Francesco Cosci, the Head Sommelier of the renowned Michelin-starred restaurant Le George at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, has been awarded the esteemed title of Best Sommelier of Italy 2023. This coveted accolade was presented to Cosci at a prestigious competition organized by the Associazione Sommellerie Professionale Italiana in Milan, Italy.
Following a grueling two-day competition, Francesco Cosci’s exceptional knowledge and skillset impressed a panel of judges consisting of top sommeliers from Italy, Europe, and beyond. In the finals, he outperformed two other highly skilled sommeliers, securing the victory after rigorous tests, including blind tastings, restaurant service evaluations, food and wine pairings, and a comprehensive knowledge examination.
“I am immensely proud and honored to follow in the footsteps of Italy’s most esteemed sommeliers. This title motivates me to be a passionate ambassador for my country and the diverse terroirs it offers,” said Cosci. “Above all, it inspires me to elevate the craft of the dedicated winegrowers I work with and celebrate the intricacies of their art.”
Francesco Cosci’s journey to this prestigious title includes obtaining the highest score earlier in the year in the Advanced Course at the Court of Master Sommeliers, a rigorous examination that unites leading professionals in the global sommelier community. His achievement underscores his extraordinary professionalism, expertise, and talent.
Known for his deep appreciation of old vintages and wines from around the world, Cosci assumed the role of Head Sommelier at Le George in July 2021. With a strong commitment to conviviality, simplicity, and the art of sharing, he quickly became an invaluable partner to Chef Simone Zanoni and the entire service team, with his infectious energy and joyful demeanor.
Supported by his dedicated team, Francesco Cosci has captivated the hearts of a diverse French and international clientele. Whether seasoned wine connoisseurs or newcomers to the world of wine, he imparts his profound connection to the terroirs of his native Italy, introducing diners to prominent producers while acquainting them with winemakers and indigenous grape varieties that are equally extraordinary but less widely known.
Born in 1994 in Cortona, Tuscany, Francesco’s journey into the world of wine began at the age of 16 while he was a student at Angelo Vegni – Capezzine. His passion for wine developed when he met the sommelier at the small Osteria del Teatro, where he was gaining work experience. Subsequently, he left Tuscany for London at the age of 18, starting his career as an assistant sommelier at Novikov, one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants. He then joined the acclaimed restaurant Clos Maggiore, famous for its extensive wine list featuring more than 2,500 wines. In 2018, Francesco moved to Paris, initially not speaking a word of French, and joined the team at Michelin-starred restaurant Les Climats, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become head sommelier. Handpicked by the team at Le George to oversee all aspects of sommelier service, Francesco has developed an extensive wine list, featuring 12,000 Italian wines, making it unparalleled in the French capital.
Francesco Cosci’s dedication to surprising and delighting guests with his personal wine selections continues, as he curates a unique collection of wines by the glass to be offered during the festive season. These selections will take guests on a captivating journey through Italy, featuring highly sought-after legendary wines such as Sassicaia, alongside lesser-known but equally exceptional Italian producers.