Hem Vinvärlden ASI Announces Semi-Finalists for 2023 Best Sommelier of World Contest in Paris

ASI Announces Semi-Finalists for 2023 Best Sommelier of World Contest in Paris

av Livets Goda

After a spirited quarterfinal round, the Association de la Sommellerie International (ASI), has announced the semi-finalists of the 2023 ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest in Paris at a cocktail dinner hosted this evening at Paris City Hall. 

ASI President William Wouters says of the competition to date, “it came as little surprise to me the high quality of the quarterfinal round of the competition. It’s also increasingly clear that the old image of the sommelier has long since disappeared. Our candidates represent diverse cultures, backgrounds, and genders.  To borrow a sporting adage, ‘the playing field is now equal.’ Anyone with the drive to succeed and commitment to learn can win this title. This is reflected in the new faces amongst the final list of candidates still competing for the ultimate title.”


Valeria Gamper (Argentina)
Suvad Zlatic (Austria)
Tom Ieven (Belgium)
Reeze Choi (China)
Sotiris Neofytidis (Cyprus)
Nina Jensen (Denmark)
Pascaline Lepeltier (France)
Manuel Schembri (Iceland)
Wataru Iwata (Japan)
Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia)
Chuan Ann Tan (Malaysia)
Francesco Marzola (Norway)
Andrea Martinisi (New Zealand)
Jo Wessels (South Africa)
Reza Nahaboo (Switzerland)
Kai-Wen Lu (Taiwan)
Mark Guillaudeau (USA)

Diversity and change have also been extended to the judges of the contest. ASI Contests Committee Co-Director Olivier Poussier says of the combination of former Best Sommelier of the World champions and new judges, who may not have won the title, but are no less accomplished such as, Heidi Mäkinen MW, Véronique Rivest (runner-up Best Sommelier of the World 2013) and Paz Levinson (2016 ASI Best Sommelier of the Americas), “there is no present without a past. There is no future without a present. It would be easy to simply be constantly evolving and changing with the times, but there is also great wisdom in learning from the people that came before us. By having a diverse committee made up of current and past champions, and those that have achieved recent success and have new ideas and different insights. Together they as a collective bring visions of the future balanced by the insights of the past”

The semi-final round of the ASI Best Sommelier of the World will take place tomorrow, Friday February 10th, at the Pullman Montparnasse Hotel. The closed-door event featuring a variety of tests, will ultimately narrow the list of candidates to a final three. The semi-finalists will be presented on stage at the 2023 ASI Best Sommelier of the World final at Paris La Défense Aréna, on Sunday February 12th, before the final three are revealed to a crowd of more than 4,000 people in attendance, and tens of thousands watching online around the world.