The winner of Wines of South Africa’s triennial Sommelier Cup competition, held at L’Hotel Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, is Joe Yang of Studio City Macau. Yang beat over 100 sommeliers from 14 Asian countries to join winners from eight other markets including the UK, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, USA, Kenya and Ghana, on September 23rd, to compete in the final competition.
The 10 semi-finalists were tested on their wine knowledge of South Asian wines via an online exam before travelling to Hong Kong for a verbal blind tasting test, and an on-stage role play and service test in front of a three-member panel comprising Debra Meiburg MW, Hervé Pennequin (Head Sommelier, The Hong Kong Jockey Club) and Nelson Chow (President of the Hong Kong Sommelier Association).
Michaela Stander, Asia market manager for WOSA (Wines of South Africa) said, “We were delighted by the interest in this year’s competition and very impressed with the knowledge and ability of the participants. The on-trade is a focus area for Wines of South Africa and we see the sommelier community as vital to developing the reputation of our wines in Asia.”
The 10 semi-finalists were:
- Bruce Li, China World Summit Wing, Beijing, China
- Danny Ng, American Club, Hong Kong
- Felix Zhang, Hakkasan, Shanghai, China
- Gus Han, Cellist’s Kitchen, Taiwan
- Joe Yang, Studio City, Macau (winner)
- Justin Ho, Private Room TTDI, Malaysia
- Masayoshi Shiokawa, Takashimaya Nihombashi, Japan
- Nathan Kim, Conrad Seoul, Korea
- Setsuko Mukai, KAZZ, Japan
- Yuthapichai Polnakoo, U Sathorn Bangkok, Thailand
Sommelier India congratulates the winner and semi-finalists and wishes all the very best!