Newsletter April 2022

  • Celia Hay

Image source: e_calamar, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn Greeting

Finally it feels that we are emerging from these turbulent covid times which have caused enormous stresses across our sectors of hospitality, events, tourism and wine. While we have managed a few events in Auckland over the past months, it now feels that we can move ahead and make some plans.

National Wine Tasting and NZ Sommelier of the Year Competitions
We have finalised dates for the NZ Sommelier of Year and Junior Sommelier, Tastings and Competitions on Sunday 31 July at NZ School of Food and Wine in Auckland. The regional dates are being finalised shortly. 

ASI will hold a series of events later in the year so we wish to start a monthly training club in Auckland with Andrea Martinisi for sommeliers to prepare for these events. We will start by going through the ASI performance grids. The first meeting is planned for Tuesday 26 April at 3pm. Please email me if you are interested in being involved -

ASI will also offer the Sommelier Certification Level 1 and 2 later this year so that if you missed out for the first round, there are more opportunities coming up. See the photos below of our 6 ASI-certified somms.

We are also talking to our friends at Sommeliers Australia to see if we can work together with a Trans- Tasman event. Busy times ahead.

Become a Member of our New Zealand Sommelier Association - 

Professional Partner $75 (1-year membership)
Associate Partner $75 (1-year membership)

Celia Hay

National Wine Tasting Competition - 2022

This is a unique opportunity to bring people together to taste, learn and evaluate wines and have fun.


The New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals will hold a series of regional competitions in June/July 2022 with the National finals to be held in Auckland on Sunday, 31 July 2022.



How it works

Get together a group of 4 people to compete at your regional venue. 

Teams are presented with a series of 8 wines (4 white and 4 red) and asked 5 questions about each wine. Points are allocated for the correct answers with different weightings.  One member needs to download the APP Kahoot on their phone or laptop and this to the competition. Kahoot is free to register as we own a licence. The questions will be shared electronically. Time is limited.

The winning team from each regional competition will come to Auckland for the final on Sunday, 31 July 2022 to compete for the National Trophy at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine.

Details will be forwarded soon for the Regional competitions. 
Auckland is confirmed for Sunday, 3 July 3.30 - 5.30pm at New Zealand School of Food and Wine, Viaduct, Auckland

Register for the Auckland competition.

ASI Certification 1 - New Zealand Winners

Congratulations to the 171 sommeliers who passed the ASI Certification 1 exam!


Held on December 10 in 17 countries with 29 nationalities were represented.

Congratulations to the 6 successful candidates in New Zealand - Suraj GC from Park Hyatt, Auckland,  Camilo Jorquera Deichler from Mr. Morris, Auckland, Simon Benoit from Cazador, Auckland, Shrutika Raut from the Hilton Hotel, Auckland (in the photo above) and Angela Allan from Culprit and Victoria Haysom from Dhall & Nash Fine Wines.


 ASI Asia Oceania Events

ASI General Assembly
This will now take place in Japan in July 2022.

New Zealand Sommelier and Junior Sommelier of the Year Competition
Sunday 31 July

Asia Oceania Bootcamp 
We are hopeful that 2 candidates will be selected to attend Sommelier workshops in Hong Kong 2022, Covid permitting. Details will be released soon.

ASI Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition
This is scheduled for November 2022 in Taiwan. We are able to send 2 candidates.

ASI  Best Sommelier of the World Competition 2023
This is scheduled for February 2023 in France.

Link here to ASI Instagram

Read more

ASI Certification and Exam Committee

Certification 1
Another Certification Exam will happen in June – more details soon!

Upcoming Certification 2
The more advanced certification of sommeliers‘ skills and knowledge, to be held in September 2022. 

Read more

Congratulations to Nicholas Brown from Black Estate, long time NZ Somm supporters, for winning Gourmet Travellers 2022 Winemaker of the Year.
Read the full story here.

Congratulations to Maciej, Jessica and Josh of Nobel Rot, Wellington for their innovative concept:
Wine-oji, a world first image based language for wine that helps you understand what's in the bottle. It's Wine Without Words. Learn more.
On Facebook

Re-thinking Wine Service

Source: Areni Global, retrieved 9/4/22

In ARENI's latest In Conversation article, featured Ferran Centelles of elBullifoundation, about changing dynamics in restaurant service. 

Ferran Centelles was the head sommelier for El Bulli, Spain, the internationally famous restaurant that closed in 2011. He now runs the wine department of the elBullifoundation, a project by Ferran Adrià that continues El Bulli‘s legacy. Actively researching consumers motivations and behaviors has led Ferran to believe that the best way for a restaurant to make up for a lack of sommeliers is to change the way sommeliers are trained.

Read more.


Other Events

French Wine Scholar Certificate

The sessions are classroom based with presentations, discussions and tasting of wines of each region - from Bourgogne and Bordeaux to Jura and Savoie.

The 280-page full-color French Wine Scholar study manual
1-year access to the French Wine Scholar online study program for class prep and review

Friday 17, Saturday 18, Sunday 19, Monday 20 June  2022
Exam: Friday 22 July
NZ School of Food and Wine, Viaduct, Auckland


Find out more


Introductory Sommelier Certificate - Sydney

Find out more about the 2022 Sydney Introductory Sommelier Certificate & Certified Sommelier Certificate programs. 

Please view this link for more information -

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