Newsletter: October 2022

  • Celia Hay

Hello everyone,

We are so excited to share the stories of Suraj GC, Angela Allan, and Jessica Wood from their ASI Sommelier Bootcamp experience in Malaysia.  Please scroll down and read for yourself. At the same time, Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek are training hard for the ASI Asia Oceania Best Sommelier Competition which runs over two days from Tuesday, 7 and Wednesday, 8 November and is hosted by the Japan Sommelier Association.

This was originally planned to be held in Australia in 2021, then transferred to Taiwan but international circumstances forced the Japan Sommelier Association to pick this up at the last moment. We are very grateful to Saiko Tamura-Soga and the Japanese team who are working very hard to get this competition together.

Andrea Martinisi, Marek Przyborek and I will travel to Tokyo for the competition. In previous years, it has been open to the public and many people have come to observe the practical sessions. This year, with Visa issues for Japan, it is just the competitors and country presidents who will be present.

After the competition, New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals will host an exclusive New Zealand Wine Tasting at Rangitoto Tokyo,  the bistro of kiwi Wayne Shennen, a member of the NZSWP executive committee, and his wife, Makie, on Thursday, 10 November. Members of the Japan Sommelier Association will be invited to this tasting.

Many thanks to the Hospitality Training Trust for sponsoring $1800 towards the cost of flights to the event.

ASI Sommelier Certificate Level 1 Exam
This certification exam will be offered on 3 pm Monday, 21 November at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Auckland. This certification happened for the first time in December 2021 and 6 sommeliers were successful.  Please see below to register.

CMS Introductory and Certificate Certificates
The Court of Master Sommeliers Oceania is in the final stages of announcing dates for an Auckland program in September 2023. Watch this space.

ASI World Best Sommelier Competition Paris, February 2023
Andrea Martinisi is also very focused on this competition to be held in Paris. I know, as Andrea has been coming to study,  at the NZ School of Food and Wine, nearly 5 days each week since late August. The depth of knowledge is very challenging. New wine legislation in Germany, Austria, Hungary, new DOCs in Italy, changes to classifications and then news of movers and shakers fill Andrea's thoughts! 

Paris Competition Volunteers
ASI has announced that NZ Sommeliers are able to nominate one (maybe up to 3) volunteers to help at the Paris competition. Accommodation and Food will be provided but the volunteers must fund their own travel.  If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please email us directly at
You must hold a current membership for NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals.

ASI World Best Sommelier Competition Hospitality Programme
The French Association has also released details for members to attend the competition in person and enjoy French hospitality and a diverse selection of wine tourism activities.  
Please click here to read more.

Cheers to that!
Celia Hay

New Zealand Sommelier's tasting for Japan Sommelier Association

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

Champion sommeliers Andrea Martinisi and Marek Przyborek, along with Celia Hay, chair of NZSWP, 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.

Executive chef, Trevor Blyth has worked with some of the world’s best chefs in some of Europe’s most acclaimed kitchens. In Japan, he combines his classical French training with a deep knowledge of Japanese cuisine and has developed a truly unique style of cooking. A canape menu incorporating New Zealand ingredients available in Japan will be paired with a series of leading New Zealand wines.

Thursday, 10 November from 4:00pm - 6:00pm. 

Venue: Rangitoto Tokyo New Zealand Wine Restaurant
B1 Hillside Ochanomizu Building
1-12 Yushima, 3-Chome Bunkyo-Ku
Tokyo, Japan

Entry by invitation only

ASI Certification1: Mon 21 Nov

This Certification covers a broad general knowledge of wine and beverages necessary for people to feel comfortable as an assistant sommelier with local or international customers.

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. Note: This examination is administered by the NZ Sommeliers and Wine Professionals

Monday, 21 November
New Zealand School of Food and Wine
Level 3,  104 Customs Street West, Viaduct, Auckland 1010

For ASI Certification 1 Rules, please follow this page -

Register here - $80 per person

New Zealand Sommelier's at ASI Training Bootcamp in Malaysia

Our team of Angela Allan, Suraj GC and Jessica Wood in Malaysia for the ASI Sommelier Training Bootcamp with Saiko Tamura Soga from Japan Sommelier Assn and ASI Vice President for Asia and Oceania.

Jessica Wood at the ASI Malaysia Sommelier Bootcamp

"There was an enormous opportunity for networking with other sommeliers and wine professionals despite the tightly-timed ‘Bootcamp’ schedule which was fantastic and I came away with lasting friendships and connections," says Jessica Wood.

Read the full story

Angela Allan at the ASI Malaysia Sommelier Bootcamp

"We were in groups of 8 sommeliers and 1 tutor that we went through the tasting grids with flights of 6 wines ranging from still, sparkling, fortified and sweet. It was very challenging to get this done in the allotted timeframe!

"I also really enjoyed the South African old vine Chenin blanc with Dr Edo Heyns, ancestral varieties of Spain with Joelle Marti-Baron of Familia Torres, a vintage Port Master Class with Jorge Nunes of Graham’s, California Pinot Noir with Evan Goldstein MS, and Champagne Masterclass with Toru Takamatsu MS... They were all really interesting." says Angela Allan.

Read the full story here.

Suraj GC at a Sommelier event.

"Such a jam-packed schedule with all these intensive classes and training was very well managed.
Also, to have so many wonderful and very well-known tutors in one place was amazing. And they managed to keep it all fun at all times!

Super honoured to be part of such an amazing program." says Suraj GC.

Read the full story here.

Wine Courses

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines

Weekends: 19, 20 Nov & 3, 4 Dec 2022
Click here for more information.


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