NEW: Wine Professional Challenge News

»Return to news listings
This year the Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge (formerly the Sommelier Challenge) will be held on Tuesday 13th April as part of 2010 Playhouse International Wine Festival. This highly successful event, currently in its fifth year, is unique in Vancouver in giving sommeliers & wine professionals a chance to compete for the Puddifoot Award.

The winner will be presented with the Puddifoot Award by Mr John Puddifoot at the '7th Annual Awards Lunch:Celebrating Excellence' event on Friday, April 23rd. The winner will also receive a Trade Super Pass to the Playhouse International Wine Festival for 2011.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, 13th April
Registration: 5:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Competition Start: 5:30 pm
Finish: 7:00 pm
Judging: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Entry Guidelines and Information:

  • Entry to the competition is FREE
  • All entrants must be employed professionally in the wine industry in some capacity (e.g. retail, hospitality, production, agency).
  • Entrants must be 19 years of age or older
  • No one formal education style is preferred over another
  • This year competitors will be required to rotate around 5 judging stations. At each station, a competitor will be asked to talk for 3 minutes on a specified wine-related topic. Each station will represent a different subject area.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • Competition space is limited. All entrants must email the following information by Thursday, April 8th 2010 to:
  • mshipway@aii.edu or call 778 373 9022

1 - Name
2 - Telephone
3 - E-mail address
4 - Company name
5 - Position
6 - Wine Credentials (if held)

  • Organizers at The International Culinary School will create a shortlist and successful entrants will be contacted by email
The Puddifoot Award
  • Riedel Carafe
  • Engraved Challenge trophy
  • A bottle of vintage Port

This year’s judging panel:

Barbara Philip MW
Neil Ingram (Boneta Restaurant)
Michaela Morris AIWS (House Wine)
Stephen Bonner (ABV)
Mark Shipway AIWS (The International Culinary School)

Previous Sommelier Challenge winners:

2009    Keith Nicholson (Le Crocodile)
2008    Chris Giroux (Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel)
2006    Kimberley Hall (The Fairmont Waterfront)
2005    Pamela Cohen (International Sommelier Guild)