Hakkasan head sommelier is taster of the year

Tobias Brauweiler MS, head sommelier at the London restaurant Hakkasan (Hanway Place), has won the first ever Taster of the Year award.

Sponsored by cork producer, Amorim, in association with the Court of Master Sommeliers Europe, the 33-year-old won a limited edition cork ice bucket, created by artist Filipe Alarcão, plus a scholarship trip to the Portuguese cork forests to see the harvest and how natural corks are made.

He won his title by scoring the highest marks in the tasting section of this year’s Master Sommelier exams.

Brauweiler, from near Dortmund, Germany, has been working in the UK for five years, having arrived in 2010 to open Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham as head sommelier. In 2012 he joined Hakkasan, well known for its modern Cantonese cuisine, in August 2014.

He said: “The Master Sommelier Exam is tough, with an incredibly low pass rate.  So, I was very relieved to have passed it on my third attempt! And even more delighted to be the first person to win the Amorim Taster of the Year award.

“I don’t consider myself the greatest taster – I know skilled sommeliers who are much better than me - but I worked hard and trained a lot for the exam. To be recognised in this way for my tasting ability is very special.”