2018 NZ Sommelier of the Year Competition

(PR.co.nz) This competition recognises excellence in wine and beverage knowledge (including Sake, Spirits, Cocktails and Coffee) and practical service skills for outstanding candidates working as sommeliers or senior managers in hotels, luxury lodge and restaurants. The 2018 winner will travel to international competitions in China and the Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition in Japan in October. There is also a Junior Sommelier competition for candidates under 30 years of age who will win a trip to Misha’s Vineyard in Central Otago.

The finalist with face off in a practical session which includes opening and pouring Champagne Louis Roederer before the panel of judges headed by Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas.
This year, the guest judge is Master Sommelier Jonathan Ross, an American now based in Australia where he works for the Rockpool Group. Jonathan’s background includes working in Michelin 3 star restaurants rising to head sommelier at the 50 World’s Best Restaurant winner in 2017, Eleven Madison Park from New York City.

Visitors to the W&F Celebration will be able to view the finalists compete in the practical wine service at 2pm.

‘The role of the wine professional and sommelier in New Zealand is changing as restaurateurs and hospitality managers recognise the benefits of having highly trained staff to advice and consult with customers on their beverage needs especially in relation to the food that they will be eating.

‘This is about an enhanced level of customer service and for a country like New Zealand, that exports $1.6B of wine, it is important to have people who can speak confidently with knowledge about wine,’ says Celia Hay, chair of the NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association.

The competition includes 14 sommeliers from around New Zealand including, Wellington, Queenstown and Auckland.

NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association members will also join Bob Campbell MW and guest Master Sommelier Jonathan Ross on Monday 20 August to taste a unique selection of Auckland wines made from fruit, exclusively grown in this area. The top wines (White, Red and Sparkling) will be awarded the inaugural NZ School of Food and Wine – Auckland Wine of Origin Trophy.

For more information please contact Celia Hay, chair of NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association.

Media Release 17 August 2018.