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Korea Jeunes Sommeliers

Seoul, June 11, 2014

Kim Jin Beom won the 2014 National Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition held at the Winenara Academy. Accordingly he will represent the Bailliage at the International Final in Copenhagen on September 19th.

Mr Kim is a sommelier at CLOCK16, the European restaurant at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul.

As a teenager, Kim Jin Beom studied engineering subsequently pursuing a career as a sommelier after national service in the army. To begin with he received professional training from a wine school. An opportunity then followed to work with Yoo Young Jin, one of the most renowned sommeliers in South Korea.Since then Mr Kim has developed his passion for wines fully embracing a professional career as a sommelier.

Although the wine market in Korea has been growing, Mr Kim is sad how many people still mistakenly believe that wine is for the wealthy. He feels that people do not realize you can have great experiences at different quality and price levels, even with limited knowledge. As a sommelier, he hopes to eliminate this preconception. He is a firm believer as well that the best wines are the ones that have great interest but not necessarily at a high price.

The competition was held in English. The preliminary round consisted of a written exam with a one hour limit, followed by a blind tasting. The six best scoring candidates then competed in the second round which tested practical skills.

The panel of judges comprised:
- Roland Hinni, Échanson, Bailliage of Korea
- Ms. Youn Young Kim, Argentier, Bailliage of Korea
- Young Jin Yu, Sommelier and the 2007 Best Sommelier of Korea
- Ms. Kyung Ja Eom, Sommelier
- Chul Hyung Lee, President of the Winenara Academy.

Once the points awarded by the judges Kim Jin Beom was declared the winner. The Bailliage of Korea very much appreciates the generous support of the competition by the Winenara Academy, Fortune Brands Company and KLM/Air France. A special thank you being reserved for KLM/Air France for presenting Mr Kim with a return air ticket for his forthcoming journey to Copenhagen.

Didier Beltoise, Chargé de Presse