Over 5 days 68 champion sommeliers, from 65 countries, competed for the title of Association of Sommeliers International (ASI) World Best Sommelier 2023. Andrea Martinisi represented New Zealand for the second time and was placed 8th in the world.
‘It’s such an honour to compete for New Zealand for a second time and to know that I am coming face-to-face with the best sommeliers of the world. While we are competing against each other, we are also colleagues and become friends. ‘I have learnt so much from these competitions because they force me to get better, to study and to focus and to think about regions and drinks from all over the world that I would otherwise never know about.
‘ASI has provided this unique opportunity for us to demonstrate our skills that have been honed and developed in restaurants and hotels over many years. To see the finalists on stage and observe their expertise and professionalism excites all of us,’ says Andrea Martinisi.
This year of the 68 candidates, 12 or 18% were women, in a sector that has historically been dominated by men with 3 women being placed in the top 6 sommelier rankings.
Celia Hay, president of New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals comments: ‘New Zealand has only been an official member of ASI since 2020 and the Asia Pacific Region now has 14 members including recent additions of Kazakhstan and Vietnam. As presidents we have monthly zoom meetings to discuss issues and plan events. New Zealand, as a wine producing country, can benefit in many ways from this collaboration. ‘Of the 17 semi-finalists, 5 came from our region: Japan, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand, ASI and their numerous events are more than competitions. They provide a celebration of our hospitality world and enable people to connect and develop their careers in an international way’.
The New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association is a non-profit registered society
supporting people working in wine and hospitality in New Zealand. It is a member of ASI Association
of Sommeliers International since 2020