Shangri-La Hosts First Shangri-La Wine Summit in Shanghai

Capping a series of new wine initiatives, Shangri-La has invited sommeliers to attend the first Shangri-La Wine Summit in Shanghai, China. The luxury hotel group will hold the summit from August 29 to September 2 at the newly opened Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai.

The wine summit is the latest in a series of professional development programs for Shangri-La’s sommeliers. The group is one of the few hotel companies to work directly with the esteemed Court of Master Sommeliers and to have a tailor-made training environment and certification process to develop wine talents. Shangri-La is seeking to grow the ranks of its certified sommeliers and further distinguish the luxury hotel group’s service.

According to Lawrence McFadden, Shangri-La’s group director of food and beverage, “It is one thing to have a great wine list and another to have sommeliers with the expertise to pair wine and food seamlessly and to recommend the perfect wine for any occasion to guests.”

The Shangri-La Wine Summit will include three events and kicks off with Shangri-La’s first Best Sommelier Competition on August 29. The winner will be chosen from a field of 13 semi-finalists hailing from Shangri-La hotels in China, Maldives, Japan, Canada, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. They will compete in front of professional judges, including master judge Gerard Basset, who won Best Sommelier in the World in 2010. Shangri-La Best Sommelier Competition will be judged in accordance with the international standards of sommelier competitions.


The next day, sommeliers drawn from Shangri-La’s 82 hotels around the world will spend "A Day with Gerard Basset" in a Master Wine Educational Seminar. Basset, whose other titles include Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, Wine MBA, and Decanter Man of the Year 2013, will provide high-level tutoring on topics such as advanced wine tasting, current trends in the wine and hospitality industry and cellar management.

The final activity on the schedule at the wine summit is a Court of Master Sommeliers training seminar, followed by examination and certification. The Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) is the premier international examining body. Since 2011, Shangri-La has been working in partnership with CMS and the Asia Wine Institute to help the company’s wine talents become certified sommeliers. Currently Shangri-La has 15 certified sommeliers, two advanced sommeliers and 10 introductory sommeliers.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 82 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 34,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The group has upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the UK.

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