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St Regis Tianjin makes into semi-finals of sommelier competition
( chinadaily.com.cn )

TIANJIN - The St. Regis Tianjin is pleased to announce that its sommelier, Stephen Zhang will progress to the semi-finals round of the 2011 China National Sommelier Competition. Zhang is the only representative from Tianjin to have been selected to compete in the semifinals. Zhang will face nine other competitors in this round, each hailing from luxury hotels and acclaimed restaurants around China. This recognition is not only a honor to The St. Regis Tianjin, but also to the whole city of Tianjin.

Zhang is the sommelier for The St. Regis Tianjin, which is scheduled to open in October 2011 and will be the newest addition to St. Regis Hotels & Resorts' rapidly growing Asian portfolio of hotels. The iconic new hotel, situated in the financial heart of Heping District in Tianjin, is destined to become a city landmark and epicenter for influential business leaders, society tastemakers and discerning travelers.

"We are delighted that Stephen has been chosen to compete in the semifinals of the 2011 China National Sommelier Competition," said Damon Page, general manager. "It is an honor that Stephen will be representing not only The St. Regis Tianjin but also the entire region. This recognition is especially significant as it comes mere weeks prior to our grand opening at the best address in Tianjin."

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will host the qualifying rounds for the competition together with Professor Tommy Lam, founder of the China Sommelier Competition, President of the Asia Wine Institute, and member of numerous wine and spirits organizations. The final round of the 2011 China National Sommelier Competition, which includes written and applied portions, will be held On September 26, 2011 at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou. The master judge will be Master Brian Julyan, CEO of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and the head of the judging panel will be Giuseppe Vaccarini, ranked as the youngest world champion of the World's Best Sommelier competition since 1978. The judging panel will also include professional sommeliers, presidents of various Asian sommelier associations, and experts in the food and beverage industry.

The 274-room St. Regis Tianjin is ideally located in the prestigious Heping district along the picturesque Hai River, considered the "Jin Men" or "Gateway" to Tianjin, home to Northern China's most treasured cultural, historic and natural attractions. Walking distance to the major business and financial centers and to the bullet train station to Beijing (which only takes 30 minutes), The St. Regis Tianjin is an exquisite sanctuary of unsurpassed elegance at one of Tianjin's most coveted addresses. The hotel will also be the first in Tianjin to introduce the signature St. Regis Butler Service, the largest Presidential Suite in Tianjin as well as a world of epicurean experiences that are unmatched in Tianjin, with restaurants that are bound to become destinations in and of themselves for visiting travelers and locals alike, including a contemporary European bistro reminiscent of a modern Parisian brasserie.

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