarded second place and Madeline Jimerson, a sommelier in Aspen, Colorado, finished in third place.

Young Sommeliers Competition

The first-rounds of the 2023 Chaîne Young Sommeliers Competition tests will held in January (check back for dates). Round One will be 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 provinces then compete in person in the provincial competitions between January and April. The provincial winners will journey to Napa Valley, California (at our expense) for the national finals. The winner there will be invited to the international finals this fall.

If you are interested in competing (and you meet the eligibility requirements – see the rules at the link below), please contact the national office at You may also contact the head of your local chapter (the “Bailli”).

Past Winners

Past U.S. National Chaîne Young Sommeliers Competition Winners:

2019   Jonathan Eichholz
2018   Jeremy Shanker
2017   Vincent Morrow – 3rd place in the 2017 International Competition
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