Francesco Cosci of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris Crowned Best Sommelier of Italy 2023

The Head Sommelier of Michelin-starred Le George was awarded the coveted title at a prestigious competition held in Milan
October 19, 2023,
Paris, France

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris announces that Francesco Cosci has been crowned Best Sommelier of Italy 2023 by the Associazone Sommellerie Professionale Italiana.

Following a highly competitive two-day contest, Head Sommelier of Michelin-starred Le George Francesco Cosci highly impressed a panel of judges comprising the very best sommeliers from Italy, Europe and beyond. Two other sommeliers contended for the title at the final on Sunday, with Cosci securing the win in the last round of tests, which included blind tasting sessions, restaurant service, food and wine pairings, as well as a general knowledge examination.

“I am both proud and deeply honoured to follow in the footsteps of Italy’s greatest sommeliers. This title drives me to wholeheartedly promote my country and the diversity of its terroir. Above all, it motivates me to act as an ambassador for the winegrowers with whom I share my passion, elevating their craft and celebrating all its nuances,” says Cosci.

After achieving the highest score earlier this year in the Advanced Course at the Court of Master Sommeliers, an examination that brings together the foremost professionals in the global sommelier community, this new title serves as a recognition of Francesco’s exceptional professionalism, expertise and talent.

Recognised for his interest in old vintages and wines from around the world, Francesco became Head Sommelier of Le George in July 2021. With a strong penchant for conviviality, simplicity and the art of sharing, and armed with a contagious energy and joyful demeanour, Francesco – Italian by birth and French at heart – quickly became the mischievous accomplice of Chef Simone Zanoni and the entire service team.

Supported by his dedicated team, with whom he cultivates his passion for wine and delights in sharing his knowledge, Francesco Cosci has also captured the hearts of a French and international clientele. Whether seasoned wine enthusiasts or novices in the world of wine, he daily imparts his profound connection to his country’s terroir. Francesco introduces diners to prominent producers while also acquainting them with winemakers and indigenous grape varieties that, while not widely known, are equally extraordinary.

Born in 1994 in Cortona, Tuscany, Francesco discovered wine at the age of 16 when he was a student at Angelo Vegni - Capezzine. While gaining work experience at the small Osteria del Teatro, he developed an immediate interest in wine when he met the restaurant sommelier. Two years later, Francesco left Tuscany for London on a whim. With no prior training, he began working at Novikov, one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants, where he became assistant sommelier. He then joined acclaimed restaurant Clos Maggiore, renowned throughout the capital for its all-embracing list featuring more than 2,500 wines. Francesco arrived in Paris in 2018 without speaking a word of French to join the team of Michelin-starred restaurant Les Climats, renowned for its extensive wine list. He quickly familiarised himself with France’s terroirs, visiting vineyards whenever time allowed, rising through the ranks to become head sommelier in just a few months. Handpicked by the teams of Le George to oversee all aspects of sommelier service at the Mediterranean restaurant, Francesco continues to develop the extensive wine list, which comprises 12,000 Italian wines, making it unparalleled in the capital.

Always eager to surprise and share his personal favourites with guests, Francesco Cosci has put together a unique selection of wines by the glass that will be offered during the festive season. The wines will take guests on a journey through Italy, with highly sought-after legendary wines such as Sassicaia presented across several vintages alongside lesser-known Italian producers.