Newsletter July 2022

  • Celia Hay

Winter Greetings,

If you have been viewing our @nzsomm Instagram/FB feeds, you will know that last week we ran 3 Blind Wine Tasting Competitions in Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay and Auckland. Scroll down to take a look at the wines that were tasted at the different events.

On Sunday 31 July, we will host the Final of National Wine Tasting Competition along with the NZ Sommelier Competitions at NZ School of Food and Wine and we are looking forward to hosting two champion Australian Sommeliers at this event.

We are delighted to welcome Chris Ryan, Best Sommelier Australia 2021 from Cumulus in Melbourne and Max Gurtler, finalist in the Top 12 Best Sommeliers in Australia from Rockpool Bar and Grill. They will compete in our competition but are not able to be the final winners.

For our members, the AGM will take place at 1.30pm and we invite to come along and join in the activities.

Our Pop-up Partner Wine Tasting at 4pm will feature the Wairarapa Wine Region with selected wines presented by Nick Hewitt and Jannine Rickards.

At 5pm, the finalists for the NZ Sommelier of the Year will be tested on their Precision Pouring Skills and General Knowledge about wines. It will be fun to watch!

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Celia Hay

Regional Wine Tasting Winners

Last week our Regional Wine Tasting competitions were held in Auckland, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay. Here is a look at our Regional winners and we look forward to having them join us in Auckland for the National Final on Sunday, 31 July 2022.

We also have a OPEN category for other teams to join in and compete.


Register for the Open Blind Tasting Competition. 


Auckland Winners

Our Auckland Blind Tasting Competition held on Sunday, 3 July offered a diverse selection of wines with some speedy responses and inspired insights into the wines poured.


Here are the wines tasted:
Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2019 
Cuilleron Viognier 2020
Terras Gauda Rias Baixas DO, Galicia 2020
Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay 2019
Jerome Quiot Cote du Rhone AOC 2018,
Greystone Organic Pinot Noir 2018
Clos Fourtet La Closerie de Fourtet  St Emilion Grand Cru 2016
Teusner Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa 2018


The winning team consisted of none other than our own members: Victoria HaysomSuraj GC, and Oliver Hay with Alisa Dobronravova. 


Wairarapa Winners

Congratulations to Wellington / Wairarapa winners for the second time, "Gris Anatomy" with Joelle Thomson, Jannine Rickards, Dan Dew and Anton Stadnikzenko. 

The competition was followed by dinner in the Supper Room of the Martinborough Town Hall prepared by Dan Dew and Nara Catering. People also brought along wines to share.

Nick Hewitt shared a Palo Cortado From Gonzalez Byass 1982… his birth year. Truly outstanding in both regards.


Here are the wines tasted: 
Marc Bredif Vouray AOC 2020
Jean Michael Gerin Viognier IGP 2020
Monte Carbonare Soave DOC 2019
Misha's Limelight Riesling, Central Otago 2019
Vivaldi Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2019
Big Sky Pinot Noir, Martinborough 2019
Ch Lafitte Carcasset 2016 St Estephe Cru Bourgeois
Lunta Malbec 2020 Argentina

Hawke's Bay Winners

The Hawke's Bay blind tasting competition was held on Tuesday, 5 July at the EIT, Hawke's Bay. 

Congratulations to Yvonne Max and Sue Fox Warren and ‘Pour choices’ who took out the top prize on the last question defeating Team ‘Sip Happens’ from Craggy Range and 3rd place ‘Quattro Picante’ with our own Stefan and Nadine Loetcher now from Oak Estate Wines.


Here are the wines tasted:
Champalou Vouvray AOC 2018
Gerard Fiou Sancerre  AOC 2019
Loveblock Gewurztraminer 2020, Marlborough 
Tony Bish Heartwood Chardonnay 2021, Hawkes Bay
Clos de Fief Beaujolais - Village AOC 2020
Spinifex  Syrah 2021 Barossa Valley
Marques de Riscal, Reserva 2016 Rioja DOCa
Kaapzicht Pinotage 2018, Stellenbosch


National Final and OPEN competition

On Sunday, 31 July 2022 at 2.30 pm the 5 regional teams will compete for the National Wine Tasting Trophy. In addition, there will be an OPEN competition for other teams to compete and win a prize.

Please register for the OPEN competition by clicking the following link below.

New Zealand Sommelier of the Year Awards 2022

New Zealand Sommelier of the Year Awards will take place on Sunday, 31 July 2022.

We will be joined by 2 Guest Sommeliers from Australia who will compete in the competitions but will not be selected as winners. 

Sunday, 31 July 2022 Programme

9:00am  NZ Sommelier and Junior Sommelier Competitions start

9-10.30am Blind Tasting written notes: (1 white + 1 red wine) and written theory questions
10.45 - 1pm Service Practical

Decant and Service a wine under cork
Food and Wine pairing
Spirits Blind Tasting

1:30pm  NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals AGM  
2:30pm - 4.00pm  - NZ National Wine Tasting Competition: Teams of 4 people with groups coming from around New Zealand.
4:00pm - 6.30pm -  NZ Sommelier and Wine Professional Partners Wine POP UP Tasting
5:00pm NZ Sommelier Final with 3 Finalists competing together in the Viaduct Room

Precision Pouring of Method Traditional (4 minutes)
Wine list: spot the mistakes
Recognise this photo? A series of images of people and places to test your general knowledge of New Zealand and International Wines 

6:30pm - 10:00pm New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Awards Dinner

Winners announced during dinner

New Zealand Sommelier of the Year
New Zealand Junior Sommelier of the Year

The winners of the Sommelier of the year competition will represent New Zealand at the ASI Best Sommelier Asia Oceania competition which will be held in Taiwan from 7 November 2022 - 10 November 2022.


Click to enter NZ Sommelier & Junior Sommelier Competition


Notice of AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals will be held on Sunday, 31 July from 1.30 pm - 2.30 pm. 

Notice of Election of Committee Members: Nominations OPEN
Nominations close on Sunday 25 July at 5pm.
The committee can have a maximum of 9 members.

The following Committee Members will retire by rotation after two years and have agreed and been nominated to stand again for election:
1. Celia Hay
2. Jeremy Ellis
3. Karen Fistonich
4. Andrea Martinisi
5. Nick Hewitt

New Committee members were appointed during the year and require confirmation at the AGM.
6. Victoria (Tori) Haysom
7. Wayne Shennan
8. Marek Przyborek is up for re-election in 2022.

Susan Taylor has retired as secretary/treasurer on 10/4/22 and will not seek re-election.
Oliver Hay was appointed secretary/treasurer by the committee on 11/4/22. He is not a member of the committee.


Wines of Wairarapa Pop-up Tasting

Enjoy outstanding wines from our partner wineries and featuring wine from Wairarapa Wine Region.

This tasting is complimentary to members of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals. 

Sunday, 31 July from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm.


Register here. 


Awards Dinner by Chef Finn Gybel

Join us for the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Awards Dinner. This menu is prepared by Chef Finn Gybel and students of the New Zealand School of Food and Wine.


Blue Mackerel with  seared paua and clam juices 
Brussel sprouts and fennel
Rack of Lamb with parsley crust & braised crepinette of lamb shank
Jerusalem artichoke, pickled onion and pumpkin
Lamb Jus
Mandarin textura with Bergamot Ice cream & muscovado caramel

Our dinner will be paired with a selection of our partner's wines. Special price for NZ Sommelier Association Members - $89,  Public $105

Includes wines and beverages.

Sunday, 31 July from 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Reserve your place here


Other Events

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