GuildSomm and Ruinart Select Sommelier Challenge Winners in the US

GuildSomm is excited to announce the top five US winners in the annual Ruinart Sommelier Challenge.

Created in 2010 and held in 15 cities around the world, the program aims to unite talented sommeliers and wine professionals who wish to continue their education in wine. GuildSomm is the exclusive partner for the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge in the US.

Each year, GuildSomm members may apply for the chance to compete in a blind tasting competition and the opportunity to win a four-day educational trip to Champagne and a $1,000 scholarship. With over 250 applicants this year, 125 members were selected to attend competitions in Miami, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Each event included a 40-minute written blind tasting of four wines. The evaluation was based on participants’ descriptions of the wines and suggestions for pairing and serving. Ruinart Chef de Cave Frédéric Panaïotis, GuildSomm Executive Director Jenny Hemmer, GuildSomm Director of Education Chris Tanghe, and previous Ruinart Challenge winners evaluated the submissions. Following the competition, attendees enjoyed lunch and a seminar by Panaïotis.

Panaïotis shared, “After missing two seasons due to the pandemic, I was waiting with great excitement and anticipation for the Ruinart Sommelier Challenge to resume, in collaboration with GuildSomm. This 11th edition’s seminar focused on cork and its influence on Champagne aging and coincided with the release of the new Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2010, aged under cork. Congratulations to all the sommeliers who joined us, a special shoutout to the five winners, and a major thank you to GuildSomm for helping us through this event.”

Congratulations to this year’s Ruinart Sommelier Challenge winners:

  • Michelle Becker
  • Justyna Brewczyk
  • Meagan Van Til
  • Marshall Miller
  • Vito Pasquale

For more details on next year’s application process, please follow along on

About GuildSomm:

GuildSomm is a nonprofit international membership organization for wine professionals that elevates the wine and beverage community through industry education. GuildSomm connects its community of beverage professionals from across the globe with a range of educational content on its website,, and through events, videos, and a popular podcast.