The ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania 2022 competition held in Tokyo from 8-10 November, finished with a thrilling Semi-Final and Final round, in front of a live audience.

Unlike previous ASI contests, the Semi-Final and Final round were held on the same day, creating an added layer of tension for the 24 competitors, from 13 countries, vying for the title.

The competitors competed first in a Quarter Final round featuring a blind tasting, theoretical and practical examinations. From that original group, 8 Semi-Finalists were announced – including bot Australian candidates, Loic Avril and Paolo Saccone – and whisked away to complete another series of tests and practical assessments.

Following the Semi-Final round the competitors had a little time to relax and recuperate from the stress of the morning challenges. In front of enthusiastic live audience, the three finalists were revealed – Loic Avril (Australia), Andrea Martinisi (New Zealand), Mason Ng (Singapore) – and took to the stage to compete for the title of ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania.

After a thrilling Final competition, Singapore’s Mason Ng emerged victorious, with Andrea and Loic, coming a close second and third respectively.

Sommeliers Australia President Sarah Andrew commented after the Finals:
“While we didn’t come away with the title, I am so proud of the outstanding performances and professionalism of both Paolo and Loic during the competition. Their final rankings ensured that Australia has placed higher in the regional competition than we have for many years. This is a huge achievement, and a credit to them both.”

ASI President William Wouters said of the competitors:
“I’ve been amazed by the comradery of the competitors. The support they have shown each other demonstrates the commitment sommeliers in this part of the world have to support each other grow. This collegial spirit speaks well for the future and continued growth of sommellerie in Asia and Oceania.”

As the new ASI Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania Mason Ng has automatically qualified, as one of three continental contest winners, for the ASI Best Sommelier of the World contest to be held in Paris, France in 2023.

Congratulations to Mason, the finalists and all the candidates for taking part, and demonstrating their dedication to the sommelier profession!


Photo thanks to Yusei Fukuyama / ASI