Dublin, 30 March 2006: DIT student Jenny Lynch (24) from Sutton is Ireland's 'Top Trainee Sommelier 2006'. She now goes forward to represent Ireland at the international final of the Cotes du Rhone Challenge against representatives from Canada, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland in Avignon, France, next May.

Jennifer Lynch - Top Trainee Sommelier 2006

The search for 'the Best International Student Wine-Waiter' is organised every two years by Inter Rhone, the marketing body for Rhone Wines, for catering students outside France. It is a very prestigious competition and only six countries are invited to take part each time.

Studying for a BA in Culinary Arts, Jenny is a third year student in the Faculty of Tourism and Food, DIT.  She hopes to go on to obtain a Masters Degree in Food Styling or New Food Product Development. In February this year she represented DIT at Hotelympia in London where she won a Certifcate of Merit and a Salon Display Class.

A total of six students from around Ireland recently competed for the Top Trainee Sommelier (Wine Waiter) title in the fifth bi-annual Cotes du Rhone Challenge.

Having already won through as the best in their respective colleges, the six then took part in the National Final held in Failte Ireland where Jenny Lynch was declared the winner.

The other finalists were:

2nd: Teresa Forrestal, a student at Waterford Institute of Technology.3rd: James McCarthy, a student at GMIT Galway.Joint 4th: Shiloe Gormley, Tourism College, Killybegs,

Caleb Grubb Cork Institute of Technology, Bishopstown, Cork and

Margaret Howard representing the Institute of Technology,Tallaght

The students were examined in their practical skills and on their knowledge of Rhone wines by undertaking a service test and a blind tasting test before a panel of judges comprising: Mr Henry O'Neill, Chief Executive of the Restaurant Association of Ireland; Ms Martina Delaney, Sommelier at L'Ecrivain Restaurant and Mr John McCarthy, Chairman of the Wine Development Board.

The Rhone Challenge is sponsored by the Union de Sommellerie Francaise, Arcoroc International, Mikasa glassware, and SCIP France. Open to young catering students from invited countries around the world, the event offers an improved understanding of the craft of the Sommelier through the wines of the Cotes du Rhone.


All finalists were presented with a certificate as well as bottles of Rhone wines and presentation glassware. The winner also received a medal.

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