Newsletter: November 2022

  • Celia Hay

Hello everyone,

Andrea Martinisi, Marek Przyborek and I fly to Tokyo shortly to participate in the ASI Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition. Two very intense days of competitions, with candidates from 13 countries vying for top honours.  It starts on Tuesday 8 November. Click here to see the programme. Keep an eye on our Instagram @nzsomm for updates.

We are very excited to host our own wine tasting in Tokyo at the Wayne Sheenan's Rangitoto Wine & Craft Sake Bar, and delighted to have a serious lineup of top New Zealand wines to share. We have asked for one wine from each winery, that is already in market and our guests will be members of Japan Sommelier Association.
We are also pleased to have the New Zealand Trade Commissioner attend this function.

Participating wineries include: Alpha Domus, Amisfield, Cloudy Bay, Craggy Range, The Elder, Folium, Greywacke, Hans Herzog, Mahi, Man O'War, Nautilus, Palliser, Pegasus Bay and Te Mata.

ASI Certification Exam - Mon 21 November 3pm

This exam is in English and includes multi-choice with short answer questions. It takes 1 hour and there is no practical component. Candidates must score 65% to pass. It is ranked at the level of WSET Level 2 or CMS Certified. $80 Registration close: Thursday 10 November.  Scroll down to register.

Path to Paris Fundraiser Long Lunch at Baduzzi - Tues 22 November 12 - 2.30pm

Join us as we raise funds towards our campaign to win the ASI World Best Sommelier 2023Andrea Martinisi is our dedicated candidate and he is completely focused on building his sommelier skills to compete at the highest level of international competitions.

I recently reached out to many wine importers to ask if they would donate samples for Andrea to practice with - for blind tasting, decanting, cocktails and more. We are very grateful to Negociants New Zealand, Vintners, EuroVintage, Planet Wine, Artigiano & Caros for their practice samples which have started to arrive and keep Andrea in practice after we return from Japan.

My News
On a personal note, I am very honoured to be awarded the Sir George Fistonich Medal 2022 in recognition of services to New Zealand Wine. This award has been presented by Sir George, over many years, as part of Kingsley Wood’s New Zealand International Wine Show. Read more here.

With best wishes
Celia Hay

Don't miss ASI Certification Exam: Mon 21 Nov

This Certification covers a broad general knowledge of wine and beverages.

This exam is in English. It is a written multi-choice, short answer exam of 1 hour duration. There is no practical component.
Candidates must score at least 65% to pass. 

Monday 21 November from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
New Zealand School of Food and Wine
Level 3,  104 Customs Street West, Viaduct, Auckland 1010

Registration closes: Thursday, 10 November. 

For ASI Certification 1 Rules, please follow this page -

To Register, click the link below -
Fee: $80  (includes one year membership of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association).

Sign up here

Path to Paris: Join us at Baduzzi for the Long Lunch Fundraiser

Join us for a long lunch at Baduzzi New Zealand Sommelier Association Baduzzi Long Lunch Fundraiser to support Andrea Martinisi and our campaign for the Best Sommelier of the World 2023.

Cost $175 

See Luncheon Menu below paired with wines from some of our closest supporters: Hans Herzog, Craggy Range, Artigiano and more...

Buy Ticket to the Fundraiser


ASI Best Sommelier Asia Oceania


Association of Sommeliers International (ASI) Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition 2022 in Tokyo.

Competitors come from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong & China, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and New Zealand.  This competition includes blind tasting, practical service assessments such as Precision Pouring for a magnum of Champagne. Problem solving. Theory assessment on wine, beverages and related topics.

Each competitor must compete in a language that is not their mother-tongue. There are 3 approved languages: English, French and Spanish. 

NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals will be represented by Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek.

Many thanks to the Hospitality Training Trust for sponsorship of $1700 towards the cost of flights to Japan.

More information

New Zealand Sommelier Tasting in Tokyo

New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals will host an exclusive, invitation-only, New Zealand Wine Tasting for Japanese Sommeliers at Rangitoto Tokyo, New Zealand Wine & Craft Sake Bar on Thursday, 10 November at 4pm.

Champion sommeliers Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek, along with Celia Hay, President of the New Zealand Sommeliers Association, will be in Tokyo for the ASI Association of Sommeliers International Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition. 

Members of the Japan Sommelier Association will be invited to this exclusive New Zealand Wine Tasting.

Rangitoto TokyoNew Zealand Wine & Craft Sake Bar is the bistro of kiwi Wayne Shennen, a member of the NZSWP executive committee, and his wife, Makie.

A canape menu incorporating New Zealand ingredients available in Japan will be paired with a series of leading New Zealand wines.

Participating New Zealand Wineries

More information

Other Industry Events


Tastin' France is Business France's annual professional wine tasting dedicated to:

Importers and distributors looking for new suppliers 
Restaurants, wine shops and wine buyers looking for new wines to retail
Press, educators and professional bloggers 

Venue: Sofitel Auckland (Viaduct Harbour), Thursday, 17 Nov from 2 pm - 5.30pm

Please RSVP ASAP. Places are limited. Register early to guarantee your spot. 

More information

North Canterbury Wine Tasting

Canterbury has two registered Geographic Indications (GI). Waipara Valley / Waipara is registered but also falls within the larger North Canterbury GI and some Waipara wineries are choosing to use the North Canterbury designation rather than Waipara.

Here are some of the people behind the North Canterbury wines.

Read the full story here. 

WSET Qualifications 

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
Weekends: 19, 20 Nov & 3, 4 Dec 2022
Click here for more information.

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